Debbie’s Week at a Glance: I guess I’ve got the Christmas blues …

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The party's over!

Was I complaining about the relentless holiday season? Be careful of what you wish for. It came to a screeching halt, and I now find myself in cold, quiet, damp, gray Southampton. 

My son is in his 17th hour of flying en route to Bali, then eventually home to L.A., away from me. My daughter is on her way to Aspen, on a very compelling trip that I might’ve joined but didn’t. And so here I am, not exactly unhappy, but strangely quiet, adjusting … getting used to my own company, but truly, waiting for everyone to come home.


Just me and my faded childhood ornament!

But before today, I did flit around a bit. Sadly, I actually missed several parties, hosted by people I actually like, in this overstuffed season — but there is always next year. Those parties I made were uniformly warm and wonderful, made more so because (adult) kids were included. My son remains my best date and is mysteriously the best, most soulful (non-ballroom) dancer I have ever known, made more remarkable coming from his wobbly Wasp genes. 

Dayssi and Paul Kanavos held their annual Christmas/Birthday soiree in their beautiful Juan Montoya decorated apartment. Gracious Dayssi doesn’t mention the birthday in her invite, but we know. Julie Macklowe shares the same birthday and celebrated alongside her.


Birthday beauties, Dayssi and Julie Macklowe.

Dayssi and Paul’s kids hosted their own pals, too, with Guerrand-Hermes, Assaf and Paterno-Castello offspring bringing down the age average and upping the beauty quotient. The Cuban band had us rumba-ing to the buffet table, and just when thought we were sated, waiters poured from the kitchen with irrestible short ribs and mushroom ravioli. This is a happily a non-Keto holiday, but how do we go back?


L. to r.: Tara and Michael Rockefeller at Dayssi and Paul Kanavos’s holiday party; Claudia Fleming, her girls, and Dayssi.
L. to r.: Dana Hammond Stubgen and Patrick Stubgen, off to PB; Adelina Wong Edelson and Neva Anton.
Música de fiesta.
L. to r.: Valesca and son Lucien Guerrand-Hermes; Antonia Paterno-Castello and daughter Juliana.
L. to r.: Caroline Berthet; Rusty O’Kelley and Chris Brown.
It’s all about family. The Olarte/Kanavos clan.

Karen Klopp and Hilary Dick are the clever girls behind what2wearwhere.com, that minxy, fashion site that counsels on what to wear to things like Hunt and Deb Balls and The Coconuts. Clearly not for the masses, of which I am happy to not be part.

They are regular contributors right here on NYSD, where they belong. And in their elegant, edited way, they had an intimate ladies lunch for just a few pals and associates at La Goulue. I went to Orsay by mistake, first, in what would be my last Christmas kerfuffle, but arrived in time for my truffled haricot vert and all of the temptations that followed. Then most of the table dropped down to PB, but I stayed north, because that is where the family is and, the JETS!


Karen Klopp and Hilary Dick.
Their lovely, little lunch.

My kids and their fervent Jets fan, Charles McConnell, were over the moon to join owner Chris and Doris Johnson in their box for what would be a glorious, winning game! The day was crisp and bright, the box, luxurious, the food delicious and most importantly, the team triumphant. In what seemed like a sea of noisy, yellow Steelers fans (apparently the most travelling group of football fans), our hearty group prevailed and were rewarded. I continued east that night.


The approach, Jets at home.
Our hostess, Doris Johnson and new pup and Jets fan, Scout.
Never too young to be a Jets fan.
My Will, Brooke Block (soon to be wed at Round Hill to Oliver Kennan, Libet Johnson’s son), and Charles McConnell.
Our amazing view.
Green velvet, Jets cupcakes.
We won 16-10!!!
New Jersey Transit’s idea of holiday decor.
One of 12 lit up Jaguars, appropriately, on 10th Avenue.

Sarah Colloton and Candace Bushnell are the Co-Chairs of the Sag Harbor Coven, also populated by Ivana Lowell, Laurie Durning and I think occasionally, Luanne deLesseps. It’s actually just a friendly group that can walk to each other, holding a glass of rosè, with, in fairness, few incantations.


L. to r.: Lovely hostesses, Sara Colloton and Candace Bushnell. Is There Sex in Sag?; Candace ladling her famous punch.

I have long yearned for membership, but alas, I dwell in the distant and less magical hamlet of Southampton, where we do have clubs, but boys belong. They kindly invited me to their annual old-fashioned Christmas Eve dinner, featuring Candace’s family punch, complete with bowl and ladle. And yes, it packed … a punch. 

In Sarah’s charming, waterside home, they hosted dashing, fascinating people like Joachim Rønning and Amanda Hearst, Howard Blum, Jane Wenner and Anne Hearst McInerney and Jay McInerney who talked books, film and philanthropy, because they can.


L. to r.: Newlyweds Amanda Hearst and Joachim Rønning; Ivanna Lowell and daughter Daisy.
L. to r.: Wordsmiths Christopher Mason and Jay McInerney; Anne Hearst McInerney in the modern version of the Christmas sweater.

Christmas morning was cozy and loving and filled with thoughtful gifts like an open membership to Master Class, the online education program. My deep dark January will now be filled with instruction on screen writing, cooking and make-up application, from pros like Aaron Sorkin, Thomas Keller and Bobby Brown, respectively. And who knew that two small, squishy, stress relief rubber kitty’s stocking stuffers would be as big a hit as jewelry or ear pods?

After our morning of a veritable carb consumption contest — bagels, pancakes, English muffins with a dollop of ham and eggs — we were off to Locust Valley for our beloved Christmas dinner at Suzie and Freddie Bancroft’s. I am a very only child/no relatives at all, so it was with some confusion, but much gratitude, that I joined this large, getting larger, family.


Host and bro-in-law, Fred Bancroft welcomes us.
My place cards, saved from last year.
This year Charlotte’s card came true …


A little Christ in Christmas … remember?

We celebrated Cryder Bancroft’s engagement last week, and are now celebrating Charlotte’s. We have three family weddings this year. Not my kids, but it’s OK. Grandkids are overrated. I’ll get cats.

Suzie uses her estimable decorating skills in creating a perfect Christmas table and tree and we surrounded it with gratitude and glee, and only reluctantly left, and with our one poor designated driver, coursed back east, into the post-Christmas blues.


L. to r.: Lovely Libby Pederson, nee Bancroft; Cool, calm, clever hostess, Suzie Bancroft.
Cryder, Will and Lilian Bancroft, three branches.
Charlotte and brother fab Freddy.
Bonnie, who never begged.
The gang.

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