Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

Christmas Party 2010

Written by Patti on December 13th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

I’m sitting at the kitchen table in my red flannel pajamas, watching dreamily as snow flurries outside the window like sprinkles of white glitter, still basking in the glow of Saturday night’s party.

If you were not here, I wish you could have been. Because, if I do say so myself, it was astounding. Truly. But I cannot take credit for it all. First, I must thank Holland, our balloon designer for turning our house into a twinkling wonderland of lights and ribbons and balloons.

How about a peek?

The balloons had LED lights inside for extra twinkle and strands of LED lights trailing the ribbons on many of the balloons (a lot of these seemed to end up as necklaces for many of our late night guests).

I dressed the table with a base of two white tablecloths, draped with white fleece and then donned with fluffy, sparkly cotton to give the impression of floating food. I polished my candelabra, draped it with a strand of faux crystals and anchored the candles with putty, a design trick learned from dear friend, Kerry Howard. It works beautifully and this way your candles don’t lean to and fro. Earlier in the week I roasted two huge pork shoulders for bbq pork sliders and roasted a turkey for dilled turkey salad sliders. Big hits, both. To fill in the gaps, I visited Restaurant Depot to pick up 400 assorted hors d’ouevres and then popped over to Trader Joe’s for their fabulous feta & onion tarts and scallop bites. I don’t think anyone fretted over the fact that I didn’t make everything from scratch. This is Anatomy of a Dinner Party, not necessarily Anatomy of What I Cooked.  Lol. I don’t want you out there to fret about cooking if you want to give a party – there are so many options out there. Let someone else make all those insanely time intensive canapes. You just sit back and have a glass of champagne, from the tower of glasses. Another fabulous shot from Richard.

Eric was up til way late Friday night, stacking all those glasses. And you know what? Not even one tumbled. A Christmas Miracle. And he also poured about 200 glasses of bubbly. He is the consummate host, my husband.

With the camera and photo backdrop set up in the guestroom, our hair perfectly coiffed (mine cut and styled at Crimpers by my sweet James and colored RED by Chris, and Eric’s by David at Nadine’s Triple Crown), makeup done by Richard, Wallace at the bar and Farzana manning the kitchen we were ready to party! And boy, did we party.

Another great shot from Richard, of Wallace.

Some folks showed up early, but I would say that things really didn’t get hopping til around 10pm when the house was packed with friends, just enjoying themselves.

We even dressed up our painting by giving her a feathered boa for the party.

Miss Laurie and new friend Dawn

The incomparable Miss Tracy.

Take a look at that dress! Amazing.  Miss Tracy was also responsible for our silver curtain backdrop for the table. It added a really special dimension to the room. Thank you, Tracy!

With the fabulous Miss Carrie

Carrie, Blair, Tracy

It was so much fun surprising everyone with my new haircut and color. I love being a redhead!

Clowning around with my darlings Erin and Chris

Colin and Tracy

Tracy and me

We drank, we ate, we danced and we took tons of photos. But most of all, we reveled in the amazement of our fantastic friends – every one of them a twinkling, special snowflake…..

New friends Andrea, Tamara, Monique and Sheila

Sheila brought us the most gorgeous jar filled with Swedish Fish – my favorite. She is the CEO of Just Wright Candy Buffets….fabulous. She is even sweeter than the candy buffets she designs. All of these women are extraordinary. Andrea helps women find their way financially, Tamara writes Jem of The South and Monique is a career counselor.

And of course there were the longtime friends we cherish.

Friends like my Clint...

Kent, who I worked with for over 12 years and is like family to me...

Bestie John and me

Our darling Danny

Besties John and Holly

There were celebrity guests.

Star caterers and our incredible friends, Spencer & Allison of Black Tie Barbecue.

Suchita Vadlamani of Good Day Atlanta (I knew we had arrived when one of my adorable friends leaned in and whispered to me – “I watch her every morning on tv and here she is in your living room…”) We were all thrilled that of all the parties she could have been at, she chose ours.

Eric and I cozy up to gorgeous Suchita.

Red Carpet Superstar – Tammie Reed of Talking With Tami freed up her schedule to join us, too. Another Richard shot…

The wild gang from Crimpers came by and showed off their athletic prowess.

The formal pyramid. Very stylish.

And my very special friend, Kerry Howard, (you know him from Top Design on Bravo…I just call him my sweet buddy).

Kerry and me.

As the hours passed, Eric and I gathered those who were still there into the kitchen for a birthday surprise for our great friend, Jay. Eric designed this birthday cake. Is there anything he can’t do?

A giant of a cake for Jay, a giant of a personality.

But were we done? Not even close. We kept dancing, we kept drinking and eating. By this point we had said goodnight to Farzana and Wallace, with adorable Brent taking over bartending duties (between doing the hustle with me on the dance floor).

Brent (far right), takes a break from bartending to pose with sweeties Ashley, Tiffany and Doug.

Have we wrapped it up yet? Nope, the guests are still arriving.

Jay and Patricia make the scene.

And we continue to dance. It’s getting late, so I decided to toast up some bagels and put out the cream cheese with a pot of coffee.

At 5 a.m., I nudged the last party goer out into the cold, with a hug and a kiss.

After Eric was asleep and Holly was tucked into the guest room, I ambled out to take a look at the living room. Holland’s fantastic balloons were blinking on and off like the mothership. I took a moment to remember a few highlights before I went to bed.

I hope your Christmas parties bring you as much joy.

Just one little shout out, if you will allow me – to my love, Eric, who makes everything possible and is the shining star in my life. I love you, Honey. Photo shot by Tammie Reed.

IMG 1834 682x1024 The Daviss Christmas Party!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Earth, Wind and Fire – Boogie Wonderland


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Patti says:

    Arlynn!! I missed you, but hope the wedding was super fun! Next year, promise!! xoxoxo, P

  2. Elizabeth says:

    You look fantastic as a redhead!! What a killer party. Looks like I should have come at 1am – the party would have still been rocking. Nice job, y’all!

  3. Patti says:

    We would have loved to have seen you, Miss Elizabeth! xoxo

  4. Monique says:

    Patti! The party was fabulous!! I’m so happy that I was able to make it. Can’t wait for next year! xoxoxo 🙂

  5. Sheila says:

    What a fab.u.lous soiree!! Absolutely perfect in every way. Thank you so much for inviting me.

  6. Patti says:

    Wonderful having you here, Monique!! xoxoxo

  7. Patti says:

    Miss Sheila! Thanks a million for coming and for bringing me those marvy fish! xoxoxo, P

  8. Karyn says:

    These pictures are fantastic! Definitely looks like my kind of party. Happy Holidays!