Once the clock strikes Halloween, the holiday season is officially here and there’s no letting up until the New Year’s ball drops.

Friendsgivings, cookie swaps, holiday brunches, cocktail parties—it can quickly become overwhelming. And it either excites you so much you follow all the hot Health Tik Tok influencers or it gives you such anxiety you debate faking the flu instead of hosting this year’s holiday gathering. With the help of brands like Shinola, Carhartt, Clera’s Creative Gifts, Le Petit Dejeuner, Detroit Cocoa Bar, Calyxeum and M Dawn Floral Design, BLAC has got you covered for Holiday entertaining.

Greeting cards for any occasion in the Mahogany Holiday Collection. Photography by Pamela Lewis of Pamela Lewis Photography

How to Entertain Locally

These Five Tips are being shared for how to entertain locally (without adding any stress). So, go ahead and send out that invite, because you’re going to master Detroit-themed holiday entertaining and gift giving this year.

Gift wrapping provided by Clera’s Creative Gifts and Mahogany exclusives. Photography by Pamela Lewis of Pamela Lewis Photography

1Start Simply

Shrimp and Grits dish prepared by Le Petit Dejeuner, Detroit. Photography by Pamela Lewis of Pamela Lewis Photography

There’s no bigger buzzkill than arriving at a party finding the host or hostess has gone ‘Christmas-overboard.’ Avoid that by keeping the first visual simple. A simple lights only Christmas Tree with a few simple gifts like watches and journals from Shinola wrapped in black-imaged wrapping paper does not mean boring it means classic. 

2Have A Conversation-Starter Sweet Tray

Chocolate Bars, delicious gourmet treats, Courtesy of Sugar Plum, Brownies and Cookies provided by Detroit Cocoa Bar and Flavor For The Soul Desserts. Sweet Potato Pie by Sweet Potato Sensations and Savory Snacks from Damn, Man. Photography by Pamela Lewis of Pamela Lewis Photography

The key to gatherings is the sweets because, with one bites of Detroit Cocoa Bar’s sweet chocolate chips cookies drizzled with chocolate dressing and then you’re ready for the first serving, and you’re for all sorts of complexity conversation— thanks to the combo of sweet, crunch and savory right up front.

3Give “Em A Choice With the Liquor

Bouquet courtesy of M Dawn Floral Design; Black-owned Liquor brands: The McBride Sisters “Black Girl Magic,” Cheurlin champagne, Indoggo, FKNG, Brough Bros Bourbon  and Gifts courtesy of Shinola and Wrapping by Clera’s Creative Gifts. Photography by Pamela Lewis of Pamela Lewis Photography

Hear us out: when you buy black-owned brand at a quality liquor store in the city, they’ll often give you a discount for supporting local. But the real reason we do it? We tend to have a diverse pallet of drinks combinations throughout the evening and never want to limit our passions.

At an event like Thanksgiving, we budget a bottle per person—assuming we’re serving champagne from Cheurlin, light, dark and wine from the McBride Sisters offered from appetizers through dessert from Sugar Plum‘s, our party lasts about 4 hours.

4It’s All About Presentation

Thanksgiving meal prepared by Le Petit Dejeuner, Detroit. Photography by Pamela Lewis of Pamela Lewis Photography

The holidays are full of glitz and glam so add a little of that spirit to your place setting. Floral arrangements work wonders classically and elegantly.

This is the time to break out the bucks for decorations; special occasion banners or a show stopping arches but other times, a classic floral design from M Dawn Floral Design sets the table off beautifully. 

5Make the Living Area Comfortable For All

Models, “Z” and “Cooper the Dog.” Cannabis Gummies, lighter and flower provided by Calyxeum, Journal courtesy of Shinola, Cookie courtesy of Detroit Cocoa Bar, Sweet Potato Pie by Sweet Potato Sensations, Uplifted calendar and Coasters by Mahogany Collection; Coat courtesy of by Carhartt. Photography by Pamela Lewis of Pamela Lewis Photography

If your party is a book, each area is a different chapter. Encouraging guests to move around your house from the table to the couch to the tree and the kitchen makes the party more dynamic. Start with a Card display at the refrigerator, then a bar set up near the window, appetizers of Shrimp & Grits from Le Petit Dejeuner, in one space then move to the dinner table for the main courses of fried chicken and waffles and then relax in a more laidback snuggled in your Carhartt jackets and caps in a space like a living room.

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