As a decorator, entertaining guru and author of A Home for All Seasons: Gracious Living and Stylish Entertaining, our dear friend and fellow co-host Danielle Rollins knows a thing or two about hosting the perfect holiday event. Here, she shares her favorite tips on planning an intimately chic celebration and the little baubles she’d never turn down.
How are you planning to entertain these days?
One of my favorite things to do is to have a very small group of friends over to celebrate the season—whether it’s a dinner or just cocktails—and get very dressed up. A select group feels especially festive and puts me in a holiday state of mind. Smaller is more intimate, easier to manage, there are fewer table settings, and fewer dishes you have to do! You can also be more thoughtful since you don’t have to please as many people. I love throwing a "cocktail party" during the holidays. It’s a glamorous throwback.
Any tips you can share on making it fabulous?
Dress up to the nines, break out the embroidered cocktail napkins, the "fancy" crystal, silver and plenty of sparkle, of course. Make a good signature cocktail for your event, it shows some originality and thought, and it’s the perfect ice breaker. A little goes a long way so it's good to have other options to switch to later. I'm partial to a French 75 for the holidays- but they pack quite a wallop so it's a one-two drink at the most, and a precursor to champagne. And champagne always has the right amount of festive in my book!
What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?
I am a homebody at heart, so I relish every aspect, whether it is the planning and preparation to have people over or getting dressed up and going out to holiday parties at someone else's home. I love the seasonal touches to a home, and the chance to connect, celebrate and raise a glass of cheer with friends and family.
Is there anything special on your holiday wish list these days?
I’ve pretty much been blessed with anything I could have ever wished for- while Covid-19 has had so many challenges, it has also been a great catalyst for making what matters become clear. A strong, solid and supportive relationship, our healthy and happy families, a great career, a new house, a new dog and a new boat. Although I’d never turn down vintage Verdura or Van Cleef & Arpels.
Get the Look: Danielle Rollins is wearing the Alma Kaftan in Desert Fantasia