Throwing Great Parties For Adults & One Writing Tip
The key to having a great adult party is organizing it well. I'm a firm believer in list making. I start list making well before the day of the actual party.
*List one is who I'm going to invite. (I try to invite a mix of people so that there will be an opportunity for everyone to make new friends. Don't forget to write RSVP on your invitations!)
* List two is the theme for the party and the games that could be played. (Yes, I said games. I believe grown ups should play games at parties. Eating and drinking is fine, but winning prizes, eating and drinking is even better!)
* List three is what food I'm going to serve.
* List four is the ingredients and if I'm ordering any food, when and where I'm getting it from. (I also put this info in my daytimer, so not to forget to order it and pick it up at the right times.)
*The final list is the day of the party list. I do that on the morning of the party...
I keep all the lists together and check things off as they are completed or purchased.
When you are inviting a mix of people I think it is helpful to have name tags. Then there are no embarrassing, "Now what was your name, again?" moments. I made these with scrap booking stickers and blank office name tags...simple, quick and cute.
The day before the party I pull out all the groceries and check them off my ingredients list. I organize them into groups. Just in case there has to be a last minute grocery store run...
Notice the ingredients are grouped by recipes. That will make the next day much easier. After everything is checked off I will work on my cooking schedule. Any foods that I can prepare the night before I will prepare and check off my list. Then I will write down the times that I should start cooking the other items.
The first thing (after coffee) I do on the day of the party is pull out all of my glassware. I either dust it off or wash it depending on when its last use was. I really like using real dishes verses disposable ones when I entertain. It want my friends to know they are worth the effort. (LOL, I was up until 2 am washing dishes after this party!) I put all the serving dishes out and put sticky notes on them saying what food item is going to be served in them.
I think there should be something that YOU do special at your house. Something people know you will do when you host a special party. At my house, I have a chocolate fountain. If I have a party of more than 10 people the chocolate will be flowing....
Games are so much fun! Do you remember when you were a kid how much fun it was to play pin the tail on the donkey? Well it's even more fun to play games as an adult. I'm going to share four of my favorites with you. I planned five games for my Holiday Party, but we only got to three of them. Always over plan! It is better to have loved and lost rather than...sorry wrong lesson....
The first game we played was called No Holiday...As each guest arrived I let them choose a necklace. If they said the word "holiday" they lost their necklace to the person they said it to. At the end of the night the person with the most necklaces won a prize.
(frown) We didn't get to play this game...It is sooo much fun! It's called I Have, Have You? You give each person a baggie with the same number of pennies. I have twenty five pennies each baggie (15 is not enough, I did that many at one other party). You sit in a circle and one person starts with something they have done, everyone in group who has not done it has to give them a penny. Then it's the next person's turn. (ex. I've flown in a helicopter over the Grand Canyon...) It's a great ice breaker!
The next game we played was called Pass The Parcel. A prize is wrapped up many times. I think ours was wrapped eleven times. Under each layer was a little Christmas candy and an activity like, "bark like a dog" or "stand on your hands." Someone plays music and the parcel is passed around the circle until the music stops, (like musical chairs) whoever is holding the parcel when the music stops has to open it and do the activity. (OMGoodness this was fun!)
The last game we played was a naughty gift exchange. Everyone drew a number. Number one went to the tree first and chose a gift and opened it and had to show the whole group what he or she got. Number two could either take number one's gift or chose a wrapped gift from under the tree, this went on until everyone had a gift. There are a few rules for this game...No take backs...A gift can only be taken away three times, so who ever gets it on the third take away gets to keep it for sure...Number one gets to go back at the very end and take any one's gift she or he wants to. This is fun for sure! Lots of plotting with spouses and laughter...This is a great one to do after Christmas. You can ask your guests to bring a white elephant gift (something they got that they won't use) to play this game.
(frown) We didn't get to play this one either...It's called As Much As You Need. You pass a roll of toilet paper around the circle and tell everyone to take as much as they need. That's all you tell them, nothing else. Just watch what they do. It's good fun...some with tear off little squares, some will count out, some will pull off huge amounts.... When everyone has as much as they need you tell them they are to tie a bow behind their back and the best bow will win a prize. (I always have Katherine come in the room and judge. Everyone puts their bows on the floor and she chooses the best one.)
Now let's talk about prizes...It's so easy to get little prizes for women. You can even go to the dollar store and buy fingernail polish, bubble bath and all kinds of little bits, but men...that's a bit harder...This was my first big party in Iowa. There were 19 people here (9 men) . I wanted to make sure the husbands had a good time too. So I went to Lowe's and got manly prizes with the help of my Dad. Plus some coffee and candy...
Other than being organized before the party another way to guarantee success is for you the host or hostess to have fun. I had so much fun I forgot to take pictures during the party...
I hope you have a funfestiveholidayseason and now on to some news from the Highlights Foundation...
A lot of children’s writers dream of the Highlights Foundation Writers
Workshop at Chautauqua. “Next year,” they promise themselves. “Next year
I’m going to Chautauqua!” Then reality sets in. The drive and talent to
support the dream are there, but the finances . . . maybe not.
Scholarships will be considered in two groups. Early applications will be accepted through December 15, 2010.
(Final scholarship deadline is February 11, 2011.)