It really takes a village, you know? To raise a child, yes, and also to throw a successful holiday party.
Our fourth annual bash was Saturday night, and of course we spent days prepping. We did our once-annual December pilgrimage to Costco, and as is typical, it was a miserable experience involving tons of eye rolling and elbow throwing. (I swear, why do people love that place? It’s downright Dante-esque.)
My husband, co-owner of event lighting company Kinetic Lighting, set up our cool design — complete with our party’s signature more-is-more starry mirror ball effect — after a big truck arrived with all the gear a few days before.
My mother-in-law, the Linda behind Linda Rosen Interiors, came a day ahead to loan me some linens and help me finally learn that trick of creating levels on the tabletop by concealing stock pots and bowls under layers of linens.
And most thrillingly, we had gorgeous pro flowers this year thanks to the most talented and generous friend Karen, of Karen Amit Floral Design, whose floral designs are beyond.
Karen came over after an early-morning visit to the flower mart downtown on Friday ahead of our party. She completely scored, hauling in buckets of red roses, amaryllis, tulips, and the most amazing red “Henry” peonies I have ever seen.
Karen spent almost four hours here (bless her heart) trimming and arranging everything into mercury glass vessels, which would dot our tabletops, buffet, mantle — and just about every other available surface. I joked that it looked like a Four Seasons in here — and that was probably about as true as it ever will be.
Oh! And I set up a photo booth with mustache props and a kitschy little banner, above which Karen hung a bough of mistletoe substantial enough to incite some major action beneath, and tied it with gorgeous burgundy ribbon that totally outclassed my photo-opp setup.
But you know what? That’s how we do it here. We try to keep things pretty and tidy — but also fun and never fussy. So the combo of Karen’s gorgeous floral looks, mom-in-law’s pretty tablescape, hubby’s splashy lighting looks, my silly photo booth, and the overall down-home vibe after our guests arrived — it just totally worked.
I think it was our best year yet. With a few notable exceptions (including a feverish sister), we were able to round up most of the amazing folks in our lives in one place at one time. The late-night crowd gabbed around the table in our breakfast nook until nearly 3 a.m., at which point our close friend and house guest, Melissa, decided it would be a good time to start prepping vegan menudo (her signature Mexican hangover brunch, with tofu instead of tripe) in the slow cooker.
Nothing like a little wee-hours food prep to cement that overall sense of total success.
Happy holidays, everyone!