The holidays are a time to come together. For editor-in-chief Jane Francisco, that's translated into lots of entertaining over the years. Her secret? "I choose simple dishes and amp up my decor," she says. "If you serve your easiest go-to dish on gold plates, it looks stunning, tastes great and gives you time for the little extras." This month she's trying something new, however. She signed up for Hosting for Hope and has asked her guests to donate, too, instead of bringing a hostess gift or a bottle of wine. Funds raised will go to a nearby shelter to help women and children who are victims of violence. "I love that it's a national organization collecting funds for local use," says Jane. "Shelters are often anonymous so it can be hard to know how to help out in your own neighbourhood. I can't think of a better reason to get together with my friends."
Throw a shindig as Jane did to support women's shelters in your own community. The Canadian Women's Foundation and Homesense have made it easy—and fun! Just visit Hosting for Hope to e-vite your friends to your party. Make a $50 contribution and get a $25 gift card for Homesense (perfect to spruce up your house). In lieu of a bottle of wine or hostess gift, your guests can make a donation online when they RSVP.