How to Host a Friends Holiday Party.

Vanessa Deleon A Toast to Friends

In the past I’ve hosted quite a few friends and family festivities in my home. Most gatherings have been a mix of friends and family, but this year I wanted to do something different. I gathered a few of my closest buddies, some old, and some new, creating a holiday spirit and gathering of friendship. Here are my tips for hosting a friends holiday Party.

Holiday Tablescapes


Deep clean the area a day or two before the event. Make sure you include the bathroom your guests will be using. If you have a busy schedule set the table a day or two before the party. However, it is important to give yourself plenty of time to work out all the details. Bianca Blag, a celebrity event planner based in New Jersey, New York City and Miami, suggests that planning and writing out a timeline a month in advance will make planning the event much easier. “You want to enjoy the party, not worry that you’ve missed something.” she adds.


Create A Theme

The theme I created for this table setting is glitzy and chic (see more ideas for tablescape for the holiday). Lot’s of crystals, reindeer, glassware, accent marble plates with gold and silver veins adorn the Skyline Dining Table by Elbra, for Vanessa Deleon.

Place setting

The Table That Gives

Surprise your guests with a little gift to take home. Bianca my party planner purchased decorative scented candles. The little organza bags are from Michaels arts & crafts store. I used Falalala gift tags as place holders. On the top corner of the tags, I printed each guest’s name to identify their seating arrangement.


My Cambria Island

Everyone knows that the best gatherings happen around the kitchen. The kitchen island by Cambria is the most magnetic and energetic area in my entire house. In addition, I can’t live without my black and copper Undercounter Refrigerator Drawer unit by TRUE, keeps our trays of goodies neat and ready to serve.

Chef Angie doing her magic

Food Preparation

There are several options when you think of food preparation, you can purchase from the food station at Whole Foods, cater or hire a chef. Hiring a chef allowed me to spend more time with friends, and less time in the kitchen. Hiring Chef Angie Shaghaghi, creative cooks– made my life a lot easier. All I did was select some items off her menu and the rest was delightful and delicious.

Bianca, Maria and Elena decorating their Gingerbread House

All Grown-up-Girl Games

Games are a lot of fun, even when you’re all grown-up! Pairing off to make teams, I allotted 15 minutes to decorate and build the best designed-gingerbread house. The rules are simple, no votes on your own design, each guest votes on their favorite gingerbread house. The house with  the most votes, wins!

Chef Angie-Speaks the Truth

Chef Angie says, “It was such a lovely afternoon, cooking and chatting with Vanessa’s girlfriends!  They were all so inspiring and uplifting. We need more of this light, especially via women supporting women, in this world!” Truth!!

COOK BOOK: Join my Table by Angie Shagnaghi

Pumpkin French Toast was a hit at my party…scroll down for the recipe.

Pumpkin French Toast…Chef Angie recipe

  • 1/2 cup of canned PURE Pumpkin
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk (preferably whole)
  • One loaf whole wheat or white bread
  • Cooking spray for pan
  • Powdered sugar, whipped cream and syrup for serving!! Option: pumpkin ice cream is a delicious too.
  • What to do: Preheat oven to 350, mix pumpkin, eggs, sugar, spices, and milk/cream in a shallow bowl. Dip bread in and coat both sides evenly. Spray a non-stick pan and heat to medium high temperature. Brown toast on both sides for about 5 minutes, then remove and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for an additional 8 minutes or until warm throughout. Top with butter, whipped cream, syrup or ice cream.

Happy Holidays!!!! Vanessa Deleon