Check Out Your Holiday Party Style

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  • By Robin Westen

    When it’s the season to welcome friends and loved ones into your home, how do you do it? Well, the type of celebration you choose to host reveals the secrets about your strongest friendship traits. “We tend to plan activities that fit best with our natural strengths and preferences,” says party-planning veteran Phyllis Cambria, author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Throwing a Great Party.” So choose the way you plan to party and discover how you celebrate your friendships, too.

    The Formal Dinner Party

    From the lavish meal you spend hours preparing to the gleaming crystal and china, “a formal dinner party is most often the choice of happy traditionalists who cherish memories of times past,” says Cambria. Not for you the casual lifestyle that seem so prevalent these days: from your salon-styled hair right down to your classic pumps, you believe in taking the time to do things right, whether it’s providing a grateful “thanks” when someone does you a favor, a hot meal when your family comes in from the cold, or an honest answer when a friend asks our opinion. You’ve instilled these solid values in your grown children – and they are grateful.
  • The All-Ages Extravaganza You're a well-loved nurturer. If nothing says celebrating the holidays for you more than a multi-generational bash complete with drinks for the grown-ups, Santa for the kids, and a grab bag for all, then odds are you’re a popular, nurturing type – the kind of person all the neighborhood families know and love. “Women who welcome the challenge of parties like this score high on a scale of friendliness and caring, and low on scales of stress,” says Cambria. Friends look to you to do it all –- and you never let them down.
  • The Open House You're flexible. Forget stuffy formal dinners and boring sit-downs – you’re happiest just throwing your door open and crying, “Come on over!” “Our research shows that open-house hostesses tend to be easygoing, flexible and understanding – they love to be surrounded by loved ones, but they dislike strict rules and planning,” says Cambria. Friends adore your welcoming, carefree grace – because it’s not only your home that’s open, but your heart as well.
  • The Brunch You're a sophisticate. Although it’s a daytime activity, a holiday brunch can be the most sophisticated of all holiday get-togethers,” says Cambria. “There’s something very adult and decadent about indulging in drinks and upscale food during a time when we’re supposed to be out getting things done.” Of course, you’re no slacker, but you tend to make what you want most happen. That’s good news! Studies show that folks who indulge every so often in things they crave most are the happiest – so you’re in for a very merry holiday, indeed!
  • The Cocktail Party You're a high-energy whiz. “Those who favor the quick burst of fun that a cocktail party provides ten to be busy, high-energy doers,” says Cambria. Naturally active with a low tolerance for the couch-potato life or boredom, you’d rather be running errands than just hanging out. And since studies show that those who stay the most active tend to live the longer, pull out that date book and schedule time with friend and loved one well into the future.