Holiday Cocktail Party Planning:
The 2013 Ziajka Christmas Soirée

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If anyone knows how to throw a soirée, it’s my family. My brother and I were taught by my mother, the eternal hostess and dedicated decorator, and my dad, the dinner party planning expert/wannabe gourmet chef. This year’s annual shindig turned out fabulously, and I believe we did the family name proud.


Love my Black Renaissance Dress from Lulu’s. Elegant and under $50.



First thing’s first… the decorations were simple. It’s Christmastime, so obviously we have lights, seasonal decor, and holiday paraphernalia galore. Pinterest inspired me to create a balloon wall backdrop for pictures, and although it could’ve used a few more balloons to fill in some of the holes, it produced some stellar pictures! For its inaugural appearance, we chose white and black stripes. 2014… red, green, and gold chevron all the way!



My lovebug, Ri, and I blew up standard white and black balloons and mounted them in stripes on a gridded surface (in my case, two bookshelves). Aside from the immediate spell of light-headedness, it was relatively quick and easy. I’d just recruit some men next time.



Yes, some of the boys signed the white balloons. At first I thought it was weird, then by the end of the night, I signed as both Miss Tampa Bay and the future Mrs. Zac Efron.



Blurry but precious… Wearing my signature holiday Ruby Woo matte MAC lipstick, of course.



Two of my favorite ladies, Ri and Ashley Brooke.



When you give a boy a sharpie…


I will say, however, that the balloon wall kind of backfired… for me only. I have crazy red eyes in almost every B-Wall picture, which is only somewhat fixable with modern photographic technology. Just beware! Guests were really excited about the photo op, though, so that made up for it.


This year our featured drink was the white cranberry mimosa, AKA heaven in your mouth. All you need is champagne, white cranberry juice, and frozen cranberries as a garnish. Simple, festive, and fabulous!

Putting embellished wine classes or champagne flutes on a tray creates an automatic aura of professional hostess. Ribbons, star garland, etc… it all works.


White and red cranberry mimosas… the season’s biggest blessing.




Since my friends and I are oh-so-mature (not), we try to stay away from typical keg games at classy cocktail events. This year, we played Christmas charades, Christmas Taboo (which is surprisingly difficult), and my personal favorite, the “Who Am I?” seasonal edition, where everyone had a holiday character labeled on their back and had to guess their identity from the snide remarks of others.


Oh, and in addition to listening to a Sinatra-Crosby-Glee playlist, we watched essentially every Christmas episode of The Office. In case you were wondering, there’s 1-2 per season. We’re not obsessed or anything.



It took T about 30 minutes to get Ashley Brooke‘s, “You could really benefit from the type of recreational classes that I teach” clue.



And of course, my crown made its mandatory appearance, too. Obviously. At every shindig I’ve ever hosted, it somehow makes its way out of my room and into a mirage of photographs.



M wears it well.



MS gives her a run for her money, though. If the pictures weren’t enough of an indication, we had a lovely evening. Such a great way to kick off the holiday season… call me crazy, but the 80+ degree temperatures here in Florida make it hard to accept that there are less than ten days until Christmas.


Who else is having a soirée? How did yours turn out… and what was your signature drink? Only 7 days til Christmas! Holy MOLY!

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21 thoughts on “Holiday Cocktail Party Planning:
The 2013 Ziajka Christmas Soirée

  1. BKCsquared

    How cute!! Your Christmas soireé looks like it was a total blast! I love the gold garland on the champagne glasses & I love that you played Christmas Taboo!! K & I are are pros at regular Taboo, so now we'll have to up our game with the Christmas version!

    Your dress is absolutely gorgeous too! I can't believe it was less than $50!

    xo, B

  2. Sheila Simmons

    It looks like you had a fabulous time, darling. Anywho, I want to try the cranberry mimsoa. I've had the mango which was delicious but not the cranberry yet. I forgot to wish you a Merry Christmas, yesterday.


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