[ Holiday Party in Boston ]

A holiday party the week after Thanksgiving requires planning.

When you open your home to guests, you want them to be engulfed with the holiday spirit. Living in a condo can reduce some of your decorating tasks. This hostess focused on 3 areas; the table, the mantle and the banister. Her request, "Simple yet elegant and keep the 'fakes' to a minimum with a gold theme". Also, let's see what I have in the closet from previous years.

1. The Table

This hostess plans on passing food, but the table will have 1-2 edibles and a dessert station.

Down the middle - a mixture of eucalyptus and magnolia leaves, and Restoration Hardware's 4 inch globe lights. In the closet we found and added fake artichokes, green and red glass garland, ceramic trees, metal branch and an assortment of ornaments.

Stars, Chandelier

Focal point - With the family Christmas tree flanking one end of the table, balance height was needed at the other end. The metal tree branches was a perfect height. To soften the look, we added 3 real mini evergreens. We continued to decorate, adding and subtracting ornaments, and lights until we found the balance.

2. The Mantle

All the decorations came from the closet. To tie the mantle into the theme, we added more amber lights from Restoration Hardware. As much as we like candles, safety is a priority, especially in an 1800's building. Battery operated tea lights make the deer antlers glisten. For the huricanes we added cranberries, water and a floating candle - less of a risk.

3. The Banister

Keeping it simple, elegant and safe, we used 3 balsam garland with lights, gold garland and bows at the focal point. Tip: Individuals should be able to grasp the banister when using the stairs. In the attic we found bells that my father made over 50 years ago. We added these to the base of the stairs.

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