Please RSVP. Seriously.

holiday partyMost of us have done it, but we’re not proud to admit it. Forgetting to RSVP is a social no-no and we all know it. From the French Répondez s’il vous plait, which means “please respond,” these four letters on a holiday party invitation usually means the host or hostess needs to know if you’re coming. Seriously.

For the host, not hearing back from you can be a vexing problem, particularly if it’s a smaller gathering. If you’re not sure you can come, or will be late, most hostesses would prefer you tell them that rather than not responding at all.

If you’re planning a party and wondering whether or not to include an RSVP request on your invitation, it is completely optional. Certainly for a formal dinner you will want to know how many places to set. In contrast, an RSVP might not be necessary for an open house, since people will be coming and going throughout and food is usually more casual.

Seasoned hostesses are good at estimating quantities and are always prepared for surprises. As a general rule of thumb, however, it’s a good idea NOT to be the one to surprise her!

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Christmas Invitation Ideas

snowball fightIt’s hard to use the words “financially responsible” and “holiday party” in the same sentence, but, there, I’ll come out and say it. Like it or not, people just aren’t throwing big, glamorous parties the way they used to. Many of us are choosing simpler, smaller affairs with our close friends, relatives and neighbors. These get-togethers are not only easier to plan and less expensive, they can also be a lot of fun.

We had budget-friendly gatherings in mind when we developed our line of Christmas Party Invitation ideas. Cookie exchange parties, tree-trimming gatherings, gingerbread decorating parties and spill-the-wine parties don’t have to be expensive.

One of our customers hosts an annual snowball fight in her backyard. Treats include hot cocoa with marshmallows and cinnamon rolls. Formal attire is not required. Your presence is requested because you are loved (and because it will be a hoot and you won’t want to miss it). Sure, we love the formality of a sit-down multi-course dinner, complete with place cards, champagne and catered hors d’oeuvres. But sometimes the simple gatherings are the most memorable.

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Gingerbread House Party

One of my favorite parts of the week is when my son (age 5) wakes up and calls me from his bed to cuddle (yes, he actually calls before getting out of bed and jumping into the day).  A few weeks ago during this time, he mentioned that he wanted to invite his new friends in our new neighborhood to have a gingerbread house-making contest.  I thought this was a wonderful way to get to know the neighborhood kids and their parents, since we are new to the area.  Sounded great – gingerbread houses for the kids, wine and cheese for the parents – and not too much work to put together.  Brilliant idea, I thought! And I knew just the design team to create a wonderful invitation! So this is the Gingerbread party invitations the team came up with… cute, cute, cute.
Gingerbread Lane -- Holiday Party Invitation
It turns out that this wonderful idea was a 5-year old’s ploy. At the end of the conversation, my son declared that the winner of the gingerbread making contest would win Legos, so really it was about How Do I Get More Legos? No matter, we are still having the party and looking forward to it!
-Liwanag, President

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Cookie Exchange Parties

When we were discussing our 2009 collection of Christmas party invitations we all tried to think of parties we attend during the holidays or certain things that just ‘happen’ because it’s the holiday season. One of the events we talked about was Cookie Exchange ‘parties’. This year will be my second year attending such an event and I’m super excited. I’m unfortunately not hosting, otherwise I would of course send this adorable cookie exchange party invitation out to all of my girlfriends. But that’s beside the point, but it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention it, right? J

Sweet Treats -- Christmas Party Invitation

My sister-in-law is the one that started the fun last year and coordinated what type of cookie everyone would be making so there wouldn’t be any duplicates. A cookie exchange party idea was to have your dough ready or have some of the prep work completed prior to the party. Then the day of the exchange we baked. And baked. And baked. We then all were able to leave with 12 or so (however many people were there) different plates of cookies to take home. Love, love, love this. Because I don’t bake. And I learned many of my friends were AMAZING bakers which in turn made my plate of holiday cookies that I would bring to my other holiday parties look really, really good.

So, the date for this year’s exchange is set for a Friday night in December. However the rules have changed just a bit. We’re supposed to come with our cookies pre-baked, packaged (I’ll be adhering this adorable Christmas gift tag to my plates of cookies) and ready to go and prepared to spend the evening with some good wine and of course great company. I’m liking this year’s plan a lot.

Sweet Treats --Christmas Gift Tag

I’d love to hear about your cookie exchange party plans and also which cookie you bring (and the recipe, but only if it’s easy!)

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Holiday Party Invitations

The holidays are coming. Whether you’re ready or not, the holiday music is playing in the stores, the lights are going up in the neighborhood, the stores have their full assortment of decorations, gift wrap and stockings on the shelves and the ads have definitely started to take over my Sunday paper.

