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A holiday party just isn’t a party without music.

My favorite holiday gatherings are the “drop by the house for appetizers and drinks” kind of gatherings. People are loud & laughing, eating & drinking, and the season is sprinkled about.

But, whether the you have a live band as the focus of the party, or simply some background music to help set the festive mood – music is an important party of entertaining your guests.

I consider myself a rare breed when it comes to the holidays. I can’t wait for the day after Thanksgiving when holiday music begins being pumped into every radio channel, store & TV show you come in contact to – how wonderful!

So, in preparation for your next holiday gathering – here is a quick list of my favorite “traditional” holiday music to help set the mood.

1. Perry Como – Jingle Bells

2. Burl Ives – Santa Claus is Coming to Town

3. Bon Jovi – Please Come Home for Christmas

4. Ray Conniff – Ring Christmas Bells

5. Harry Connick Jr – Sleigh Ride

6. Perry Como (yes again) – Home for the Holidays

An eccelectic mix I know. Share your holiday favorites with us?

I was reminded of a classic point in entertaining etiquette this weekend as I wrapped & wrapped & wrapped presents under my Christmas tree to help get ready for the holidays.

Gift wrapping IS an art – and there are many traditions for holiday gift wrapping that I’ve seen folks try. For example, my grandmother would always carefully unwrap her gifts each year and then keep the paper, boxes & ribbons to be used for years to come. Mom used to wrap each persons gifts in a different color wrapping paper so you could easily tell who’s gift was who’s without the need for tags (that always fall off anyways!)

I have my own little wrapping tradition – wrapping everything in kraft paper, kraft bags, and twine. I love the simplicity of the look and the basic-ness of the elements. And I must say, it looks simply fabulous under the Frasier fir & cream Christmas tree skirt this year!

One year I added some white paper doilies, the next some fuzzy cream yarn, and this year have added tiny gold foil labels just to switch it up a bit. But it’s a signature wrapping I’ve become known for – even beyond the holidays – into birthday & wedding wrappings. And one I’ve continued even in the packaging of my IceMilk Aprons wrapping.

What is your art of gift wrapping?

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