Last weekend, my sister threw a small Christmas party. Yes, a Christmas party. In the middle of August. It was SO fabulous! She put up her tree, put on some Josh Groban and Celine Dion Christmas songs and we all gathered, ate and drank under her shining TWO Christmas trees. There was food, drinks and a white elephant gift exchange.
Cindy, my sister, is a good hostess. VERY good. She was constantly going around asking "Can I get you anything? Anything to drink?" Even me, her bossy older sister, never needed to get up for anything. Of course since I am her sister, I love sending her back and forth to the kitchen for everything. "Oh. I threw away my water. Can you get me a new one?" She brings it. "I wanted ice." Her face: I want to kill you. Her body: Gets me ice water. Even though she probably wants to throw the drink in my face, she gets it. She can't help it. Our mother was/is an excellent party thrower. She is a gracious hostess and really knows how to throw a party that people enjoy. She taught us these things from the time we were young, and we both have come to love throwing parties, and what I hope are good parties. We have the hostess bug, and we take it very seriously.
So it's in this grand tradition of the women of my family that I post this blog about
How to Host a TERRIBLE Party.
Follow these rules and you will never have to host a party again, because no one will ever come.
Rule 1: Make sure your guests are a low priority from the moment they walk in. When your guests come through the door, make sure you holler to them from another room to "Come on in!". Then don't greet them - ever. Just hang out where you are. Let them find where to put their coats and purses. Let them meander your way through your house, lost. Whatever you do, just make sure that they don't feel welcomed at any time. Treat them like stray cats that just wandered in.
Rule 2: Don't start the party. Ever. It's so easy - just make sure that the meat of your party never starts! If you are hosting a party that has an activity at the center - say a crafting or a cookie exchange - don't start it for about three hours. Let people small talk for hours on end - especially since it's everyone's favorite thing. Have no understanding of what time it is, or how long people have been waiting for things to start. Your guest's time is NOT your worry. Who cares about them?? Not that they've given up a night on the couch to come to your terrible shin-dig or anything. Let people stand around for hours and hours...waiting...for something...anything to happen.
Rule 3: Don't be prepared. Don't worry about doing things like setting up the food or cleaning up the house. Just don't. It's a party - why would you worry about silly things like that? As your guests are standing around, waiting for substance, just open the fridge. Think "Hmm...what do I have in here to serve? I guess I should maybe start defrosting things NOW..." Don't put out water or drinks. Have two old cans of Sprite and a bottle of tomato juice for everyone to fight over. Casually ask people if they want to pitch in for a pizza, because no one loves anything more than paying for food at a party YOU threw.
Rule 4: Speaking of food....just put out some chips. Who doesn't love chips? A bag of chips, even! Why would I want something homemade and delicious when I can have a handful of chips with no plate? It's not like I can buy my OWN chips at the store. And I can see how much work you put into this when you open the chips! Opening chips is really hard. I was preparing for yummy food that was prepared ahead of time for your party, but now that I see chips, I forgot about all that. You have chips. Who needs dinner when I eat generic fritos? Just put out the chips and water. That's all we need. Really.
Rule 5: Don't plan anything for your guests to do at a party that needs an activity. Oh - are you having a theme party? Don't worry about activities that relate to the theme. We will love all standing around dressed like pirates for four hours. A football party with no football? That sounds delightful! Or how about a baby shower that meanders on for five hours with no activities or schedule? Yes, sign me up! People LOVE making awkward small talk for really long stretches of time. Don't worry about the fact that eventually your guests will turn to each other and say "Um, why are we here again?" People like parties, but even more than that they like parties with things to DO.
Rule 6: No music. Don't worry about having music on. Awkward silence = MUCH better.
Rule 7: Turn on the TV at a party that has nothing to do with TV. When I go to a friend's house for a party, I'm really hoping that I will catch a Veronica Mars rerun instead of spending time with people that I care about. I know I can watch tv at home, but I really would prefer to park mindlessly in front of a tv at someone else's house. And I love the way it can divide a room so quickly into those who are watching the tv from those who aren't!!! It's like having a party with no talking - fabulous! Also, the noise of constant television does wonders for my mood :) I mean, why even have a party when we can all just watch tv in a group?
Rule 8: Never give a clear sign that the party is over. Change into your pajamas, head to bed, start cleaning up your empty bag of chips, but whatever you do, give no signal to your guests that the night is over. We'll just sleep here. It's no big deal.
And that is the only rule of party throwing that you need to know if you want to host a TERRIBLE party: Act like it's no big deal.
Now, before people get all upset, let me just say that I understand there are different kinds of gathering. Sometimes you just have friends over and you raid the fridge. That is NOT a party. A party has invites. A party has a clear purpose. A party is planned long ahead of time. It's okay to do any of these things if it's just friends hanging out. Make sense?
Okay. Now...party time!
More from living