 

What else does this mean? Your calendar is soon to be booked with holiday parties. Weekends in December seem to disappear. But that’s okay, right? Because it’s the season to get together, surround yourself with people that make you smile, make you laugh. However, we recognize that it costs money to host parties and you just might be in saving mode right now.

 

That’s why we’re so proud of our 2009 collection of Holiday party invitations. They’re stylish. Whether you’re looking for a chic holiday party invitation or as specific as a gingerbread house making party invitation, our talented designers have created a truly unique, stylish invitation for your event. And the best part? We sell them in quantities as low as 8. Maybe only a few neighbors in your neighborhood make you smile or maybe can only handle 8 crazy, talk-non-stop five year old children in the house at one time. For $10, you can brighten someone’s day with one of our holiday party invitations and give them something to look forward to this holiday season.

 

 

Because that’s what it should be about, making spirits bright!

Here are a few of my favorites.

Simply Merry -- Aqua Christmas Party Invitation

Simply Merry – Aqua Holiday Party Invitation

Tree Trimming -- Holiday Party Invitation

Tree Trimming – Holiday Party Invitation

Chandelier Chic Party Invitation

Chandelier Chic Holiday Party Invitation

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10 Tips For an Eco-Friendly Holiday Season:

‘Tis the season to be GREEN! This holiday season keep your eco-friendly efforts going with these eco friendly tips to make it a very special season ‘green’tings for your friends and family!

  1. Shop Green. Keep down your costs and environmental impact by shopping online. You will save yourself a trip to the store and those long lines. Have the gifts sent directly to the receiver; this way it won’t be sent twice and you save a little extra money. If you have to go to the store, plan shopping trips in advance and carpool to save extra trips to the mall and the grocery store.
  2. Bring Your Own Bag. This year– BYOB to the stores with you. Not only will your shopping tote hold your holiday list, but you’ll also feel good knowing you save a few plastic bags in the process. If you have left over bags from shopping, use them for wrapping the gifts or as a trash can liner.
  3. Eco-Wrapping Solutions. Find alternatives to wrapping paper. Some of my favorites include:Using the newspaper comics section for a pop of color or brown grocery bags dressed up with ribbon. For a really trendy look, buy vintage tins at a thrift stores to wrap your presents. Use old holiday cards to create a unique gift tag to tie it all together. Remember, save the bows and ribbons you receive from others for next year.
  4. The Gift That Keeps On Giving: For those hard to buy for on your list this year, make a donation to their favorite charity, have a tree planted in their honor, or buy a gift card to their favorite restaurant. Find trendy gifts that are eco-friendly, fair trade, or made from recycled materials online. Offer your services such as babysitting, cooking, or helping someone move. All of these gifts will certainly not be forgotten and won’t end up in next year’s trash.
  5. Set a Green Table: Instead of disposable plates, cups, and napkins, opt for cloth napkins and re-usable dishes. Serving dishes can be rented or purchased from restaurant supply stores, or IKEA. After the event, un-needed pieces can be resold on e-bay. If your event calls for disposable pieces, opt for those made from corn or potatoes, these are easily biodegradable compared to Styrofoam or plastic.
  6. Waste Not. Buy locally grown organic food to feed your friends and family this year. To reduce waste, buy in large quantities; one large bottle is better than five small ones. Send leftovers home with guests, or donate them to local food kitchens and remember to compost your scraps.
  7. Green Christmas Tree. Opt for a real tree, grown from a local tree farm instead of the plastic versions in the stores. One acre of a tree farm creates oxygen to support 18 people and remove 13 tons of airborne pollutants per year. When the holidays are over, contact your city officials to find out where you can take it in for recycling. Recycled trees are used for mulch, and other landscaping uses.
  8. Add a Twinkle To Your Holiday. Recycle those old, worn-out, broken and outdated strings of twinkle lights and replace them with LED lights. LED lights use only 1/50th the energy of regular holiday lights and don’t create a fire hazard! Turn off your lights at night to save even more energy. Go to HolidayLEDs.com for more information on recycling your old lights.
  9. Festive Décor. Be creative this year using what you find in your own backyard. Make edible decorations such as popcorn strings and cranberry wreaths. Cut down a few bows for décor around the house or collect pinecones for a great centerpiece. The smell of nature is sure to bring out your holiday spirit.
  10. Recycled ‘Green’tings Card. Send out holiday greetings made from recycled papers. There are plenty of cool and trendy options here on Pear Tree Greetings to make everyone’s holiday a little more green.

Recycled Holiday CardRecycled Photo Holiday CardRecycled Photo Holiday Card

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