Christmas crackers add to the fun.

By Tina Chadha
December 15, 2017
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Credit: Courtesy of Rebecca Taylor

You won't find poinsettias or red velvet bows at Rebecca Taylor's annual holiday gathering. As she does with her ultra-feminine clothing line, the designer prefers to keep her seasonal decor on the soft side.

"I like everything to feel natural and not overstyled," she says. So instead of vibrant greens and reds, Taylor creates her own whimsical wonderland with gorgeous florals that remind her of childhood in New Zealand, warming candles, and a bit of humor. "I'll have funny conversation starters like cartoons from the New Yorker [laid out]," says the consummate host.

Here, she shows us how to create a party they won't forget.

INDULGE: With These Gorgeous Floral Pajamas
Credit: Courtesy of Rebecca Taylor

WEAR SOMETHING SPECIAL

Holiday parties are an excuse to get glam, so go for something that makes you feel special and inspired. This season, the designer is loving velvet for festive parties. "There's something very luxurious and romantic about it," she says. "I love wearing a velvet gown with bare feet."

START WITH SOME SPARKLE

When friends arrive at Taylor and husband Wayne Pate's Brooklyn brownstone, they're greeted with champagne cocktails. "We always put one in their hand when they walk in the door," she says.

Credit: Courtesy of Rebecca Taylor

MAKE THE FLOWERS POP

Ever the blossom enthusiast (just look at the swoony prints in her collection!), Taylor recently received some arranging pointers from floral artist Taylor Patterson of Fox Fodder Farm. "She peels the outer petals of a rose -- my favorite -- and flips them inside out," explains Taylor. "And it makes the flower look full-bloom, very English garden."

Klutz My Fair Wish Kit, $13.98, barnesandnoble.com
| Credit: Courtesy of Rebecca Taylor

KEEP KIDS ENTERTAINED

Sure, kids are usually happy to run around the house with lightsabers. But to reel them in just a little, Taylor likes to have an art project laid out for them. When it's not decoupage, one of her go-tos is Klutz Kits, which come with all the supplies. This simple gesture makes the youngest partygoers feel included, and it's a nice break for the parents, she says.

ENTERTAIN: Your Kids With These Fun Crafts
Credit: Courtesy of Rebecca Taylor

DELIGHT THEM WITH CHRISTMAS CRACKERS

"Christmas crackers have been a tradition of mine since I was a kid in New Zealand," says Taylor. She includes one for everyone at her holiday dinner table. "I like to put a funny joke or quick note inside with a paper crown for everyone to wear and a miniature ornament to take away. We open them right before dinner starts and wear our crowns throughout the night," she says.

LEARN: How to Make Christmas Crackers
Credit: Courtesy of Rebecca Taylor

KEEP DINNER WARM

While the biggest party trick might be getting everyone to sit down at the same time, Taylor is determined to serve a warm meal. Her trick: "I put a stack of plates in the microwave for a few minutes, and once everyone is sitting down I dish them out," she says.

Credit: Courtesy of Rebecca Taylor

END WITH SOME SHINE


"I'm obsessed with sparklers," says Taylor, who buys hers on Amazon. "At the end the night, we [grab a glass of] champagne, go out on the deck, light them and sing." But don't expect traditional carols. "We sing mostly George Michael," says the designer. "I love that my kids know all the words to ‘Careless Whisper.'" "My work here is done."

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