Known for their chic and simple take on parties, Chelsea Shukov and Jamie Grobecker, the founders of Sugar Paper, bring their preppy LA style to everything they do, including holidays. With a thriving business and busy young families, they shared with us how to host a timeless Christmas cocktail party–and why it’s worth making time in your hectic schedule.
Keep it simple
For Shukov and Grobecker “keeping it simple allows you to focus on what matters most–your family and friends.” Seasoned hosts, the founders created their new Target Holiday Collection of party décor and supplies “that allows people to throw a party easily and beautifully at the same time.” Don’t overthink it, and focus on what excites you. Shukov achieves this by adding “touches like having fresh flowers, lit candles, real glassware, and fabric napkins.” Shukov adds, “we typically order the food so we can focus on the décor since it’s our favorite part of throwing a party.”
Go for the gold
Shukov says gold is “part of the magic of the season.” Incorporating gilded elements throughout a party can make it feel festive–use gold candlesticks, gold-rimmed glasses, Christmas ornaments, plates, and bells.
Even if they usually stick with softer shades of blue and pale pink for the holidays, they “embrace Santa’s personal style and lean in.” Their holiday décor items are full of festive details like bright red polka dots and gold jingle bells.
Sugar Paper’s holiday invitations coordinate with their décor collection and set a stylish tone for a timeless cocktail party.
Say no to dishes
The most satisfying and practical way to streamline a celebration is to address the aftermath in advance. Shokov says, “we often use disposable plates for easy cleanup, and we like to keep the menu simple.” Mix real glassware and ceramic serving pieces like trays, platters, and ice buckets with disposable plates and you’ll cut down on cleaning while keeping the look elevated. The Sugar Paper team designed pieces that you’ll save forever to mix with ones you can toss once the last guest is out the door. “Who wants to wash dishes at the end of the night? No one.”
Put the cocktail in cocktail party
Set up a station so guests can pour themselves a drink as soon as they walk in. Shokov suggests setting up your bar by going “into it as if you’re making yourself a cocktail, that way you won’t miss anything.” Spiked eggnog or a cranberry cocktail with sprigs of rosemary or twists of citrus are two crowd-pleasers that can be made in batches ahead of time. Tricks of the trade: use a name or gift tag to label each bottle and tie a pretty cloth napkin around the neck of your bubbly to prevent icy drips.
Both founders love things that are “classic, timeless, and decidedly playful while still being sophisticated.” So it’s not surprising that their collection includes jingle bell details on wine stoppers and swizzle sticks as well as a cheeky mouse. They get excited by the smell of pine and shared with us their secret to their evergreen garlands and wreaths–ordering them from Farmgirl Flowers and having them delivered to their door. “The smell of pine gets us every time.”
Remember the reason for the season
Their work lends itself to many late nights at the studio together, but they always carve out time to host a holiday party in December. “Our holiday season is pretty demanding, but we always make time for a holiday cocktail. There’s just something about getting dressed up and making time for fun.”
Holidays with founders Chelsea + Jamie:
Party soundtrack: Bing Crosby. We love the classics.
Holiday drink: Spiked Eggnog
Favorite treat: Peppermint Hot Cocoa
Keep your party simple by: Using disposable plates!
Go extravagant with it: The details. Make your guests feel loved.
Most thoughtful hostess gift: Personalized…anything.
It shows that you thought of it in advance.
On our holiday list: A locket
What we want to wear to holiday parties this season: Tartan plaid pants, leopard flats, and some sparkles.
Take a night off from holiday shopping, parenting, and work to spend time with your crew. You’ve earned a night of adulting. Be the host with the most with our classic holiday invitations.