Culture

Plan The Perfect Holiday Party

慣is the season for holiday parties卆nd lots of them. Want your celebration to stand out on your guests crowded social calendars? We enlisted Stacey Pikover from award-winning event planning firm Plan-It Parties to offer tips on throwing the best soirees, from the drinks and desserts to the music and d閏or. Pikover also shares some ideas for spreading holiday cheer every day in the salon.

There are so many holiday parties every season梙ow can you make yours stand out?
Along with good food and good drinks (important for any party!), the guests first impression is the invitation. Make it POP in a pile of holiday mail with a colored envelope or send a Christmas cookie as the invitation.

What are the key ingredients for a great NYE party?
A lot of champagne and fun surprises through the evening. You can use inexpensive candy cane shot glasses as mini ice cream sundae cups (or as an actual shot glass) for a festive feel. Right before midnight, have individual pop champagne bottles passed to all of the guests instead of traditional champagne-filled glasses. After midnight, start serving some easy breakfast foods.

If a salon wanted to have a season-long holiday 損arty every evening at their salon, what small things would you suggest they do to make it festive?
Serve a holiday- or winter-themed cocktail (or mocktail) as guests arrive. You could also do mulled apple cider. Have each night be a different specialty cocktail and incorporate the stylists favorite things about the holidays. For example, embrace any fun traditions they have or play their favorite holiday movies (silently) in the waiting area. A great event is all about having personal touches. You can also have a basket of 搒tocking stuffers to gift to guests when they check out.

Planning a party can be stressful梬hat are some tips for making the experience stress-free?
Try to plan ahead. Make a list and prioritize your party 搘ish list. Most importantly, remember to enjoy the moment and spend time with your guests.

If you want to give out parting gifts for your holiday or NYE party, what would you suggest?
Make it something personal that you love that you think your guests would enjoy. For example, I love a good cup of coffee, so I would give out some really good coffee beans or tea with a nice mug for that next morning to help them wake up. You could also give your favorite holiday recipe out on a pretty card.

Any tips for music for a holiday or NYE party?
If you抮e making an iPod playlist, you can mix upbeat holiday music with top songs of the year. If you抳e hired a DJ or band, planning music in advance is not always the best idea; the DJ or band should be able to read the crowd and play the music that gets your guests dancing.

What kind of invitations to you suggest? Mailed? E-mailed?
Send them via the mail; evites get lost in people抯 inboxes (or spam filters) and responses are much slower.

What are some low-cost ways to decorate for a holiday or NYE party?
They may be clich, but definitely get New Year抯 Eve tiaras, sunglasses and other items that mark the celebration. Candles are always a great and inexpensive way to decorate. They also create an intimate and warm setting.

Any fun ideas for food and drinks for a holiday party? How about a NYE party?
Embrace the winter season with a Make Your Own S抦ores station with flavored marshmallows and a hot chocolate station with flavored hot chocolates and a selection of toppings. This is also fun to offer in the salon on cold nights.

Do you like theme parties for NYE? What are some of your favorite themes?
I would stick with the traditional theme of glitz and glamour for NYE.

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