Both Aerin Lauder’s classic style and ability to turn any occasion into an event to be remembered are respected amongst New York’s elite set. Widely considered to be at some of the most refined events in the city’s social calendar, her exquisite dinners, trunk shows and even her staff parties are evidence that Aerin is a natural-born hostess. One can imagine then that, when it comes to the holidays, the Tastemaker has big plans. But what does an Aerin Lauder Christmas look like?
What do you love most about the holidays?
The holiday season is one of my favourite times of year. I love seeing all the festive decorations and celebrating with family and friends.
How long do your holiday preparations take? When do you start?
I start preparing for the holidays in mid-December. I use the same ornaments and family hand-me-down items every year.
What is your favourite way to decorate for the holidays?
My style is classic and elegant, with a modern twist. I love making my home festive by placing berry branches and dahlias throughout the house and wrapping garlands around staircases and fireplace mantles. We are always hosting friends and family for the holidays and I love to serve candies and gourmet potato chips in beautiful gold decorative bowls. It’s something my grandmother taught me and has always been a favourite with guests and makes for a beautiful presentation on a coffee table.
How does your decorating and holiday style change between your home in New York and your home in Aspen?
My New York home and Aspen home are very different in style and aesthetic, but my holiday decorating style is consistent regardless of what home I am celebrating in. I am often inspired by nature, and love to bring elements of the outdoors in with beautiful branches and seasonal flowers.
What’s your holiday entertaining schedule usually like?
I always try to host a family dinner around Christmas Eve with lots of red flowers and family plates that belonged to my grandmother, Estée. I also always host a holiday party for my office which is a fun and festive way to end the year.
Do you have any holiday traditions you like to keep with family or friends?
I love spending quality time with my family for the holidays in my Aspen home. We are typically at home for a casual dinner, skiing or meeting friends at one of my favourite restaurants in town.
How do you approach holiday gifting?
In a technological world, there is something special about gifting illustrated books. I love giving a great coffee table book that’s tailored to the interests of the person I am gifting. Whether they are passionate about design, fashion, travel, food, or art, there are so many wonderful, beautiful books to choose from. I also love gifting a beautiful frame with a photo of family/friends.
How do you balance cooking and practicalities with hosting and having fun during holiday parties?
I love to entertain and have guests over for dinner, drinks and conversation. Good friends are an extension of my family.
What are some of your favourite holiday memories?
My favourite holiday memory is getting up Christmas morning and opening my stocking full of candies and surprises.
How are you spending Christmas day this year?
I will be spending Christmas this year with my family in NYC.