Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lisa's Celebration Tips

With the holiday season right around the corner, many of us will be planning parties and get-togethers with our friends and family.  I especially love celebrating at our home- recently we had a fabulous party to celebrate two of our dearest friends and "family" who have been apart of our catering team since the 80s. I want to share some of what I've learned over the years as a hostess- I'd love to hear any of y'alls experiences too!
Remember: All special events are made memorable by the attitude of the hosts and the tone they set for their guests!
  • ·        When planning your celebration, remember it’s a party, not world peace!
  • ·        One or Two of your dishes “dialed in” will be talked about and enjoyed more than 12 items that are mediocre.
  • ·        Plan something that gets all of your guests engaged together as a group:
~ Each guest bring a bottle of wine with a story to tell about it
~ Have each guest tell something no one knows about them
  • Plan a small “take-away” so guests are reminded of the celebration, especially if it has special meaning culturally or with your family:
    ~ Homemade limoncello from the Italian family as gifts at their daughter's wedding
    Apple butter made from apples in your yard for the Holiday party
  • ·        You are more important to your guests than your food, so plan your menu so you are not a slave to the stove during your party.  (Or hire a caterer!)
  • ·        Plan your toast in advance of the celebration. Make it touching or humorous, but memorable! Keep it short and sweet.
  • ·        Food is community. Have guests bring a special dish such as “Mom’s famous dessert” or “The dish that best represents my heritage”
  • ·        Invite a “secret special guest” that might make it special for your guests. A local winemaker to talk about wine, a dance instructor to teach salsa, an author to talk about her book topic or a local musician to just sit at the piano and take requests.
  • ·        Engage and involve people in the celebration~ they will have vivid memories of the day!
  • ·        If people don’t know each other, create a fun Icebreaker. A friend of mine has a huge bowl of retro candy. Choose your favorite piece and share with others why you chose it.
  • ·        Have an interactive table for guests: roll sushi with the chef, shake a martini with the bartender or ice and decorate cookies to take home.
  • ·        If you have hired a valet, have them place a little goodie or special note in the car when the guest is leaving.

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