I flew to California from NYC recently and yeah, it's a long plane ride. What does this mama do to pass the time? Some work, some sleep and a ginormous pile of magazines. Seriously, when else do I have time to catch up on all of the gossip and how-tos and latest trends?
Of course, all of these issues were focused on the holidays: recipes galore for that Thanksgiving feast, DIY hostess gifts, make-up ideas to keep yourself looking fresh in the hectic holiday pace.
All much-needed info for folks...but the ones I found myself drawn to? Those ones that have hints for readers who will be hosting parties and gatherings in the upcoming weeks. New twists on table décor, advice on navigating certain touchy guest issues (when Uncle Bert has a bit too much to drink and corners your husband's business associate), best ways to layout that buffet.
I love all of these entertaining tips, because they are useful no matter what season. The main take-away I learned? There are two parts of throwing a party that are most often overlooked: lighting and music. Both have a huge impact on setting and keeping the mood of a party.
We are hosting this Thanksgiving, and I need to set up my iPod with some tunes to make it work. What am I looking at? They pros say, for a gathering with a sit-down dinner, to have two different playlist. One for the before and after dinner, a mix of upbeat, grooving tunes, but not too rocking. Think Mumford and Sons, Lumineers, maybe some Dave Matthews. If going old school, I may throw some classic Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney. The other playlist? For the actual dinner part, a more soothing, yet not too slow selection. For this, I'm thinking an assortment of jazz, from the greats like Coltrane and Dave Brubeck to newer artists like Michael Buble and Esperanza Spalding.
What kinds of music do you play at your parties and dinners? When you are at a party, do you notice if there is no music playing?