How to Handle the Holidays


It’s November already, and with the days growing shorter, the weeks leading up to the holiday season feel like they are flying by. December is only a few short weeks away, and it is time to start thinking about your holiday plans.

If you haven’t booked a date for your staff holiday party, pull out your calendar now! There are some great resources like Doodle that can help simplify scheduling. Doodle lets you provide a few different date options, and your staff can select the days they are free.


Once you have found a date that works, it is time to plan the event. It can be fun to create a theme that meshes well with your company and its core values. Do you love local businesses? Consider featuring only beers from a local craft brewery. Feeling philanthropic? Consider a day of volunteering and then a company mingler.

Once you have selected a theme, it is time to send out invitations. At Project House, we like to go beyond simple email invites and send a nice invitation through sites like Paperless Post or Greenvelope.  Both sites can help track RSVPs, additional guest comments, and food preferences.

Be sure to follow-up with guests in the days leading up to your event to ensure that all of your staff know where and when the party is happening.

For a more in-depth look at planning corporate holiday parties, please check out Crystal’s blog from last year.


Beyond events, November is also the time to start thinking about holiday gifts for clients.


Gone are the days of overly branded client appreciation gifts. No one wants to receive a cellophane wrapped gift basket full of mugs and pens with your company’s logo on it. Instead, consider subtly branding your gifts. Fun items like bottle stoppers or glassware in your company’s colours will turn gifts into pieces that clients are happy to showcase and use in their home or office. A unique calendar created for the upcoming year can be beautiful, simple, and thoughtful. Last year we created a custom Canadian landscapes calendar for a client.



Another thoughtful appreciation gift is a curated box of your favourite things. This is a fun way to show off local designers and businesses and to create a one-of-a kind, personalized gift. My box would contain things like 33 Acres beer, Koko Monk chocolates, Oyama Sausages and Benton Brothers Cheese… yum!


Are you feeling overwhelmed as the holiday season approaches? Let us know what we can do to help! Email us at hello(at) and we’ll get you organized for the holiday season.



Lest We Forget


Project Spotlight: La Dolce Vita Birthday Party

00We had the sincere pleasure of organizing a 60th Birthday celebration for two wonderful women in September of this year.

The venue selected by the client was Federico’s on Commercial Drive which lent to the most amazing theme options.  In the end we went Italian all the way and proposed a “La Dolce Vita” theme, which was wholeheartedly accepted by the client.


What fun we had putting this together.  Federico’s itself is a lovely space with capacity for up to around 130 people.  They offer a selection of 4 course fixed price menus for large groups, which we tweaked a little to suit our tastes.


We played up the glamorous side of our La Dolce Vita theme and encouraged people to come dressed to the nines in black and white. While Federico’s provided linens and candles, we customized the place settings by bringing in black tablecloths, gold embellished name cards, and beautiful lace-wrapped candles.



We repurposed some old art with gold and black spray paint to create a beautiful seating chart, and embellished the room with small accents in the same theme.


I was asked to be the MC for the event and Federico’s is well equipped with a good sound system and mic for just that.  We also prepared a slide show featuring hundreds of images of the two birthday women throughout their 60 years of life, punctuated by interesting facts from 1955, their birth year.

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From custom designed invitations, menus, place cards, to the slideshow, we made sure that the theme was carried throughout as seamlessly as possible. We worked with the client to ensure that every detail was accounted for, including the budget, the wine selection, and ensuring that guests were waiting in the wings to say SURPRISE!


During the party, we ensured that everything ran smoothly.  Federico’s does an amazing job of keeping things on track, which made our job much easier!

After dinner (with lovely guitar accompaniment) and dessert, we had twin cakes brought out and sang happy birthday to the ladies.  Federico himself then took to the stage.  What fun! He and his band covered a selection of songs that had everyone up dancing and singing along.

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The event was an absolute blast and all of the guests had an amazing time! Especially the guests of honour!