December 1st, 2017

I love the holiday season! Mr. Robertson and I always travel during Thanksgiving to be with his mom Wanda. Christmas season we slow down on the travel and settle in for celebrating in and around South Orange, NJ. ‘Tis the season to celebrate, decorate and entertain family and friends who we’ve missed and need to catch up with.

Mostly we love a cocktail party, sometimes intimate with one or two other couples, or often a real house party featuring Chef Jesse or Smart Cookie. As I contemplate some of our staple holiday celebrations and a new one or two, here are a few Protocol International entertaining tips I’d like to share.

  • Christmas décor helps to set the mood; an abundant Christmas tree, mistletoe above the door, garland cascading down the stairs. We always host the Annual Condo Holiday party, so we also mix in symbols of Hanukkah blue, silver and white candles and flowers and jelly donuts.

  • Make people feel welcome and comfortable so much that they want to come back. Make your space warm and inviting, so people really feel at home. I hate the feeling of being in someone’s home where it’s so fancy that you think you’re going to break everything. I want my guests to relax and have a good time.

  • Having a theme is fun. Suzanne D once told me that she has different themes and colorful decorations every year. Once you decide on a theme, you know what to look for whether you’re shopping at Tiffany’s, HomeGoods or Target. Everything from quirky decorations, candles, to beautiful china.

  • Be sure you have enough food. Mr. Robertson always makes sure to have certain items specific to certain people– George’s Hennessy, Uncle Wayne loves salmon salad, Sandi’s favorite Vodka.

  • Be sure to greet every guest when they arrive and make every effort to introduce folks as you get people mingling.

  • Have a great music playlist. In our house, we like to dance.

  • Dress to impress. As a host, wear a statement piece of jewelry or a fun shirt – it can be an instant conversation starter.

  • Enjoy the holidays. Let us know if you have any protocol or etiquette questions or challenges that you need to be answered to have a flawless holiday party experience.
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