Kelly the Culinarian: Kelly's tips: Party time!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kelly's tips: Party time!

It's getting that time of year when families, friends and even offices get together to celebrate. There's holiday parties, New Year's Eve parties, Christmas parties, festivus parties and who knows what else. I recently had to fight H&M over a refund (they have a ridiculous return policy, in my opinion), but I picked up an issue of a their magazine. Mostly it's a snotty, thinly veiled marketing tool that offer no guidance except what to buy at the store. However, there was an interesting article from Linnea Johansson titled "Throwing the Perfect Party."
Here are her tips:
1. Choose a theme -- Can I suggest sleep overs with slippers for guests and a morning brunch, the '80s with Brat Pack videos and bad hair or your favorite film?
2. Take shortcuts (buy food, use what you have, etc.)
3. Pamper your guests -- it keeps them talking
4. Follow the rules -- When you're a guests, don't bring another person if they're not invited and respond to the invite.
5. Be creative -- Take that theme extreme! If you're doing a fall gala, write invites on dried, pressed leaves.
6. Use lighting -- Use dramatic lighting as part of your motif.
7. Surprise your guests -- She gives some crazy suggestions if you have a lot of cash to spend, like flying guests on a helicopter. I think it's nice to have something thoughtful, like personalized favors.
8. Send an exciting invitation -- It sets the tone and doesn't have to be pricey.
She thinks the minimum for a party is $300, according to the magazine, which is coincidentally the exact amount Colorez Arizona owes me for a story I wrote for them in July. That's right, roughly five months ago.
But I've had great parties for less than that. I have a chocolate fondue fountain and when I was in college, I used Evites or Facebook to get people there. I provided the chocolate, the locale, the cutlery and plates, then ask each friend to bring one item for dipping like marshmallows, strawberries or graham crackers. We usually had a ton of leftover food and everybody had a great time. We put on some music, had some drinks and chocolate things on the cheap. I guess it's not as fabulous as Linnea's parties, but we had a damn good time.
But maybe if Colorez ever pays me, I can hold one of those glamorous parties Linnea talks about.


Dagny said...

I generally end up spending at least $400 on parties (food and drinks) and mine aren't as swank as that description.

daphne said...

can't believe it's christmas again! oh dear.. lots to prepare. Thanks for those tips.

Christo Gonzales said...

bravo...and you can fly us all out by helicopter

ZoeyBella said...

Yes, the time of year for parties. And it does seem the minimum for parties is $300. A friend of mine is having one of hers again and I think she spend $300 the first day of shopping. The party is still a week and a half away!

H&M does have a strange return policy, don't they?

Unknown said...

I throw small parties for less than that! Of course, most of the parties I throw also include the guests bringing a little something with them as well. For the UFC parties, they just have to bring their own drinks (usually alcohol) and I provide the snacks. For holidays, it's actually more fun if it's more like a pot-luck because then everyone gets to try something they don't normally get.

Cynthia said...

Thanks for the tips.

Marianne said...

My husband and I have started to have a New Years Day brunch/open house. It can get pretty costly!