The holidays are a perfect time to showcase your flair for décor and design against the backdrop of a custom-built home. This year my plan is to invite current and potential clients to a festive gathering at my home, which is one of my architectural masterpieces.

I have already determined the guest list. Now I need to plan the occasion before I write the Christmas invitation. In my world, design is everything, so I want the invitation to match the theme and flavor of the event. First, should this be a cocktail party or an open house? That choice is dependent upon the number of guests. In this case, I think an open house is the better plan. It is such a short holiday stretch and people already have other commitments. Therefore, a Christmas invitation to an “Open House” between 3 P.M. and 7 P.M. on December 16th seems appropriate.

My reasoning for a weekday, especially Monday, is to give my working friends and clients the chance to arrive after their day at the office and stay until they wish or need to attend another party. My retired clients have the chance to attend any time, early or late. My holiday collection of decorations is eclectic. I will set up Christmas trees in the parlor, dining room, and great room. Then I will theme the trees and accessories to fit my diverse decorations. One will be the style of India sparkling and exotic; the dining room will be traditional English, formal and elegant. The parlor must be warm and cozy with traditional old country or early American influence.

Since I am showcasing my home and its design, I will need a touch of Christmas in every room. The baths can be accessorized with the themes of the entertaining room, only simpler. The bedrooms will be tastefully decorated with low-light shades and warm throws and rugs. I am not an electrician so outside lighting will be limited to spotlights that shine up on design features I wish to highlight on the exterior. Plantings will be limited to simple pots of poinsettias and garlands in key areas around the entrance. The food choices are next. An open house, fortunately, requires simplicity in preparation. I will hire a local caterer to prepare a smorgasbord spread in the dining room and finger foods placed strategically in the parlor and great room. The bar needs to be in the great room near the spectacular view of my garden.

I now have everything I need to select my Christmas invitation. I find that paper invitations by post tend to get lost in my stacks of mail; therefore, I must assume that is the case for others. I have everyone’s email address, although I do not have all the mailing addresses. Therefore, online design is the best option I have.

I found a tasteful Christmas invitation that has room for all my details and it includes a place to insert a photo. I will use a photo of my home that I will insert into the design I chose. I will also include my email link for the RSVP. I can print the invitation for those who are out of internet reach and email the rest. This is just too easy!

My architectural, decorating and Christmas invitation design styles are now consistent with my event theme, “A Warm Holiday Welcome.”Now I will certainly enjoy my own party. Cheers everyone!