Cristina Lynch Hosts a Holiday Girls’ Night in Dallas, Texas
Festive for the Holidays
The absolute happiest that I see my mom all year is when my family is all together on Christmas Day eating, drinking tequila, and just hanging out," says Cristina Lynch. "Growing up, everything in our house was always bright and festive." Inspired by her heritage (Lynch's mom is from Torreón, Mexico), she launched Mi Golondrina, a fresh and vibrant home-accessories and clothing line made in partnership with female Mexican artisans. While her work involves traveling back and forth from Dallas to Mexico, Lynch also prioritizes time with her girlfriends. Around the holidays, she hosts her annual dinner party, pulling ideas from her family's Christmas rituals. She sends out save-the-date text messages in November followed by Paperless Post invitations two weeks before the party. "They're less formal than printed ones and more official than a text," she notes. "Some people can't make it; some come late—and that makes it different and special every year." Learn from her warm and laid-back entertaining style.
Fuller, Richer Palettes
"One of the things I love most about the holidays in Mexico is that there are a lot of colors, and they aren't just red and green," says Lynch. She uses four of her own runners, arranged like stripes across the table, to ground the place settings. Craftswomen in Zinacantán, Mexico, embroider the table runners by hand.
Classic Ceramic Dishes
Lynch's mom has been collecting traditional green and yellow Oaxacan pottery since she was 18. Now, Lynch picks up two or three pieces every time she visits that area. And for her own parties, she borrows from her mother to flesh out the tablescape, arrangements, and buffet serving pieces. Bottles of perfume and fabric clutches serve as party favors.
Lynch admits that carnations are her favorite despite the bad rap they receive. "They have such good texture and last forever," she says. Since it's Christmastime, she upgraded this centerpiece with a handful of big, billowy red and white amaryllis that pop against the various kinds of greenery and should last a week or two.
This dinner is one of the only times that Lynch doesn't begin a gathering with a trayful of small-bite appetizers. Instead, she serves this big-batch cocktail (which her colleague, Naty, shared with her). Made with tequila, guava, cinnamon sticks, oranges, an apple, and a pear, it's satisfying enough to hold guests over until the buffet is ready.
Comfort Food Traditions
"I used to be a perfectionist who tried to have everything ready at the exact same time. Then I realized that my guests are more relaxed if they are part of the experience by helping me put out the tamales," says Lynch. She serves the same spread every year. "We just can't do anything different. It's always mole, tamales, and rajas," she adds.
After dinner, she serves cuatro leches cake on the porch. "It's a delicious tradition of ours that's made with four milks and then topped with a caramel-and-milk sauce. This is a heavy meal, but you want a full and happy belly during the holidays," says Lynch, who gives her guests plenty of time to digest. "I would never set an end time on a party. I can't break up a good conversation." The porch gets festive touches with a colorful tree and more candles. The top of this tree was so tall that Lynch embraced its uniqueness and wrapped Christmas lights all the way up.
A Touch of Whimsy
Lynch decorates her tree with large paper flowers, Mexican figures, and Mi Golondrina ornaments that are made from fabric remnants.