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Party Tricks from Enjoy Events Co.

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Megan Shuler and Emily Read Bentley were a creative match made on Twitter. After admiring each other’s inspiring work in the virtual world, the two teamed up last January to form the Bay Area’s Enjoy Events Co.

While weddings are their specialty, the duo puts their fresh, inventive, and handmade spin on everything from birthday bashes to showers. No matter the occasion, they love turning a good party into an epic one.

Just before the holiday party season hits full swing, we asked them for five ways to think beyond the traditional yuletide party or cookie swap.

1. Create a crafty reason to get together over the holidays.
Slow down during the busy holiday season with a leisurely (and useful) craft night with your friends. Pull together leftover ribbon, wrapping paper, scrap materials, and paint to assemble unique centerpiece containers. Or, create one-of-a-kind gift tags out of colorful paper, fabric, and yarn.

2. Ditch traditional Christmas colors.
Who says everything needs to be dark green and red? Not us! Use aquas, yellows, and various shades of green. It’s easy to make a stencil and paint on canvas or even an old tablecloth. Your guests will be commenting all night on where you found it or how to make it.

3. Turn your centerpiece inside out.
Like your table settings, your floral arrangements don’t need to be the same old thing either. Place air plants, succulents, moss, or other sturdy plants inside of a container or bottle for your holiday table. Remember; bunched together is best. Or, fill terrarium containers with festive confetti, cranberries, or sprigs of rosemary.

4. Photo booths aren’t just for weddings.
The last thing a host wants to worry about is capturing the evening by running around with a camera. Set up a take-it-yourself photo booth with Polaroid cameras and let your guests have at it. Hang a backdrop, gather some old props, make a little sign, and let the fun begin.

5. Combine dessert and after dinner drinks.
Make it easy on yourself with a two-in-one dessert! Set up a bar table with the tools for your guests to create root beer floats with Peppermint Schnapps or Grand Marnier. Add mini holiday-inspired donuts to your Irish coffee for that festive feel. Things are way better in twos, and this way you get to enjoy the party with your guests instead of being stuck behind the bar or in the kitchen.

Comments (3)

  • I need a Holiday rescue.I am the youngest of 7 and my parents have passed.I am now the one responsible to put a Christmas party together.I just feel I am in a rut I have no plan.My decorations are not good.I really could use Martha.My party is Dec 22.I am running out of time.

  • I’m sorry about your parents. I am in the same boat you are and was thinking about skipping Christmas this year, but I decided my parents would be disappointed. So I am going easy. Everyone was asked to bring an appetizer and what they want to drink. I am making an adult punch, a kid friendly punch and chili (family tradition). Don’t worry about your decorations. Your siblings love you for you.

  • Theresa you can totally do this! If you feel like your decorations are bad make your life easier and buy some decorations. You could buy some bottle brush trees and cluster them on a table or mantle. They sell a 21-tree bag at Home Depot for $7. You could also buy some small doilies (available at most craft stores) and hang them from string as “snowflakes”. Or string a bunch together as some garland. There are lots of easy and affordable options out there! As far as food goes, browse through Martha’s galleries. She has tons of great recipes that are easy to make and most can be prepared ahead of time and just popped in the oven or served cold. For drinks, pre-make a holiday punch/cocktail in a pitcher and pull it out of the fridge when your guests arrive. You could set up a hot chocolate bar for after dinner. Pre-make the hot chocolate and keep it in a crock pot on the warm setting. Then set out a bunch of mugs and fixin’s; marshmallows, candy canes, whip cream. You could even have some vanilla vodka too. Keep the desserts simple; fudge, chocolate chip cookies, etc. It doesn’t take elaborate decorations or an extensive menu to make a great holiday party, the simple classics are always crowd pleasers! Take a night to plan it out and your party will be a success! Good luck!!

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