Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday Ease (Part Two)

Indeed, this time of year many of us find ourselves caught up in a whirlwind of parties. It’s fabulous, to be sure, but can cause undue stress. It shouldn’t; whether you’re hosting, guesting, or both, remember that simplicity saves one’s sanity every time.

Each year, my much-better half, Mr. Kent, and I host a simple holiday soiree, and these are the things that work for us:

The Layout and Mood
Because our home is small, we make the entire downstairs(living room, dining room, kitchen, my office) available for our guests. I even set up an additional serving table in my office to encourage our friends to mill about.

I’m not a fan of overhead lighting, especially during parties. Utilize those dimmer switches, lamps, and candles – it just makes for a far more intimate setting (plus, we all look better underneath a subtle glow!)

Our music tastes are quite broad, but I do enjoy playing the standards (Sinatra, Bennet, etc.) during a party. It just seems to lend an element of class to the occasion.

The Guest List
We limit it to our nearest and dearest.

The Menu
Nibbles are far easier than sit-down dinners. Party trays found in most grocery stores work well. We pick up several varieties (however, we do place the food on nicer serving trays) As far as adult beverages go, we’ll have wine and beer on hand, and invite our guests to bring their spirit of choice.

RSVP as soon as possible

Follow the requested dress code, if there is one. If there isn’t one, you still need to make the effort to look your best (no sweats or tattered jeans, please!)

Bring a small token for your host (a bottle of wine, candles, etc.)

Phone or email your host the next day to thank them, again, for a fabulous time

Get tanked up – limit yourself to a couple of drinks

Overstay your welcome.

Make a mess. If an accident happens, clean it up.

Keep the hostess to yourself. It’s her job to mix and mingle with all of her guests.

And another thing…..

It’s perfectly acceptable to invite only a few of your closest work colleagues to your party; however, do stress to them the importance of keeping mum about it.

If a Babbling Betty does spill the beans, be gracious and do your best to accommodate. Think twice, however, before inviting Babbling Betty back to any of your future shindigs. She has committed a huge breech of etiquette and, honestly, do you really want to associate with such an offender?

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