With the holiday season in full swing, Evite revealed its first-ever Holiday Party Trend Report, which features monthly insight on party trends and tips for planning festive, stress-free celebrations. This month’s report highlights two festive, family-oriented holidays, which haven’t landed on the same fourth Thursday of November since 1888 — Thanksgiving, one of Evite’s most popular holidays with more than 2 million invitations sent every year, and Hanukkah. So, this year, while some will celebrate one holiday, others will welcome rare "Thanksgivukkah" festivities.
"The holidays are always a special time of the year, but with this month’s added bonus of two major holidays falling on the same day, there’s even more to celebrate," said Marilyn Oliveira, editorial director for Evite. "We’re constantly looking at major party-planning trends and are thrilled to be able to share our insight, tips, and tricks so our users can have an unforgettable experience with family and friends."
What’s trending: "Friendsgiving" is growing in popularity, becoming an annual tradition celebrated either on or around the Thanksgiving holiday among friends.
Top décor: Incorporating herbs into the décor is a big Thanksgiving trend this year. Wooden boxes or terra cotta planters of rosemary, oregano, and thyme make fresh, fragrant centerpieces, and tie right into a neutral tablescape.
Top recipes: Traditional Thanksgiving desserts like pumpkin, pecan, and apple pie are supplementing the sweeter, year-round pastries including monkey bread, old fashioned oatmeal cookies, and fudge brownies.
What’s trending: In addition to celebrating the dual holiday of Thanksgivukkah this year, the trend for those celebrating Hanukkah is adding a modern spin to tradition. Contemporary Judaica such as unique menorahs made of fused glass or painted metal are edgy but still include all of the aspects required by custom. DIY menorahs are also popular this year, and allow people to put a personal spin on tradition.
Top décor: A trio of décor themes has risen to the top this year: Modern, which features silver and vanilla accents; kid-friendly, which is highlighted by bright colors; and timeless, which features wooden accents and gilded details.
Top recipes: Recipes for Hanukkah are based on the notion of modernizing tradition: For instance, people are serving rosemary-Parmesan challah, sweet potato latkes with cinnamon cream, beer-braised brisket with roasted root vegetables, almond Hanukkah fritters with apricot honey and butternut squash and apple kugel.
To ensure hosts spend more time with family and less time worrying about party details, Evite’s experts have put together the following tips for stress-free Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Thanksgivukkah celebrations:
1. Make a checklist. Write down everything from "check RSVPs" to "set up self-serve bar." Not only does it feel really good to check off to-dos, but it’s the only way to know for sure what still needs to be done. This is especially helpful for those planning to celebrate both holidays so you can make sure all your ducks are in a row before the big party.
2. Enlist help. Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are two very family-oriented holidays, so there will likely be extra hands ready to help. If friends or family offer to lend a hand, let them. Delegating a few responsibilities to loved ones — even if it’s with a small detail like picking up ice or putting out flowers — is a huge help. Additionally, if the thought of cleaning your house is too overwhelming, hire someone to clean it before and perhaps even after the party.
3. Keep the menu simple, even if you’re blending the holidays. Make one or two items yourself (everyone has a specialty) and cater or purchase the rest. A host should never be slaving in the kitchen when guests arrive, so prepare dishes that can be easily heated up.
4. Do as much as you can beforehand. Whether it’s decorating, setting the table, or preparing foods that can sit overnight in the fridge, getting things done ahead of time is key. Creating the right ambiance for your party takes time, so tackle décor a couple of days before.
5. Embrace the rarity. The first day of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving rarely fall on the same day, so if you’re celebrating both holidays, have some fun and make it a big deal. Take special photos, coordinate your serving ware with your Judaica, and cherish both traditions.