Sunday, December 25, 2011

I’ll be Home for Christmas. My Home!

By our Editor-at-Large Dawn Moore

Christmas glamour just isn’t what it used to be. I mean, how do you compete with a vixen-meets-hausfrau cocktail apron designed of black net and velvet? In 1965, my mother was definitely at the top of the glamour food chain.

Our annual open house featured silver rococo chafing dishes simmering sweet and sour meatballs; Sheffield trays with pigs in a blanket, slices of fruit cake (Mom made in September!) on handpainted porcelain platters and a massive sparkling American cut glass punch bowl with 24 matching cups with eggnog...all atop a Poinsettia print tablecloth. The tree – which morphed over the years from traditional evergreen to modern white mystery-material – twinkled in the corner with hundreds of gifts she wrapped herself in shiny red and green, spilling below.

There’s pictures of my Hollywood parents and their guests in crisply tailored suits from Sy Devore and cocktail dresses from Don Loper wrangling cigarettes and Manhattans with studied grace.

So, no pressure on me to hit that “ten” on the swank-o-meter. None. Oy.

With fluctuating careers and bank accounts, who wants all that stress? I certainly don’t. So, last year I gave in to the Pot Luck Christmas Day Soiree. Here’s the deal:

1. Throw some twinkle lights on the bookshelves, fireplace mantel or refridgerator. 
2. Use cocodot.com to create cool, free e-vites. Uber easy. 
3. Tell guests no presents – food only! No kidding! 
4. Get from them what they’re bringing, and set the table for the “buffet.” (I still have to control how the table looks. Come on.) Stick notes on the plates specifying whose dish is going where. Et voila!
5. Stock up on champagne, wine and whip up a batch of booze-free Cranberry Punch. I keep trying to serve eggnog, but always wind up drinking it all myself. 
6. Have someone with better taste in music than you, assort a playlist – Lulu Powers has some great ones!
7. Wear jeans and fun holiday foot attire. 
8. Find wacky little trinkets – books, CDs, candles – around your house that you think your friends would enjoy and wrap them up. ANNOUNCE your little re-gifting scheme and distribute! 
9. Light a zillion votives. 
10. Enjoy the genuine love that glows from being with your friends just because you want to be.

Fringe benefit last year? My best friend’s daughter announced her engagement infront of everyone – tears and champagne flowed – and it was the best Christmas ever. Sans cocktail apron.

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