Holiday Party Planning Tips for Fall/Winter 2013
It’s not too early to plan your holiday parties! Here are some hints from local experts.
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Themes and Decor
Just as weddings can have a “theme” for the decor, food and entertainment, so too, can a holiday party. If you are having a Christmas party and inviting children as well as adults, you might decorate using a North Pole theme and have Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at some time during the event, suggests Prosser. Children can arrive in their pajamas and adults might wear ugly Christmas sweaters.
“Kids can be so amused by that. Their parents usually try to look so prim and perfect that it’s fun to do the opposite,” she adds.
For a high-end, more traditional adult Christmas party you might have passed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails and carolers in period dress welcoming guests at the door.
Families who celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah can throw a “Chrismakkuh party,” Prosser suggests. The hosts might decorate with blue and green or similar color tones and have both a Christmas tree and a menorah. Games or other activities can be a fun way to educate guests about traditions from both religions. “We often do that at weddings,” she says.
Some people use holiday events to give back by planning charity parties for which guests will make donations of toys, books or children’s shoes. “Holidays are such a gluttonous time of year,” McConnell says, that it’s nice to see charity parties becoming a trend.
McConnell has seen other themes that don’t necessarily scream “the holidays.” For example, one client chose to use Mardi Gras as a theme, while another reversed the seasons with a luau Christmas. A Christmas in July theme with beachy decor is another idea, and it works particularly well for those living in coastal southern Delaware. One of McConnell’s favorite holiday parties was circus-themed, complete with a cotton candy maker, hot dog machine, funnel cakes, a ringmaster and a fire spitter. The whole event looked like a three-ring circus, she says.
Decor for these types of parties naturally matches the theme, but even with more traditional holiday parties the decor can be imaginative. Neef finds that people are becoming more comfortable playing with color instead of just decorating in blue and silver or red and green—“everyone and their mother has done that,” she says. Event planners are seeing more patterns and color combinations at their parties, like magenta with lime green, a vintage look (muted pastels against vibrant purples) or a central pattern, like chevron, that pulls everything together.