Photographs courtesy of Lulu Powers
We know this is the most wonderful time of the year but with all the planning involved, it can also be a tad stressful, especially if your to-do list includes the annual shindig you customarily throw. So we turned to Weston native Lulu Powers, The Entertainologist, to share some ideas on how to make your gathering festive, fun and stress-free. We caught up with her recently as she was finalizing plans for her featured appearance at the Harvest Table luncheon to benefit the New Covenant House of Hospitality. “There are some small things you can do to add sparkle and still make it easy for yourself and your guests,” she says. “You don’t have to complicate yourself. Just have fun.” Sounds like a plan. Adopt a few of these ideas, she promises, and you and your friends will be buzzing through New Year’s Eve.
1. Serve sparkling wine and Chambord in a champagne flute with a candy cane as garnish.
2. Serve your favorite martini in a goblet with ice and a gardenia floating on top.
3. By the bar area, use red tulips to decorate large silver buckets already filled with chilled wine bottles and beer, and hang a whimsical sign reading, “Santa’s Specials.”
4. If you are a guest, bring an edible hostess gift. “I love making thyme biscuits and honey butter in a ball jar so they have something for the next morning. Or bring a box of cookies with milk for that night. Whatever you decide, give them something they can enjoy right away.”
5. Use Paperless Post or Evite for your invitations. “It’s just easier.”
6. “For food, stick to tradition. People like their old faithfuls, whether it’s baked brie or a baked ham or a filet.” Festive touches can be added with bright garnishes, such as pomegranate seeds.
7. Always have holiday music playing in the background for guests. “This is easy. Just connect to Spotify or Pandora and play any of their cocktail holiday playlists.”
8. “Candles are always festive.” Line the stairwell with lanterns. Or scatter cylinder vases lined with ferns around the space. Fill these with water and float votive candles on top.
9. Always use the fireplace. “Nothing smells like the holidays like burning wood.”
10. Other decorative ideas: Toss tinsel on a runner at the dinner or buffet table and fill vases or bowls with ball ornaments.