Sunday, December 4, 2011

RHONJ: Kathy Wakile’s Ten Tips to Keep the Peace at the Family Feast

Real Housewives of New Jersey housewife Kathy Wakile may be new to the show but as Teresa's first cousin, they all know a bit too well about family drama and the holidays. Living in Jersey with her children Victoria and Joseph, and husband, Rich (of Lebanese descent), Kathy, Italian, says to share the cultural traditions at the dinner table.

"We are known for the feast of seven fishes. That's always a big part of our Christmas Eve dinner. That's a big tradition for us. Since I married outside the Italian culture, I married a Lebanese,  we incorporate both heritages.  I think that's an important part of any gathering. Always embrace something different that way they will feel welcome, you've learned something different, and it mixes it up. Who wants the same thing all the time?"

Wakile will be making an appearance at Design Spree locations on Saturday December 3 in Lawrenceville and Maywood, New Jersey. The first 200 people to each location will receive a photo taken on-site with the entire Wakiles family, a session with a professional chair massage therapist, and holiday and design tips.

"When people start rushing around getting ready for the holidays, it always seems overwhelming. You think you have so much tim and you have to budget your time so I think the best thing to do is to make lists every single day and check it off as you go along. Everyone knows they are either going somewhere for the holidays or they are going to have guests over, and a hostess gift is always something we do when we are ready to go, so come down to Design Spree this weekend when I am there, and pick up something like platters, or beautiful picture frames, and think about that hostess gift at the beginning of the month so you are not rushed."

As for her holiday,  "Christmas Eve is always an open house for us. We always make a tremendous amount of food, and expect to have more than we ever invite. We have our friends who are Catholic. We have our friends who are Jewish. We have our friends who are Muslim. Friends from all kinds and those who don't have one specific religion. It's an open door policy."  We are all going to Kathy's house on December 24 - see you there Kathy! 


Kathy Wakile’s Ten Tips to Keep the Peace at the Family Feast

1. Plan your menu and your “agenda” for the day far in advance to avoid last-minute crises

2. Make decorating your home for the holidays a family affair. Set a time to trim the tree, make place cards, and enlist your children in making fun, simple decorations

3. Build a simple social media “event page” for your holiday celebration, where guests can post their photos and memories

4. Use the holidays as an excuse to redecorate; consider gifting a special “keepsake” item for your home that the entire family can enjoy 

5. Create a seating chart and place cards at your holiday table to ensure family members sit near people they like and get along with

6. Feed your guests light snacks as soon as they arrive, to avoid holiday crankiness

7. Take food preferences (allergies, vegetarians, etc.) into account when you’re planning your menu

8. Avoid religion and politics as conversation topics

9. Go light on the alcohol; tempers flare when people are drinking heavily

10. If you are lucky enough to be a guest at someone else’s family feast, start the day off well by bringing a fantastic gift for your host

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