1. Setting the tone
Setting the tone for your party starts and ends with you. An angry hostess can sour the taste of Crème Brulee with her bitterness and a sullen hostess will “bring down the house” despite the Greatest Dance Hits of the 80’s playing on the stereo. An enthusiastic and friendly hostess will have a great party serving hot dogs and beans. It sounds simple, right? But that’s not always the case.
Imagine you are asked to give a birthday party for a relative nobody likes. He is rude and arrogant and tends to get drunk and smash glasses. Next, picture your reaction when your boss asks you to host a party for the board of directors at your company. She wants an impressive party for people you find intimidating. And lastly, you are grieving over the loss of your marriage when your sister wants you to help her plan her baby shower. Attitude is the answer. Say no to the party you don’t want to give, if you can. If you can’t, decide then that if you have to have this party, you are going to have fun, no matter what. If you are being forced to socialize with people you aren’t that fond of, don’t have them at your house. There’s no escape. Go out or go over someone else’s house. Take your car and have an excuse to leave early. If you are not in the party mood, that is all the more reason to plan some fun for yourself. You may find it surprising but having my friends around, laughing and being silly, is the perfect antidote to the anti-party flu.
You’ll find that the attitude will develop naturally as you (and others) enjoy your parties more. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. After enjoying so many get-togethers, you’ll anticipate another good time. We all know women who get together for a card game and coffee. There is nothing fancier than coffee cake served. There is no special reason for the union, other than to get together. They anticipate enjoying themselves and each other and it always happens. It’s like what came first, the chicken or the egg, having a good time or making a good time. There are enough people who dread having a party or going to a party and who then have a bad party or a bad time. They set themselves up to do just that. Attitude is everything.
So, be positive about the fun you and your guests will have. Look forward to the event. Anticipate the joy of seeing friends again. Buy a new party outfit to wear. to seeing your friends, to getting dressed up or cooking something fabulous or playing a great game.
Understand that giving a good party takes work and concern for the comfort and enjoyment of your guests. Having a good party does not happen by magic
Do not be overly concerned with who comes and who doesn’t. Invite lots of people and have them extend the invitation to their friends. A party is made of people. No any one (or two) people will make or break your party, even if they’re the guests of honor and even that can be handled. One year my sister got sick at her birthday parties which was being held at her house. She had to go to bed early. Everyone was there and she wanted the party to go on so I took over. It was the least I could do for her. I entertained the guests, blew out the candles and opened the gifts. (everyone wanted to see the gifts) I took lots of pictures for her. She says it was the best time she never had.
If you are having a party where you must know who will be attending, insist on RSVPs and call them yourself if you have to. Planning and organization are also very important and you need the information, despite their lack of courtesy. If you can’t get it, improvise or exclude them.
Don’t be afraid to meet new people. I know you love your friends but besides the fact you can never have too many friends, new people bring excitement to a party. Don’t worry about mixing crowds, whether it is age or social circles. You’ll make everyone feel welcome.
Don’t be overly concerned that every single person at your party will have a good time. You already have the attitude so you know most people, including yourself will enjoy themselves but remember the adage, “you can’t please all the people all the time” When you have provided all the ingredients to having a good time, then remember the adage, “you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” Really.