Tinseltown Dos and Don’ts

 Peter Hurley

Mark Addison, a top New York City event planner, is the expert on all things chic and clever and has put his good taste to use with Kelly Ripa, Antonio Banderas and Jennifer Lopez. Now, he is providing entertaining tips perfect for the holiday season.

This Holiday Season, the trend is turning towards entertaining at home rather than hob-knobbing at P. Diddy’s White Ball or having the Pussycat Dolls rocking out your office holiday party! Celebs are showing they are just like us! Whether donating collected gifts to a local shelter or creating a low-key, high-value affair, celebs are raising the bar to ring in 2010.

Take the lead from your favorite celebrities and create a party that gives back. Follow in the footsteps of your favorite charitable celebrities. Christie Brinkley and Robin Williams both support Smile Train during the holidays. While stars like Reese Witherspoon, Ashley Olsen and Hilary Duff support Toy Mountain, which collects new toys for less fortunate children during the holiday season.

Follow these Do’s and Don’ts to make sure you regain that air of celebrity at your next holiday soirée.

So You’re Attending a Party: 

Don’t: Bring your hostess flowers when you arrive! This derails the host from the tasks at hand to find a vase and be obligated to display the flowers you were so “thoughtful” to bring. Instead, have flowers delivered a day or two in advance to eliminate last-minute distractions allowing the host to properly incorporate your thoughtfulness into their décor plan. Learn more about the meaning of flowers and send flowers anywhere here.

Do: Bring food that is fully plated and ready-to-eat upon arrival. Bringing food that requires extra cooking attention or post-cleaning is a party no-no. If you do bring food plated make sure you are “gifting” the platter and don’t expect the host to return the dish to you. Check out these ready-to-eat platters from H-E-B for inspiration.

Do: Create a lasting holiday memory by providing a charitable donation (money, time or gifts) in your host’s honor. Purchase a small trinket and attach a card describing the charitable gift made in the host’s name.


So You’re Hosting a Party:

Don’t: Go over the top on décor elements. The mantra of the season is “less is more”. Use the money that would have normally been spent on a charitable donation and make the announcement of your charity to your guest on the party invite and provide contact information so they can contribute in lieu of bringing gifts.

Do: Encourage your guests to bring items to donate. Another great idea is creating “feed the need” packages that target a needy group in your community (i.e.: clothing for the homeless, back packs and toys for underserved children).

Do: Set up a “make-your-own” bar for guests. Guests can customize their drink to their liking and you’re not stuck manning the deck! An easy idea is a champagne bar with a variety of champagnes and prosecco along with add-ins like peach juice, hibiscus syrup and elderflower liqueur.

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