Holiday Recipe Roundup & Professional Party Planning Tips


Can you believe Turkey Day is only 8 days away? This month is cruising along and before we know it Christmas season will be here! For those of us beginning the hustle and bustle to prepare for the busiest time of the year, Wills Communications has taken it upon themselves to collect and share some of their favorite cocktail and dessert recipes sure to dazzle all of your family and friends. They have even included some helpful holiday party planning tips directly from the creative minds of the wonderful staff at Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach.

Holiday Recipes





Professional Party Planning Tips

Whether you are charged with chairing the office or club holiday event at a local venue and/or planning on hosting friends and extended family at home, Shade Hotel offers five MERRY tips to help organize and optimize your event!

Mandate a Time, Place & Space…

As soon as you know this information, send out a “Save the Date” email ASAP, requesting your would-be guests to let you know if they think they will be able to attend. Do you need to choose an event space? Look to see what your local venues are offering to get your holiday business. For example, Shade offers a free DJ for parties scheduled Monday through Thursday, and personalized party plans groups from 10-300. After you decide on your party venue, keep the size of your event space in mind so as not to over — or under — invite!

 Excite With Your Invite & Theme

Themes help build anticipation for your party, especially when you find a creative way to communicate the theme in your invitation. For inspiration, hone in on a color (such as blue for Blue Christmas); a mood (nostalgic, possibly evoking childhood toys); music (anything from reggae to rock and roll); a holiday favorite activity (Naughty Santa gift exchange). Consider directing your guests to dress the part in your invite and provide a prize incentive for “best,” “most,” “least,” or “funniest.” Plan to carry out your theme in your party décor choices, such as for lighting, table decorations and centerpieces.

Really Pump the Festivities!

Holiday activities and attractions will get your guests’ holiday spirits surging. If you are holding your party at a venue, ask what extras are available. For example, Shade offers the choice of a DJ, Santa (naughty or nice), elves, carolers, or reindeer; a photographer or photo booth; VIP valet parking; and party favors or stocking stuffers. Event packages include a private planner, a custom mixology consultation with the option to create a personalized party cocktail, festive holiday décor, heaters for Skydeck or Courtyard celebrations, even discounted “Take the Elevator Home” guest room rates, based on availability.

Really Focus On Mingle-Friendly Foods

Calorie-counting guests will appreciate finding savory lighter fare along-side those holiday indulgences, and especially foods that can be easily eaten while mingling. Among the best bites are cheese, fruit, crackers and other foods that you can just pop into your mouth. If holding your event at a venue, ask about various menu options for special diets such as vegetarians/vegans. At Shade, you can arrange for many of the menu items to be prepared so that they are gluten-free.

You Set the Party Rhythm

Unless you prefer to let people meet, greet and socialize in open house-style, you will want to map your own timeline. When will the party start and how?  With pass appetizers and some sparkly beverages? Followed by a party game? When does the main spread arrive? Will you have a holiday toast? By determining the flow, your event will maintain energy, build to a crescendo and then end as you decide, whether with a quiet ebbing or a fun and heartfelt finale!

Note: Shade Hotel is located at 1221 N. Valley Drive in Manhattan Beach. Please visit for more information.

*All information and photos provided by Wills Communications