To say the holiday season is infectious in Jenni and Joshua Coba’s Williams Island home is an understatement. Jenni’s love of entertaining and her inclusive way of decorating for her husband and their three children, Emery, 6; Ellis, 3; and Wesley, 1, could exhaust even the most overzealous Pinterest mom.
“Since Josh is Jewish, I decorate for Hanukkah and Christmas so the children will be able to experience both holidays in our home,” says Jenni. “I love it and cling to traditions.”
Born in Miami and raised in Lake Wales (where the Cobas now own a weekend home) Jenni learned how to decorate and celebrate from her late mother. “While I was growing up, the holidays were important to my mom,” she says. “I helped her cook and set the table. We painted ornaments, decorated trees, and re-created her family traditions. It is important for me to continue those traditions with my own family.”
Josh was born and raised in North Miami Beach (now Aventura) and remembers the first night of Hanukkah festivities, when his parents would invite their friends over for a celebratory dinner. “Although we didn’t decorate for Hanukkah, I remember the adults’ and kids’ tables were separate, and we had lots to eat,” he says.
Josh says celebrating the holidays with Jenni and their children is extra special. “It wasn’t until I married Jenni and she made it different for me that I began to like the season,” says Josh. “I love it now. Every aspect is incredible, especially experiencing it with our children. My kids bring me great joy.”
After an early exit from college to join his father’s salon business, Josh is now a stay-at-home dad. He retired four years ago from European Wax Center, which he co-founded with his brother, David, in 2004. They began franchising in 2008, and the business is now a publicly traded chain of more than 850 hair removal and skin care salons in 44 states.
Jenni, who loves to host parties of all kinds, has always been involved with charity work, devoting her energy to causes that are important to her and to Josh.
In addition to sitting on the advisory board of The Little Lighthouse Foundation—a nonprofit that helps underserved children and their families in South Florida—Jenni is this season’s co-chair of the Vizcaya Ball. She is also involved with Adopt a Family Miami (which was created during the pandemic) and she serves as a godparent for JAFCO, an organization that cares for abused and neglected children and those living with disabilities.
Along with Josh, she is a presenting sponsor for “Fashion Gives Back” to benefit the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, and they are members of Miracle Society under the Big Brothers and Big Sisters umbrella. “While we entertain often in addition to the December season—we have 100 people for Valentine’s Day—we always like to attach a charity to our parties,” Jenni says. “For the past 30 years, when I see great decorations, I buy them and use later. I have four storage units filled with my decor. I even own a ferris wheel and a flower cart.”
Those decorations have been put to good use at the Coba house this holiday season. In the dining alcove off the living room, Jenni created a blue, silver, and gold Hanukkah scene set against a solid white backdrop. With a pair of white and gold trees behind, and a mirrored side buffet showcasing a blue menorah with lots of white candles in varying heights, the round circular dining tablescape was a standout.
“My theme for the dining room is Hanukkah,” says Jenni. “I love to add extra touches and small details, so I stayed up all night doing the place settings and centerpiece because I always want the kids to have an amazing experience.”
Each place setting dazzled with a gold charger, white china with gold rim topped with a smaller blue print plate, and a star ornament (all from Pottery Barn). Alongside, Jenni placed blue flutes and blue water glasses from William Sonoma, gold flatware from Anthropology, and dreidels from Pottery Barn. “I love to mix and match because I go for a beautiful end result,” she says. “I buy whatever I like from anywhere I see it.”
Nearby, the decor in the all-white living room wa punctuated with a pair of sparkly white, gold, and silver Christmas trees adorned with ornaments fashioned from family photos, silver baby shoes, travel memories, the couple’s wedding cake, and other personal moments. Beneath the trees, gold and white wrapped gifts matched the overall color theme.
“I want our kids to remember our lives together,” Jenni says. “I even have a Santa come on Christmas Eve to read to the kids and give them a toy. We have a hot chocolate bar and we show holiday movies at the pool. When the kids grow up, they will love both Christmas and Hanukkah.”
Jenni’s decor provides more than just a happy holiday home—it also serves as a chic backdrop for Little Lighthouse Foundation’s Holiday Toy and Meal Distribution, which was held on the home’s back terrace overlooking an inlet.
Outdoors, decorations included large gold and silver balls, tall white tables with small white and gold Christmas trees, and plenty of white candles and lights aglow.
As guests arrived, they enjoyed the signature welcome drink of the evening: a vodka lemon martini. Jenni opted for passed appetizers and small plates instead of a large sit-down dinner because she likes to foster a sense of community. “I want guests to mingle, so I keep everyone hopping around, and I picked food that is beautiful and delicious not necessarily significant to the holidays,” she says.
Created by Style Catering made such appetizers as coconut-crusted shrimp with pineapple chili drizzle; tiny tuna tacos with crispy wonton shells, citrus soy, and avocado; lobster pot stickers with white soy, shiitakes, and green onion; mini cheeseburger sliders; foie gras crostinis with orange marmalade and Hawaiian sea salt; four-cheese quesadillas with chipotle creme; wild mushroom tartlets with goat cheese and chives; crisp vegetable summer rolls with avocado, mango, tamarind, soy, and ginger; blistered shishito peppers with ponzu; and vegan falafel with cucumber yogurt.
Small passed plates included vegan Greek salad, black truffle short ribs with wild mushroom risotto; vegan crispy stuffed squash blossom; pressed Cuban sandwiches with roast pork, ham, and swiss cheese; parmesan truffle fry baskets; and crispy chicken and waffle skillets with Tabasco.
The quickly devoured desserts included campfire s’mores tartlets, fresh fruit skewers with honey yogurt, and warm mini doughnuts made of red velvet, cinnamon sugar, and powdered sugar.
By the end of the evening—which raised over $100,000 for the Little Lighthouse Foundation—guests were serenaded off by a surprise group of festive carolers.
“I am not easily impressed, but Jenni checks off every box,” says guest Lauren Nepo. “Everything she does comes together seamlessly—the decor, the entertainment, the vibe. It is beyond perfection, something out of a fairy tale. She transformed the inside and outside of her home into a winter wonderland maintaining a perfect balance of elegant and festive, honoring tradition in beautiful ways yet always keeping the mood relaxed and jovial.”