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October 1999 Issue
by Jenny Wojcik
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One of my Home Style readers, Susan Pinkard, wrote recently asking about parties. Susan hinted not-so-slightly that she’d like to see us feature an article on parties, and guess what Susan? This one’s for you -- well you, and everyone else who might have wondered how to give a party without killing yourself! We want you to be able to throw a great party without spending a fortune and assure that everyone has a good time (including the host/ess).

It is beginning to look a lot like Party Central. The holidays are Party Prime Time and of course that’s when we want to have our party. So get the beverage of your choice, and read on. We’re going to explore ways to get it done, put it on, and enjoy it without breaking the bank or our backs!

I’m going to ask you to remember 3 things. They’re my 3 P’s for Perfect Parties: Planning, Prepping, and Presenting -- in that order!

Planning in order of priority:

  1. The party date, time, and location.

  2. The number of guests you will invite.

  3. The type/theme for the party.

  4. Invitations.
    Based on the scope of your party, your invitation may be delivered via the telephone or a written invitation. If you are sending written invitations, they should be received 2 weeks in advance of the party and include an RSVP. This can be handled simply by asking that your invited guests call you to accept or decline your invitation. In order to proceed with your planning, you need to know exactly how many people plan to attend.

  5. The menu.
    With a sit down dinner, you’ll need to plan appetizers/hors d’oeuvres, main course, accompanying dishes, bread, dessert. For buffets, you’ll need a bit of all of that, or for a more casual Drinks and Hors d’oeuvres soirée, there’s planning to that too! Liquors, mixers, juices, non-alcoholic beverages, etc., plus an assortment of hot/cold appetizer dishes.

  6. Decorations.
    Where and what?

  7. Guest seating arrangements.

  8. Serving arrangements.
    Serving pieces and dishes, cutlery, linens, plates, napkins. All relate to what you are serving and to whom. This is also influenced by the theme or type of party you’re having.

When you start to think about the event, you should make all these decisions. Sure, you can modify your plan as the party approaches, but your life will be infinitely easier with this background work. You don’t want to do all this? Well, it’s easier than it looks. Let’s use an example. "Gee it would be nice to have a few close friends over around the holidays. I guess we could even include some people who work with you, and some who work with me."

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