Sometimes I like to be topical and trendy. Right now, it seems like everyone is talking about holiday this, party that, oh, I’m gonna make these cheese balls with quinoa all over them and not eat them because I’m lactose intolerant, but you go ahead. Since I don’t really have “parties,” because that would involve a lot of “people,” I thought it might be fun to help you plan your party.
I spent some time thinking about a theme, because no one wants to have the same party as everyone else, right? I spent some time focusing on the word “hospitality.” I laid down in the middle of my floor and chanted that word for an hour using the voice of my ancestors. The long line of introverts behind me declined to help. “Hospitality,” I whispered. Inspiration struck. Hotels! A hotel themed party would be the very essence of hospitality. Looking around my suburban home, however, I couldn’t make it work. I just didn’t have enough rooms to give everyone their own room and still call it a party. Plus, some people might not be entirely charmed by spending their evening in the bathroom or the basement crawlspace. If you have a 40 room mansion, this might not be a problem you have, but you wouldn’t be talking to me either, so whatever.
How could I get more people in a small space? I still wanted the hospitality feeling, but I needed efficiency. I scrunched my knees up, covering my ears so I could think, and lightning struck! I could take my inspiration from the airlines! Read on to see how you could throw your own party just like a major airline.
First, you have to invite all your friends to the party, of course. You’ll want to make sure you set your groundwork here. Make a list of all your friends. Then, divide up the list between your Best Friends and your Other Friends. For maximum efficiency, I suggest something like the example below.
When your friends RSVP, you’ll want to make sure you exchange some important information. Absolutely confirm if they are bringing a date or any other baggage. This is the perfect time to let them know they need to arrive at least two hours early.
Greeting Your Guests
Your guests should start arriving long before the actual party is to start. Have them form an orderly line outside the front door. You will want to put the Best Friends closest to the house to ensure they get inside before anyone else. This is a good time to make sure no one has brought an unexpected guest. If anyone in line is not covered by a confirmed RSVP, inform them they are on Party Standby. If there is any room after all confirmed guests have entered the party, these unexpected guests can enter on a first-come/first-served basis.
Walk down the line and observe what people are carrying. Anyone with a hostess gift should be pulled out of line and searched for other contraband. Since most people don’t have metal detectors at home, you’ll have to improvise here. If you’re curious about what your coworker has in that stupid designer purse, or you want to see if Bill from high school is still carrying joints in his pocket, make a high-pitched whining noise as you “wand” them and insist they dump out their purse or pockets.
No matter how clear you are on the invitation, there are always latecomers. At the time the party is scheduled to start, lock the door and don’t let anyone else in. That’s the price of being a Rude Roscoe, my friend, see you next year.
The key to a party that everyone enjoys? The atmosphere and the refreshments! First, you’ll want to make sure everyone’s comfortable. Because we’re trying to get as many guests in as efficiently as possible, I’ve done a model layout for you.
The refreshments are another area requiring careful planning. It’s important to have enough for everyone, but not necessarily the same things for everyone. I suggest creating multiple areas for drinks and food. Find your Best Friends and quietly suggest that they might want to check out the refreshments on the linen tablecloth, behind the curtain.
Holler “Grub’s on!” loudly to the Other Friends and gesture to the folding card table where you’ve set up the cheap stuff.
Let’s face it, people are not coming to your party for the entertainment. Go to a Redbox, close your eyes, and point to the display of movies at random. Rent this movie. Play it with the sound completely off in your living room. If someone cares about what Vin Diesel is saying, they can stand very close to the screen and read his lips.
If you’re following along, you should be having a really adequate party at this point. People will be awkwardly mingling with the person in the assigned seat next to them. Your Best Friends will be drunk and joining the Mistletoe Club elsewhere in the house. It’s important to end the party with the same tasteful efficiency as you began it. Put on a pair of blue nitrile gloves and carry a small wastebasket liner to each party guest. Grab their cups out of their hands and throw them away regardless of contents. Once you’ve done this, announce to everyone that the party is over, thank them for coming, and wish them an enjoyable holiday season at their own homes.
Important Last Note
Once you’ve signaled that party is over, make it clear that everyone is to leave as quickly as possible by standing at the open front door with a basket of party favors. Hand one to each guest as they leave, counting as they depart. It wouldn’t do to have a party guest stranded in your house overnight!
This may sound like a lot of work for a couple of hours of party time. While I’m sure you’re sold on the money-saving refreshment tiers, you might wonder if it’s worth going the extra mile for your guests. Yes. You have to stop focusing on the journey, and look toward the destination. You’ll avoid the “same old holiday party” trap. People will be talking about your party for years to come. Bonne fête!