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Top Tips for Hosting Your Next Holiday Party

Posted on Jan 13, 2014 by in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Chicago Event Guru Offers Ideas for Making Your Next Event Amazing (and Relatively Stress-Free)

The holiday season is just around the corner.  Along with all the festive fun of cookie making, snowman building and house decorating comes the stress of family get-togethers, holiday parties and seasonal events.  Cindy Shanholtz, owner of Effortless Events in Chicago, has some tips that will make your holiday event memorable and your hosting duties a little bit easier:

Let There Be (Amber) Light – For a light that’s flattering to all your guests change out your regular bulbs for ones with an amber tint.  Everyone looks best in the softer glow of amber lighting.  When using candles, stick with votives that last longer than tea lights.

Rent A Coat Rack – “It sounds obvious but most at-home entertainers never do it,” says Shanholtz.  Rather than having your guests throw their coats on the bed or shove them in an already overstuffed closet, rent a coat rack and set it up near the front door.  It will add a touch of organization and professionalism to your event that your guests will really appreciate.

Have A House Cocktail – Choosing a house drink that can be pre-mixed and ready to serve is a great way to keep your costs in check.  Serve alongside beer and wine and there’s no need to have a full bar.  You’ll save by only needing to purchase certain ingredients and, if you hire a bar or wait staff, you’ll save on labor (no need for more than one bartender or server when guests can help themselves to a pre-made, pre-poured signature drink.)

Just Say No…To Classic Color Combos – Rather than going with the traditional red and green (Christmas) or blue and silver (Hanukkah) décor, opt for a more neutral palette.  Shades of white and cream or grey and mixed metallics are still festive but are a nice departure from the classic color combinations your guests will see at every other holiday event.  Still want a pop of color?  Go for emerald green, Pantone’s 2013 color of the year.  Mix it with subtler hues for a fun, fresh color scheme.

Start To Finish – To set a festive mood from the get go, make sure that guests are greeted with a welcome cocktail or glass of champagne as they arrive. At the end of the evening send guests home with a little treat such as hot chocolate or a mini dessert to go.  “An event should be about the experience from beginning to end and this is a nice way to book-end the night,” Shanholtz explains.

Leave It To The Experts – Many people think that event specialists and party planners are just for weddings and large scale events.  Not true, according to Shanholtz.  Cindy and her team regularly plan and execute small, intimate events ranging from birthdays and anniversaries to small dinner parties and in-home holiday events.  “Event professionals not only know how to get the best deals from caterers, florists and other vendors, but they also know which little details will make an event truly unforgettable,” she says.  “More and more people are hiring party planners to help with their annual holiday events – it’s our job to help you impress your guests while allowing the hosts to enjoy the event themselves.”

For more holiday party tips, high resolution images or to speak with Cindy Shanholtz about any other event-related topic, please contact me directly.  Cindy is also available for on-air interviews and demo segments upon request.

About Effortless Events: Founded by industry veteran Cindy Shanholtz, Effortless Events is one of Chicagoland’s most experienced and sought after event planning companies.   As a former corporate financial analyst, Shanholtz is as meticulous and organized as she is creative.  Over the years Effortless Events has produced hundreds of flawlessly-executed events ranging from fairy tale weddings and black tie fundraisers to corporate retreats and intimate dinner parties.  Effortless Events works with an impressive roster of caterers, florists, entertainers and other vendors – all of whom have been vetted by Cindy herself.  Shanholtz is a member of the International Special Events Society (ISES) and the Association of Bridal Consultants.  ­For more information please visit or call (630) 416-5056.

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