When I was fourteen my big sister, Molly, decided that she was going to throw a “holiday cocktail party.” We planned for weeks and weeks for this party. This was before Pinterest, so all of our ideation sessions centered around cookbooks, the cooking channel, and good old fashioned magazines. We shopped for the perfect invitations and carefully laid out the tablescape. We plotted festive conversation topics. Molly thought of everything! 14 years later, I finally got the opportunity to recreate what my 14-year-old self considered to be the height of elegance. It was finally time for a real holiday cocktail party!
I actually think what spawned my idea to recreate the greatest party of 2004 was seeing my mother-in-law’s antique punch bowl. It is beautiful, elegant, and enormous. The second I saw it I could just picture myself drinking out of the dainty little glasses that accompany it at a sock-hop while the mean old gym teacher told stories of his time in Korea (my imagination is really into detail). I spent days and days on Pinterest finding the perfect cocktail to go in this beautiful bowl complete with frozen cranberries to keep it delightfully frosty!
Next came the appetizers. We had to do something that was both festive, yet classic. We (and by we I mean me with James in the background saying “whatever you make will taste wonderful, Emi! Try not to stress so much!”) decided on apple and brie crostini with pecans and honey, caprese skewers with a balsamic reduction, and of course, an endless supply of desserts!
What we learned at our first holiday cocktail party, though, is that all of the little details, while lovely, aren’t what make an event one to remember. What really sets things apart is the company! I actually remember planning my wedding, stressing about whether or not people would enjoy themselves. My wedding planner, Claire, reminded me that we have really fun friends – and that was what would make the night! On the night of our holiday cocktail party, our friends certainly proved this correct!
First, they arrived in their finest furs! Is there anything that makes you feel like a Rockefeller quite like a fur does?
Second, we used the party as an opportunity to exchange ornaments. Instead of exchanging presents with each other this year, we decided to do a secret ornament exchange instead. Everyone really delivered with extremely thoughtful ornaments! Have I written on here about how obsessed we all are with brussel sprouts yet? It’s a problem. I don’t know when they became so delicious, but I eat them almost every day. The ornament exchange was just another example of how far we have taken the love.
Yup, they each bought one another a brussel ornament without knowing! Ah, love.
There were even some nods to our childhoods. Fun fact: our super successful, fearless Capital One business woman, Katie, was a wee bit obsessed with horses when she was a child. So, naturally, she was given this ornament.
Is it super supportive or a delightful excuse to tease our friend? Who knows!
What’s really wonderful about Christmas parties is watching others enjoy themselves. Everyone seems to find themselves in one of three places:
Around the Christmas tree…
Around the Christmas cookies…
Or just wrapped in each other’s arms, joyful, and merry, and bright!
Until next year!