December 6, 2016

Image credits: Rae Tashman
Event Planning: Victoria Reinsch

Catching up with Berlin-based blogger, Rae Tashman on how to throw the ultimate no-fuss holiday celebration. She shares with us her top six tips to hosting a successful winter themed party! Over to you, Rae…

My name is Rae and I am an American who has been living in Berlin for the past seven years. I am absolutely in love with living here, but one thing that can take a back seat when you live abroad is celebrating the holidays you grew up with. I’m pretty determined not to let this happen, and have been throwing parties for quintessentially American holidays for the last few years in order to keep my traditions alive and kickin’. (That being said, I seem to somehow forget about the fourth of July every single year, but I am determined to change that in 2017!)

I recently got to gather with friends for my favourite American holiday of them all: Thanksgiving. Since I couldn’t be with family, I decided to do the next best thing and I threw a vegan potluck Friendsgiving at my flat and invited some of my closest friends.

I am a serious fan of entertaining and always down to host a fun party – it’s half the fun of having your own place! I have come up with a few tips along the way for keeping things simple and avoiding stress and thought I would share them. Here are my favourite tips for how to through a fuss-free party this holiday season.

1. Throw a Potluck

Don’t really dig the idea of slaving away in the kitchen 48 hours before any big party you plan on hosting? Do away with the fuss by asking each guest to bring a dish. That way, you only have to worry about one or two main items and re-heating things on the day. Just remember to speak to everyone beforehand so that guests know what allergies are to be taken into account, if there are any dietary preferences for the particular event or particular guests, and that you have a varied amount of food, drink, and dessert and don’t end up with 7 bottles of wine and chocolate.

2. Go Casual

It’s nice to get dressed up now and then, but there is no reason why you still can’t dress well and laid back at the same time. It will be one less thing to worry about. Since you will all be sharing in each other’s company from the cosy confines of your home anyway, why not go for comfort and ease?

Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 Camera, Long Gone Metallica Cold Shoulder Black T-Shirt and Light Before Dark Culottes

3. Make sure there are tunes

Every party is better with music. It’s just a simple fact. Grab your favourite vinyl or plug your phone into a speaker and turn up the volume. DJ sorted.

Marshall Acton Speaker

4. Make memories the instant way

To make taking photos and recording memories a breeze, snap it all with instant film and smart phone. You can easily up your iPhone photo game by clipping different lenses on the front of your camera.

Mobile Lens Kit

5. Be resourceful

We found a lot of what we used to decorate for Friendsgiving right outside in nature. We also borrowed water crates from the local supermarket and topped them with wooden platforms to build a long and low table that was both cost effective and temporary. By seating everyone on the ground Beduin style, we didn’t have to worry about scrounging up extra chairs. Doing casual seating on the floor like this also makes it super easy to squeeze in or take away table settings depending on who ends up coming.

6. Decorate Smart

Decorating is half the fun when it comes to throwing parties, but can turn into a headache very quickly when things start to add up and your wallet starts emptying out. Opt for found nature to save a bit of money and never underestimate the magic of massive amounts of tea lights. When it does come to investing in things, so with something that can be used time and time again. We set up a projector to play music from iTunes and put the iTunes visualiser on in the background as decoration, but a still image appropriate for the particular holiday also works great. Besides a bit of technological knowledge, it’s zero effort for maximum vibes. And the best part? After you are all stuffed with delicious homemade food, you can all kick back, relax and watch a movie on the projector as well.

Mobile Cinema Projector