Bring Back the Party!
The other day I was journaling in this book and it prompted me to write a list of the things that make me happy. At the top of my list was “being at a party with fun friends.” There’s just something magical that happens an hour or two into a party when you’re all full of good food and drinks, lounging comfortably on the furniture and enjoying whatever conversation or game or music that’s happening. It’s seriously one of my favorite things in the universe.
Even though everyone loves a good party, the idea of hosting a party can be completely intimadating. Most of us are so busy and overwhelmed already that it feels insane to add such a big event to our calendars. But one thing I’ve noticed at all the parties I’ve attended is that that perfect moment I mentioned above happens regardless of the decorations, cleanliness of the house or the sophistication of the food.
It seems so much better to throw out our preconceived notions of a “good party” in order to embrace simple hospitality and to make room in our lives for other people. Honestly, my friends here in Joplin are so good at this and I’ve learned so much from their example. Inspired by them, here are some tried and true party ideas that won’t stress you out, but will almost certainly give you and your friends a good time ::
This is a great party for a big group of people. Instead of shouldering the expense of a BBQ, just go ahead and send out the invite to all of your favorite/funniest friends and tell them each to bring something! All you have to do is supply the drinks and some paper plates. Don’t decorate, don’t stress about cleaning (set the clock for 10 minutes—tidy up the living room and wipe down the bathroom), and don’t send out invitations (a simple text message will do). Here are different versions of the potluck that are really fun ::
- The Backyard Party—a yard game and some lawn chairs are all you need.
- Girls Night—a pitcher of sangria (fruit juice + wine + chopped fruit) and a comfy couch will keep everyone going for hours.
- Block Party—a simple way to meet your neighbors. Just set a date and see who shows up!
The Dinner Party
There’s this absolutely fool-proof formula for the best dinner party in the world ::
3 couples + comfort food + good music
Our friends just kind of stumbled upon this combination and it hasn’t failed us yet. Make sure it’s six people (no more, no less), make something delicious but simple (think chicken pot pie, lasagna, chili), and turn on music that will make everyone happy and relaxed (Sidney Bechet is a good bet). You can throw in a fun game if you want (Code Names, Fish Bowl, Things), but pretty soon you’ll all just be basking in the glow of good company.
Go do something together! Fill a car with as many people as you can, crank up some music from your high school days (this always makes people nostalgic and happy), and go have an adventure. Go to a concert, find an escape room or play laser tag. You’ll be surprised at how people will really let loose and enjoy themselves when they’re doing something a little out of the ordinary. (However, this kind of party is best with people who are already close friends.)
Honestly, the most important part of hosting a party is to just set a date—then you have to do it! You won’t be sorry. Let’s bring back the party! :)
What are your thoughts? Do you love hosting parties or feel intimated by the idea? In your opinion, what are some characteristics of a great party? Do any of these party ideas sound fun?