Rachel’s Guide To Holiday Entertaining

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While you can expect many entertaining ideas in my upcoming book, Living In Style (preorder it now, I promise you’ll love it!), I couldn’t wait to give a few hosting pointers for the holiday season. During this time of year especially, Rodger and I love to throw festive get-togethers with our family and friends, and I’ve found that the key to a great party is to strike a balance of a casual come-and-go attitude with plenty of glamorous details. Take notes below! – Rachel Zoe

Seasonal Soiree

The Invitations

Paperless Post invitation

"From an environmental perspective, I'm all about paperless invitations. At this point they are just as politically acceptable as paper, and much faster. That being said, there is still nothing better than a hand-written note when you have the time and the occasion is really special."

The Hostess Gift

Private by Giancarlo Giammetti, $250

"You can never go wrong with an art or fashion coffee table book as a hostess gift. Also, I personally can never get enough vintage ash trays or trinket trays that you can use to stash your jewelry, keys or anything."

"I never believe in anything too formal when it comes to doing things in my house; it’s the more the merrier with a buffet style dinner because it's better for socializing and conversation. I love the idea of come eat a little, eat a lot, sit down, don’t sit down..."

The Serveware

Kelly Wearstler Splash Plate, $695

"I tend to buy a lot of white serving dishes; it just always makes the room lighter and always looks chic. I don’t think everything has to match but I think everything has to work together."

The Music

Rachel Zoe Party Playlist

"My party playlists are a compilation of classic rock mixed with a few newish songs. There's always a little Beyonce thrown in there, and some Jay-Z to get the party started. But when it comes to dinner, you never want to listen to dance music while you're eating, more Radiohead, Coldplay and Led Zeppelin."

The Lighting

The Zoe Report Relaunch Dinner, Photo: @TheZoeReport

"You can never have too many candles. A very budget-friendly way to create a lot of drama is to get a case of tea light votive holders and arrange them in a line on the table by flowers."

"I always have fires going even if it's 80 degrees in LA, because it doesn’t feel like the holidays to me unless my fireplace is on – I don’t know if that means I’ve seen too many movies."

The Flowers

Eric Buterbaugh Peeled Back Roses

"I gravitate towards all-white floral arrangements—either hydrangeas, peonies or roses. I think you can mix the variety as long as you stick to one color. My dear friend Eric Buterbaugh creates these gorgeous peeled back roses that I die for."

The Games

Barneys New York Backgammon Set, $745

"Games are always fun! A classic game of backgammon or a card game is a great way to get conversation started."

For The Kids

Bloom Otto Chair and Table Set, $450

"Kids are obviously always welcome in my home. I think it's important for them to have their own special table where they can do arts and crafts."

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The Attire

Giambattista Valli Maxi Dress, $1468

"Last but not least is the attire! I prefer a long dress in black or another dark color that won't show spills or stains. As someone who is a hands-on hostess, I have to be ready for food and wine spills. And of course, a little or a lot of sequins are called for."