Jonathan Adler’s Holiday Entertaining Playbook Involves Disco Balls & Apple Pie

by Freya Drohan

Let’s step in to potter and designer Jonathan Adler’s fabulous holiday world, shall we? As we arrive at the last mad dash of the year, we always defer to those who know best when it comes to decorating and party planning. And so, with the fear that people could just stop by unannounced (quelle horreur) and expect to be entertained at any given moment, we called him up for some ideas on how to wow any last minute visitors…and how to de-stress when the party’s over. Right this way, please.

What’s your favorite unconventional holiday tradition?
Every night, I plop my shorter half Simon Doonan on a shelf and wait for people to notice the next day!

What’s your mood/stress usually like by the end of the year?
I’ve been in the holiday gift biz for a long (long, long, long) time—I’m very wise…and very old. I’ve got this!

How do you de-stress and stay sane through the busy period?
Reading, paddle boarding, and watching TV…not all at the same time!

Jonathan Adler (Todd Tankersley)

How do you usually celebrate the holidays?
So much of my year is spent being a Christmas Elf for other people, so we keep it low key chez Adler-Doonan.

Is there anything you’re looking forward to that you haven’t been able to do since pre-COVID?
I look forward to never shaking another hand as long as I live. Fist bumps or bust!

What’s your formula for hosting? Do you have some foolproof tips we could all take note of?
Good music, a fire in the fireplace—or on TV if you don’t have a fireplace—and normal food. No one wants a froth of this and a reduction of something unrecognizable. What everyone does want? A roasted chicken and an apple pie.

Do you mix up how you decorate each year? What’s on the vision board this year?
Disco balls. From the mantel, instead of mistletoe, or wherever—there’s never a bad place for a disco ball.

What’s a failsafe party pleaser?
I hope he’s not reading this, but: my husbear Simon.

How do you maintain gratitude through the holiday season?
By being in the places I love with the people I love. The rest is just stuff.

What food and drink items can you not make it through the season without?
Gallons of PG Tips tea (I’m a highly caffeinated person). It may not be particularly festive, but it’s the truth.

What gifts always put a smile on a hostess’s face?
I’ve yet to meet a hostess who said no to a set of porcelain coasters, a mega-fancy scented candle, or an irreverent and groovy trinket tray —all from Jonathan Adler, ‘natch.

What’s been a 2022 highlight for you?
This year we swung the doors open at Atelier Adler, our three story pottery studio, headquarters, and flagship retail space in the heart of Soho. The Atelier brings our entire world under one roof and is a dream come true for me.

What big things are coming for you and the brand in 2023?
Three words: more, more, more.

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