Laurel and I were asked to plan the Christmas party for my dad and my husband’s company party. Several years ago we changed the format of the Christmas party from a formal, sit down type banquet to a more informal cocktail party. My parents have been willing to host the party the last number of years at their home. People seem more relaxed in a home environment versus a stuffy, sterile banquet room or hall.
The night after our blog launch party we decided we needed to come up with a theme…it was only a month until this party!!! Scott came up with Christmas in Mexico…Lo and I loved it but Dad doesn’t like Mexican food, so that wasn’t going to work! Lo suggested Christmas in New York…we both absolutely love New York and it’s a magical city at Christmas, so we ran with it!
It was extremely challenging at times to bring New York to Abbotsford….who knew that you can’t rent a pretzel warmer anywhere from West Vancouver to Hope!!! Dealing with US companies that don’t accept Canadian credit cards (seriously!?!?) and trying to find a chestnut roaster (thanks to Renee for walking around her neighborhood and finding one!) was so frustrating but we refused to give up.
Here are some elements that we used to bring New York to town…
The Statue of Liberty with a wreath in the front yard
Lots of extra mini lights
New York style lamp post at the front door
A tourist map of New York doubled as the programme
Food….gourmet hot dog bar, pizzas, pastrami melts and we included favorites from past parties such as grilled veggies, breads with olive tapenade
We set up a 30′ x 20′ tent in the backyard with heaters and park benches to mimic Central Park complete with food vendors (our daughters!) selling roasted chestnuts kept warm in a popcorn maker, garlic roasted almonds and pistachios in a nacho warmer and soft pretzels in a hot dog cooker!!! Yes, we had to think outside the box!
At the bar, we served Cosmopolitans and Manhattans, along with red and white wine and Pellegrino.
The centrepieces were mini Empire State Buildings that we filled with mini ornaments and battery operated lights.
Entertainment…we wanted to have “street performers” that you might see on the streets of New York. We had a sax player from a local high school playing carols, a b-boy popping on a small dance floor in the tent, and a mime dressed up like a Nutcracker!
Door prizes…Dad likes to give out big ones! We gave away a trip for 2 to New York, an iconic Tiffany heart locket necklace and an iPad2 (nothing to do with New York, but who doesn’t want an iPad?)
Dylan’s Candy Bar…it’s one of my favorite places in New York…not only for the candy, but because my daughter’s name is Dylan.
Frozen Hot Chocolate….AfterThoughts not only made specialty coffees but they recreated the amazing frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity3 in New York covered in lots of real whipped cream and shaved chocolate!
Dessert….New York cheesecake of course!! AfterThoughts also created the Empire State Building out of cream puffs, a.k.a. The M-Puffer!!