Entertaining

Planning for a Successful Party
December through February are Party Months. You will get invited to or decide to host a party more during these months than any other season, except Summer. Having a party helps most of us keep our spirits up during the long cold winter, especially after Christmas. ( Even those of you who live in Florida! ) Why do you think they have the Super Bowl when they do?! Think about it and you know I'm right! LOL. So, Let's think about putting one together...

First things first, for a Successful Party, you have to come up with a good plan and make a list. That's essential for not only keeping you organized, but also on budget and for time management. Trust me, I've learned most things the hard way.

Here is a plan for your list:

First: Come up with a Theme. Usually it is the reason you are having the party. Then get creative. Here's an example:  It's Chris' Birthday and since it's January I'm going to make Snowflakes the theme- (I usually like to embrace the negative and turn it into a positive!)

Second: Make an invitation list and make or buy the actual invites. Remember to invite those people who would enjoy each other's company. They don't have to know each other but they do need to be able to find some common ground with others, so make sure you have at least 2 other invitees that your guest can feel comfortable with, because the host will have time to mingle, but not always have time to hang around and have in depth conversations with all of the guests. This is a section that I could post a whole weeks worth of ideas for this on Create and Decorate, so that being said, this is a whole other topic to write about in the near future.

Third: Know your budget. You may not know exactly how much money you have to spend, but you probably know how much you cannot go over budget with. This is another great idea to blog about, getting creative with little money. You don't have to spend a lot of money to have a successful and fun party. But remember, you can't serve shrimp when you can only afford cheese! So keep this in mind when you are planning the next item of business.

Fourth: Make a menu. Remember, not every party needs to have an extensive list of food, but taking the time to put a little bit of thought into your menu will go a long way toward making it a memorable party. Good food = Good party. Try to look at the theme, budget and the people you invited and it will make it easier when making food selections.

Last, but not least: Come up with a date and time. This is the last thing to do on your list  and it will be a whole lot easier to decide when you look at all of the variables above. When you think of who you invited, you know if it's better to make it a week-day, week -night or week-end. For example, if it's a Birthday party, the time length would be different for other children to come, than say for family and adult guests. If it's a football party, you obviously would have it during the game. 

You also want to give your guests some time to put the event on their calendars. If you wait and only give them a few days notice, your turnout will not be a good as if you gave them 10- 14 days notice. Just a helpful hint too, not only send them something in the mail or e-mail, but follow it up with a phone call to make sure they received it. Don't leave a message as you cannot guarantee they will listen in a timely manner, connect with them in person.

My last tip for the day is to make a reminder call the day before. Life gets busy and your friends will appreciate the call.