It seems incorporating global themes in holiday parties is becoming the new thing to do too! It's even predicted that store fronts this holiday season will start to integrate different cultures into their decor and fashion, think Mexican embroidery and Parisian stripes.
So this holiday season why not opt for a cosmopolitan party? Here are some cool traditions from around the world that are sure to spice up every aspect of your December bash.
Nothing's more glamorous than Paris during the holidays, especially when it comes to food!
In December, Parisian patisserie shops are filled with displays of the "Bûche de Noël", which is the Parisian version of a yule log. If you think yule logs are an overdone tradition, the French will change your mind!
The Bûche de Noël can easily become the centerpiece of any table display because of all the fun and different ways to display the dessert. In a typical French bakery, the cakes will be lined up side-by-side and dusted with different colors of cocoa powder. However, some Bûche de Noël experts take a more authentic approach and add in edible "mushrooms" and even small garnishes that look like moss or grass.
If you're having a large party I would suggest creating a colorful display of the logs; however, for a more intimate gathering you might have some fun getting creative with the display by adding some unique touches.
In France, Christmas dinner is accompanied by two of my favorite things: dessert and wine! "Lei tretze dessèrts" is a gorgeous spread of 13 small truffles, biscuits, chocolates, and meringues. This tradition is perfect for any holiday party, even if it's not a Christmas celebration. The display is not only visually appealing and impressive, it also caters to just about any guest's taste.
Vin Chaud accompanies these desserts perfectly, as this French hot spiced wine helps offset the sweetness of most holiday treats. Vin Chaud is also great for large gatherings because the recipe is simple and can be made in large quantities. Plus, the delicious drink gives off a comforting smell of orange and cinnamon, which is sure to charm guests and create a cheerful atmosphere.
When designing a Parisian inspired spread, layering is key! Think about creating a presentation with different height, texture, and color. I love the idea of pairing a French burlap overlap over a finer linen.
We easily fell in love with French inspired estates this year and even added a new one to our list! Our new Emmaline Estate in Rancho Santa Fe would be a fabulous place to have a French inspired holiday soirée. The estate embodies the French countryside with its antique window panels, tree dotted walkways, and even running water creek. By having your holiday party at the Emmaline Estate and incorporating Parisian traditions, you'll feel like you and your best friends have gone away to France!
One thing our many Italian-inspired estates show us is that Italians truly understand aesthetics. This is no different when it comes to their holiday decor!
While most Italian holiday decorations are centered on Christmas and the Nativity scene, the country is also known for its fabulous light displays. Incorporating light displays in your holiday party will not only awe guests, it will also create an atmosphere that is completely "merry and bright". Plus, stunning lights are completely nonpartisan when it comes to different religions.
Light displays such as these are all over Italy during December, this particular alley is in Florence.
Stringing lights over an outdoor pool can harness the glitz of Italy during the holidays. You can create a miniature Murano, Italy in our of our stunning Italian estates by way of lights.
We've found recreating little pieces of Italy to be a success at our Italian-inspired estates. Below is one of our festive events at the Villa Costa Estate in Carlsbad, California. Looks just like Italy!
Mexican culture is ideal for the holidays!
Mexico's most notable holiday tradition is the posada. The posada is traditionally a large colorful party at the end of a neighborhood journey reenacting Mary's search for shelter. However, Mexican most families aren't reenacting this journey anymore but are opting for a modern take on the classic. Posadas today incorporate hanging tissue-paper decorations, a wide variety of pinatas, and of course, traditional Mexican food.
Tamales are the main food staple at a posada feast and sweet buñuelos are the traditional dessert. These two foods are perfect for entertaining because they can be made in large quantities and are fairly simple and economical to make. Plus, you can have a wide variety of tamales (chicken, beef, veggie, etc.) to satisfy everyone's pallet. As for the buñuelos, these fried doughy treats can be shaped into a variety of fun shapes and sizes. I recommend having a buñuelo station and allowing guests to pick and choose how much cinnamon sugar they want to add-- think of this like a donut station with more spice! Pop those buñuelos in a cute to-go bag and you have the perfect take-home gift!
Of course, a Mexican-inspired holiday fiesta just wouldn't be complete without an authentic Mexican estate. One of our most impeccable estates is the Villa Playa in Cabo San Lucas. Situated literally on the sand, this estate is surrounded by natural granite rock, swaying palm trees, and the grand Pacific ocean. Having your holiday fiesta here would ensure never-ending fun and holiday you will never forget!
Whether you're incorporating traditions from around the world or from your own home, we wish you a very merry holiday season!
What are some holiday traditions from your own country?