You may know him from his Instagram account, his role as the Head of Fashion and Beauty for YouTube, or the man you’ve come to count on turning up at all the best parties. The New York Times even asked, “Is he the Truman Capote of his generation, or the Carrie Bradshaw?” But we think of Derek Blasberg as our design partner and the man here to save you from boring holiday parties. We asked him how to make Christmas season both a little nice and a little naughty. Read on for all of Derek’s tips on how to be the best holiday guest ever— from how to know if the party was a good one to what he thinks you can leave at home this year.
What makes a party one that you look forward to attending—Is there anything that stands out to you when you receive an invitation?
I like a ridiculous theme. It’s not mandatory, of course. But it’s good to choose something that sets an irreverent tone and lets people know right from the start that this isn’t going to be another stuffy holiday party. Two years ago, I threw a Christmas party and the theme was kinky stockings.
“Not those Knits holiday party invitation” by Derek Blasberg.
Should holiday party guests bring a hostess gift?
If it’s a big holiday party, I’d forgo the host present and send a handwritten note the day after.
If it was a particularly thrilling party or a close friend, maybe send flowers. Mind you, if I could bake, I would make cookies and bring them to the party, but not insist that they be served. The thing with presents for a host or hostess is that they shouldn’t be forced. They should be thoughtful. Bringing a scented candle just cause you don’t want to show up empty handed doesn’t feel like genuine holiday spirit to me.
Besides a gift, what thoughtful things can guests do to make hosts’ lives easier, either before or during the party?
Be the first one on to the buffet or the dance floor.
Any tips for holiday party guests with multiple stops planned?
Easy. Leave without saying goodbye.
We’re leaving the office for a night of holiday get-togethers—what should we ditch?
I think black should be banned from holiday parties.
What is the one thing you want to see at more parties this year?
“Dress Up, Drink Lots invitation” by Derek Blasberg.
Is there anything you’d be okay with never seeing at another holiday party ever again?
Fruit cakes. To be clear, I’m talking about the dessert.
What is the ideal time to arrive at a party? Do you have a go-to exit plan?
I like to get to a party when it’s starting so I can put in some quality time with the host. It’s also a nice thing to do if you’re friends with the person throwing the party to help them ease their pre-party jitters. (I have a core group of girlfriends who I always ask to be right on time when I throw a party because I inevitably panic that no one is going to show up.)
Typically, I sneak out of a party without saying goodbye. It’s like I told Emma Chamberlain in this video, I can’t think of a reason to announce you’re leaving a party anyway.
Do you have any post-party rituals?
My favorite thing to do after a party is recap it on a group text chain. Typically, the tread starts at the end of the party and can last for days or weeks after. In fact, a really good party will have a permanent text chain!
Thanks Derek! We’re taking notes. If you’re aiming to be the host with the most this holiday season get a head start with our holiday invitations or our collection of Derek Blasberg invitations. For more insights from Derek read his post on birthday parties and how to host a holiday party. For our guide to ugly Christmas sweater parties head here.