We have a snow day here in the DC area. Lots of people are using this time to catch up on Christmas stuff – in fact, I spoke to my mother this morning and she said she was going to spend the day wrapping presents. I can’t do that because I haven’t bought any presents – in fact, I am behind on just about every aspect of Christmas. I haven’t even thought about which gifts I’m buying, let alone actually buying them. This is out of character for me – I’m usually pretty organized by now. But that’s what having a new house will do to you, right?
Well maybe it’s because I don’t have any gifts to wrap yet but I wanted to share some ideas for nontraditional wrapping. There is nothing wrong with traditional Christmas wrapping paper and a bow, but if you want to do something a little different, here are some fun ideas:
My husband and I moved to a new house a few weeks ago, and instead of living in the DC suburbs, just barely inside the Beltway, we now live in what DC folks call ‘the country’ – about an hour or so west of DC, closer to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Any of you who actually live in ‘the country’ have permission to laugh at the characterization of an hour west of DC as the country. One major difference between our former apartment and our current house is the weather. We now live just far enough away for slightly colder weather and more snow! So while my friends in DC have barely a dusting, we have about 3-4 inches already! This is the view from our front door:
So since I am surrounded by white, I felt inspired to write about winter white tablescapes. Whether you are looking to plan a winter wedding or a winter dinner, or are just looking to add a bit of winter flair to your next dinner party, here are some ideas I love:
I know we were off last week but today I’m resuming my Friday favorites! Let’s get started!
#5 – Salt shaker table numbers
I think this is cute. Instead of numbers or table names, this bride and groom had different salt shakers which represented famous pairs – Mickey and Minnie, two cowboy boots, a burger and a drink, etc. The salt shakers were incorporated into the centerpieces and guests had to find the right shakers for their table. Sure, it’s a little kitschy, but it’s fun. Photo by Fete Photography via Mountainside Bride.
Now that the weather outside is frightful (read: winter), but the fire is so delightful…. Ok ok, so our new house has a real wood-burning fireplace and I’m really excited about it! But since it IS winter, you’re starting to see soup everywhere. But it’s not always the easiest thing to serve. Since I love soup (especially the really bad for you kinds with lots of cream – like broccoli cheddar or tomato bisque), I thought I would share some ideas and suggestions for how to incorporate this cold-weather treat into your parties and events.
If you are on pinterest and you follow anyone who posts catering or event photos, you have probably seen this guy (via United with Love):
The tomato soup shooter with a grilled cheese bite. I’m going to go ahead and declare this the soup trend of 2013. It’s all over the place and people love it. Who doesn’t love grilled cheese (unless you are lactose or gluten intolerant you have no excuse!)? This is one of those trends that is clever but with mass appeal. But it is on the verge of being overdone – to the point where I was choosing a menu for a holiday party and I almost didn’t select it as one of my passed hors d’oeuvres because it’s overdone, but then I realized that most of the party guests were not crazy like me and A) would actually consider something so delicious ‘overdone,’ B) would care that something is overdone anyway.
With the holidays right around the corner, I’m sure you are all thinking about what you can get that special event planner in your life, right? I know there are tons of “gift guides” that come out this time of year – gift guides for moms, dads, husbands, wives, aunts, co-workers, neighbors, secret santa recipients you don’t even know, etc. I couldn’t find a good list for event planners so I decided to make my own. Below are some ideas that any event planner (or meeting planner, or wedding planner) would love to receive:
Every event planner I know loves a good blazer. I love a good blazer. It’s rare for me to work an event without a blazer of some kind. I’m even wearing a super-cute blazer right now. Blazers have multiple pockets (great for phones, walkie talkies, room keys, etc.), and look great with almost any outfit – from dresses or pencil skirts, to jeans (I love jeans and a blazer – although I hate wearing jeans, weird, right?). I do like this one from Ann Taylor.
If you are in the midst of planning a holiday party of any kind, you might be worried about favors. First of all, I would think about whether you need favors at all. Holiday parties were one casualty of the economy tanking – some companies eliminated them altogether, while others scaled them down to a shadow of their former selves. If your company (or association, group, etc.) is running low on funds for the holiday party, eliminating the favors might be a good idea. Most likely your employees (or volunteers, or guests, etc.) won’t even miss them.
If you still want to proceed with a favor, consider your budget. If this is a work holiday party and the guests are employees, any money spent on lavish favors could be perceived as money that could have been given directly to the employee as a bonus – so tread carefully. If you do want to spend a lot, make sure you select something that your guests would truly appreciate, such as gift cards (which is basically like giving cash). Consider several gift options – such as a bottle of wine or a fancy cheese basket – that way people can select the item they want more.
Hello friends! My husband and I just bought our first home and moving and getting it set up has taken more time than I imagined, so I’m going to take a week off from this blog. But I will be back after Thanksgiving with plenty to share on event planning, weddings, entertaining and everything else I cover. Thanks for reading!
In the meantime, are a few links to other interesting content so I don’t feel as bad abandoning my readers:
Via the NY Times: Next super bowl, New York and New Jersey will be top rivals (As I’m from NY and my husband is from NJ, I was drawn to the headline – but actually an interesting read on the ancillary events going on around the super bowl)
Via the Washington Post: Handmade and locally sourced gift guide for the holidays (Some good ideas here)
Via Successful Meetings: Top 10 Tips for Planning A Holiday Party (because as you know, holiday parties have been on my mind lately!)
Happy Thanksgiving – don’t forget to check out these ideas for your Thanksgiving table!