Friday, August 28, 2009

Just Do It!

The best way to get over your worries about entertaining is to just go ahead and give a party. Think about starting small. Most people are so pleased to be invited to someone’s home that the magnitude of the party doesn’t matter. One of my most pleasant memories is of my neighbor’s annual holiday dessert gettogether. Several neighborhood couples gathered at her house for after-dinner desserts, all purchased from nearby pastry shops and served with so much warmth and grace that we all felt very special. The fire was roaring, the candles were lit, the coffee and cordials were warm. She was a working mother with more chores than time, but these small, uncomplicated gatherings were always successful.

Something Awful Will Happen!

Yes. Something is bound to go wrong. But guess what? Guests are forgiving. Glitches can actually enliven the party atmosphere, bring people together, and generate conversation. And apparent disasters morph into amusing anecdotes that become topics of conversations for future parties.
Nobody ever notices if the china doesn’t match. And if someone does, he or she won’t care. Furthermore, you should expect last-minute cancellations and additions, so if someone doesn’t make it, it’s no reflection on you. Remember that the only way such minor upsets can have a negative impact on your party is if you let your guests know that you are upset.

People Will Be Bored to Death!

You can also rid yourself of the dread that your party will resemble a low-rent funeral by being prepared. Make a list of topics to bring up if the conversation falls into a black hole. You probably won’t ever face this situation, but you will feel better knowing that you are prepared. Another tip is to practice your introductions and the tidbits of information you will supply about each person when you introduce them, for example:
  • “Jill is a writer, so you may end up in her next book if you’re not careful.”
  • “Tom is a detective, and he has some wonderful stupid-crook stories.”