Having the clan or just a few friends over for Christmas or Hanukkah? it’s not too late to turn your holiday from merely fun to fabulous, decent to decadent, predictable to poignant. Here are my fashionably sustainable and time-sensitive twists to make your holiday fete a lot less ordinary.
Toss out the expected Poinsettia and holly branches and bring winter white indoors with plump bouquets of white camellias or sweet peas. Make minimalism festive with cool white fairy- lights, an elegant silver wreath, and an apartment illuminated with non scented candles. Synchronize your guest’s E.T.A. with some almond cookies coming right out of the oven and let the aroma fill the house.
Hosting a pre-dinner cocktail hour? Nix the eggnog (what is it anyway?) and serve up our modern holiday cocktail, Scotch Holiday Sour. This easily blended drink (sweet vermouth, scotch, Cherry Marnier, egg white and lemon juice) is chock-full with merriment, not calories and will look quite posh in your glass.
In lieu of presents for friends and extended family, make a last-minute donation in their name to new charity. We’ll be making our contributions to Amnesty International's #AmericaIBelieveIn Campaign, (sustainability is about community, community is about love, not hate), PBS (because they keep it real and simple) and The Green Bronx Machine (green education!)
Keep everyone engaged, offline (except for the occassional Instagram docupix) and challenged with pop culture inspired board games that are age-flexible. Our faves – Wasabi! (you are a sushi chef making creative recipes and competing for the title of Itamae-San) and Metropolys (players use their design savvy to build buildings and place all of them in strategic locations to win the game).
Save the casual wear for another weekend. Dress up like Michelle O…vintage and classy.
While Eza and FKA Twigs dominate your playlist, a holiday dinner party should exude happiness (besides, you don’t want to scare the children). Swap out the Chipmunks and Celine Dion for a hipper playlist which might include Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby”, and The Ronettes’ Frosty “The Snowman”. Mix in a little Nat King Cole or Tony Bennett for a retro-cool ambiance.
Not a gentile, don’t just order in Chinese, dial up and reserve a table at a swank restaurant or pre-order out. Our picks – Avant Garden in NYC, Amaya in London, The Grounds of Alexandria in Sydney, and Lula Cafe in Chicago.
Smile, be gracious and enjoy each other’s company…
Photo © Bread&Olives, A Joyful Journey