Since this month's theme is Home Entertainment, I thought you might be interested in iVillage's list of items that are essential to throwing a good home-based party. I've excerpted part of the list below, and while I don't agree that disposable hand towels are a party essential (setting out several hand towels next to the sink is a more economical and environmental option), most of these tips are definite party musts. Since I have a party coming up this weekend — a traditional German Christmas party called a Feuerzangenbowle that my fiancé throws every year — I know that I'm going to take iVillage's advice and stock up on many of these supplies.
- Invitations. Set the tone for your holiday gathering with an invitation that reflects your party style — casual or formal, trendy or traditional.
- Fresh flowers. Flowers are a lovely and welcoming addition to a table or a guest bedroom. Buy a bunch and use them for decoration.
- Party favors. Send guests home with a small favor to help them remember your gathering. Candles, photographs, and cookies are fun and festive options.
- Centerpiece. Assemble a holiday-themed centerpiece. For Christmas, find pine garlands, holly, mistletoe, and pine cones. For Hanukkah, purchase dreidels and chocolate gelt.
- Firewood. A roaring fire will make your guests feel cozy and warm on a cold night. An even better option is using a Duraflame log. If you don't have a fireplace, and add a soft glow with candles.
- Wreaths. Create an inviting entrance to your home with a seasonal wreath. Eucalyptus or pine will evoke the spirit of the holidays.
- Soap. Fancy soaps, whether molded or French milled, will make your guests feel pampered.