Expert Holiday Party Advice from Los Angeles Event Planner, Julie Pryor

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Julie Pryor of Pryor Events in Los Angeles provides expert advice on planning an unforgettable Holiday Party for your family and friends.

The holiday season is a perfect excuse to throw a party and Julie Pryor of Pryor Events in Los Angeles ( has a few suggestions to make your celebration one that will be remembered long after the presents have been opened and the football bowl games have all been played.

Choose a Different Locale:

Parties at home can be warm and intimate but perhaps you want to try something a bit different this year. Why not host your next event at a downtown concert hall or local music venue like The House of Blues? Beach clubs, museums, and libraries are all festive and unique sites for a memorable event.

Stray from the Traditional Invitation:

Since the holiday season can be such a busy time of year, consider sending out a "save the date" letting your guests know that you're planning a party. Send out unique and fun invitations that will get your guests excited about your party. You may want to ask your guests to bring an unwrapped toy for a less fortunate child. If your home is difficult to find include a simple map.

Entertain Guests All Night:

For parties larger than twenty-five, guests' valet parking is essential. Have a larger than life figure such as a tin soldier on stilts or a giant snowman greeting guests as they arrive. Carolers in Dickens costumes always add a nice touch. As the night progresses introduce a live band or a deejay and make sure to leave plenty of room for dancing!

Be Deliciously Different:

Great food is extremely important! Regardless of what the menu consists of have waiters constantly offering wonderful hors d'oeuvres. These should be bite-sized and easy to eat. Rather than serving these on boring paper cocktail napkins try being creative. Perhaps an assortment of hot soup served in shot glasses, French fries in paper cones, Ahi tuna on Chinese spoons and skewers of lamb and chicken with tasty dipping sauces. Can't decide between stations and a sit down meal? Consider "family style" service where waiters serve large platters of food to each table and guests help themselves. In addition to the regular dessert have waiters bring platters of chocolate covered strawberries and home baked sweets to all of the tables. The surprise of fresh baked churros or hot caramel corn is always a big hit. Tray passed mini ice cream cones or a chocolate fountain with fresh fruit for dipping is quite popular.

Sensational Surroundings:

Décor is an important element of a festive holiday party and lighting is crucial. Consider a tent covered with thousands of tiny white lights or lanterns strung throughout your property. Outside you can project tiny snowflakes onto a driveway or a dance floor. Inside and outside use lots of candles in all different sizes. Fragrant flowers with berries and fruit can be placed on mantles, tables and in bathrooms.

It's The Small Things:

Little touches show your guests you've put a lot of thought into the night. Instead of a traditional bar, shock your guests with a bar made completely out of ice. Offer guests fresh roasted chestnuts as a special treat. Try personalized water bottles with a picture of your family and a "Happy Holidays" message. Snow globes with a winter scene on one side and a personal message or picture on the other are a favor your guests will want to keep. Chocolate Santa Clauses, candy canes and menorahs wrapped beautifully are also appreciated. Have a Santa Claus give these to guests as they depart.

Grand Finale:

Finally, there should be a "WOW" factor. Whether the Trojan Marching Band makes a grand entrance or your guests are offered steaming mugs of hot chocolate while they wait for their cars, they will never forget this special evening!

Julie Pryor of Pryor Events has been planning events in Southern California for twelve years. She can be reached at (310) 478-1767 or visit her web site -


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