LOCAL REALTOR ENTERTAINS A HUNDRED OF HER CLOSEST FRIENDS
Courtesy Hilton Head Monthly – BARRY KAUFMAN | PHOTOS BY ROB KAUFMAN AND JACKIE FRIEL
On Hilton Head Island, there are parties and there are parties. That second type is the kind that people look forward to all year long. They mark their calendars well in advance, arrange for babysitters, and watch the days roll by as their excitement builds.
Paula Traver’s annual Christmas do is just such a party.
“That’s the biggest labor of love there is,” she said.
Outside, Traver has Branches in the Village at Wexford set the mood with delightful swags and wreaths donning every tree, bush and door.
“I’m very proud of how the house comes together,” she said. “It takes a lot of time, but it’s all worth it.”
With the stage set, it’s time to welcome the legion of guests who attend. One part cookie swap, one part gift exchange, and several parts old-fashioned festival of cheer, Traver pulls out all the stops for her annual fete.
The pastries and cookies in the accompanying photos came from Carrie Castano of Custom Confections in Bluffton, and for everything else there’s her family’s own traveling chef, son-in-law Gerrard Ball. The husband of daughter Jillian, he flies in every year from London to oversee the kitchen.
“It’s a British afternoon tea theme, so everything’s authentic,” Traver said. “I have a good team in place and I’m very blessed that the whole family chips in.”
While it’s a team effort, the result is a legendary party that has earned Traver the nickname, “The Queen of Christmas.”
“If my legacy is to be known as the Queen of Christmas, I will wear the tiara proudly,” she said.