5 Reasons to throw a party

Mar 29, 2010 at 3:15 p.m. ET

A party is a great way to elevate spirits and stay in touch with your friends at one big gathering. So go ahead: Take advantage of the various occasions in your life by celebrating with some good times and great shindigs. Here are five perfect times to throw a party.

Engagement Party

You got a promotion or new job

Celebrate this often overlooked milestone by throwing an intimate party with your closest friends. Invite the people who respect you and will build you up during your success, passing right on by the jealous and negative peeps. Order take-out to minimize your stress as the hostess, and ask everyone to bring a bottle of wine for some great sampling as you share updates on life and your new position. For added fun, play the trivia game Wine Wars.

You're engaged!

What better way to ring in a new marriage than with a party? If nothing else, you deserve an event to show off the new diamond you're rockin'. And, of course, don't forget the storytelling of the beau's proposal. This party can be simple and sweet to catch up with friends, or extravagant as you want! People will likely ask for wedding details, so be prepared. According to The Knot Complete Guide to Weddings in the Real World, engagement parties typically take place within two months of the proposal and can be a great place to recruit your bridal party and seek help from friends.

You bought a house

A house is arguably the single biggest purchase you will ever make. To show off your new digs, invite your friends over for a movie night or progressive dinner in different rooms of your home, so they can see the result of all your hard work. Print off sticky labels with your new address and give a sheet to each guest, so they can easily mail you anniversary, birthday and holiday cards. Throw some meat and veggies on the grill so people can enjoy your new backyard, and ask your guests to bring a white elephant gift from their first home. You'll be surprised what everyone digs out of the attic for this game!

You're preggers

Celebrate your new little one by having a party full of miniature items. Serve mini appetizers, small take-out boxes with personalized M&M's and bite-sized cupcakes instead of a traditional cake. Ask everyone to decorate a canvas baby shoe for decorating your new infant's room or make a small burp cloth, if she's crafty. Have fun with the personalization of this tiny-themed baby shower to celebrate you and yours to come!

It's a holiday (birthdays included)

Even the simplest holidays, such as Memorial Day, Mardi Gras or your birthday, can offer some great party opportunities. For unabridged fun with specialized themes, check out this calendar for unofficial holidays such as National Dress Up Your Pet Day (January 14), Eat What You Want Day (May 11), or Ugly Truck Contest Day (July 20). Plan games and snacks around the topic, and capture the festivities on camera for future party slideshows. Take advantage of each month's uniqueness and become the social butterfly among your friends.