how to throw a holiday party

 

During a recent eggnog-fueled, late night blog surfing session, I came across this feature on "How to throw a holiday party" on the Coveteur.  While I loved having the perspective of international designers, DJs, and editors on this topic, I thought our readers might like to hear from the ODB management team on their personal tips and tricks for holiday-party throwing (all the fixings are available in our fair city of Calgary, Alberta).  

Below, Brett McDermott (the B of ODB),  Stephanie McIntyre (Marketing Manager at ODB), and Andrew Rowe (Market Manager at ODB) share their insight on throwing the perfect holiday party just in time for New Years Eve.

 

BRETT MCDERMOTT ON HOLIDAY PARTIES

What's your perfect holiday party situation?

A small group of friends, special foods & refreshments that you might not normally consume throughout the year, good tunes. It can be fun to invite people that might not otherwise know each other too. 

What's your favorite holiday cocktail to serve?

Champagne.

What snacks are on the ideal party menu?

I love the following treats for special occasions (or anytime): caviar, oysters, tartare. Also, we have a New Years Eve tradition with a few close friends that involves preparing and enjoying soba noodle soup with pork belly and other fixings.

What's the best hostess gift to give and receive?

I like giving and receiving plants. They last longer than flowers, and add to the host's decor for the evening. Visit Plant in Inglewood and scoop up a terrarium for a neat offering. 

What's on your holiday party playlist?

If you can swing it, hire or invite a DJ. Otherwise, I like house music for background and I'm listening to a lot of Nightmares on Wax these days.

What's the one thing party hosts should have on hand just in case?

Extra wine and spirits and a late night snack plan. In a pinch, order pizza. There comes a time in the evening where people either fade or get a second wind and a good snack can make all the difference. 

 

STEPHANIE MCINTYRE ON HOLIDAY PARTIES

What's your perfect holiday party situation?

I love mixing people, so my ideal holiday party guest list has family, pals, colleagues, and dates included. Add snacks, drinks, and music. 

What's your favorite holiday cocktail to serve?

This year I created a Christmas Old Fashioned using cinnamon, bourbon, orange, honey and Bittered Sling's Autumn Boy Cranberry bitters with a rosemary garnish.

What snacks are on the ideal party menu?

A nice charcuterie board is always in order, but late night pizza is also a must for me.

What's the best hostess gift to give and receive?

This year I brought custom cocktails to contribute to the parties that I attended. Gifts such as air plants, terrariums, or cacti are also always cool.

What's on your holiday party playlist?

I tend to start out the night with something older like Sam Cooke, to get the feel-good vibes in place. As the night goes on, I like to move into super pop (Beyonce) or even weirder rap like Danny Brown. 

What's the one thing party hosts should have on hand just in case?

Nothing beats just having the desire to party. One should never host a party if they aren't ready to get down! Oh, and ice and club soda. 

 

ANDREW ROWE ON HOLIDAY PARTIES

What's your perfect holiday party situation?

Small group, good friends, great wine, quality catch-ups.

What's your favorite holiday cocktail to serve?

Old-fashioned as I like drinking brown liquor at this time of year.

What snacks are on the ideal party menu?

Cheese + charcuterie, olives, oysters, prawns. For something sweet, vanilla bean ice-cream by Made by Marcus drizzled with Fino Sherry.

What's the best hostess gift to give and receive?

A beautiful Christmas ornament or a bottle of Champagne.

What's on your holiday party playlist?

Music roulette with my guest's i-pods / playlists.

What's the one thing party hosts should have on hand just in case?

Small gifts such as an ornament for guests and a lint roller.