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Old 11-30-2004, 09:41 AM   #1
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What is your entertaining style?

Confession time...I never entertain on a level of more than 3 or 4 folks at a time and I need to have an open house or New Years Eve party - new house, lots of invitation paybacks...so thinking 20-30 folks in and out. I have menu ideas worked out, but that's the easy part...not being a very social person in large group situations, I'm wondering - how do you circulate, introduce, keep things going? I see me as being a casual hostess - NO GAMES!!!! although I'd probably have a poker table in hubby's office, maybe a pool table by then upstairs in the game room [or having all the teen stuff up there - big screen TV, play station, music]

Most people we would invite know each other from hubby's work - there's the obligatory invite to the commander (who will either make an excuse, or show and leave in 5-10 minutes!), a few folks from my barn group and 2-3 couples that we know outside his office [I adore the folks he works with, so that's who we always hang out with]
How does an old dog learn these new tricks? Some people make it look so easy, others make you feel like it's such an effort to be host/hostess - I want to make it look easy - so you experienced party givers - feel free to step in and give me direction - please!
Thanks.

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Old 11-30-2004, 11:40 AM   #2
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I'm not sure I am the one to answer you on this one. Everyone risks the concern of how people are going to mingle and if people will introduce themselves to each other. I don't think that's really the hostess' worry. If they're adults, they know that parties are sometimes awkward and standing around a table full of food, and not knowing anyone is odd. So, place tables around the places where you want people to accumulate. I have a large home. I would set up the formal dining table with bite sized foods and little plates, napkins and plastic ware. On the surrounding tables, I'd put cups and drinks, like open bottles of wine, an attractive bucket with ice and sodas and beer. In the living room, where there are more tables and places to sit, I'd put chips and dips and nuts and Chex Mix in bowls all around so people could gab and eat a bit. Nice music, a tv on in an 'oddball room' so if there's a game on or whatever, they can feel free to sit there. Low-ish lights make everyone look younger but not so low that they can't see. Not too much that needs heating or cooking right before. Stick to maybe a turkey or eye of round roast or ham, that can be cooked and sliced then plattered, in advance. Place on beds of lettuce and integrate with cheeses. Lot's of fresh veggies with dip and cut up bread slices and crackers with dips. A huge platter of varied cookies toward the end of the night. Ask people to BYOB. I've never minded doing that and that way, I have what I want to drink. I have been to so many party's where there are bottles of the premixed margarita's, (I don't care for that stuff), beer, (I'm allergic) and many bottles of wine, one red, one white, to choose from. What if the party goer loves a Cape Cod? If they're asked to BYOB, they can bring a bottle of Vokda and Cranberry juice and Bubble Up and they're set for the night. Ask everyone to bring a wrapped Christmas ornament. They enter the house, and drop the gift in a basket. When they leave, they get to take a wrapped ornament home as a gift. If kids are coming, yes to the game room with tv on and things to do to entertain them for the evening. Have kids foods up/in there with things for them to drink too. If you're prepared for them, they won't be too bored by the adults in the house.

Good luck. Hope it turns out wonderful for you.
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Old 11-30-2004, 12:21 PM   #3
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Since you aren't worried about the food part of things, what is it that worries you? Just the circulating thing? I have always found that if you have all the food available and make sure everyone has their drinks filled as needed then the party flows pretty freely.

Circulating is easy. You just wander around and say hello to whoever shows up. When you feel you need to move on, I usually just say, "Oh excuse me a second I need to say hello to _____" and away I go. No one really minds that sort of thing. Near the end of the evening I usually take up residence on our hearth near the fire and the party sort of moves into a lower key mode. People at a party tend to watch the hostess for clues about their behaviour. If you are mellow, they will be too.

And really...what is the worst thing that could happen? Someone spill a drink? Set someone's hair on fire? OK...that would be bad, but the drink spilling is nothing.

Have a glass of wine and ENJOY! Thats what entertaining is all about. Having fun with folks, and meeting new friends.
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Old 11-30-2004, 03:24 PM   #4
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This my style......beer,bbq and spam musubi on the beach.
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Old 11-30-2004, 03:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasabi
This my style......beer,bbq and spam musubi on the beach.

What is spam musubi? We do like spam..a lot of people don't.
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Old 11-30-2004, 03:28 PM   #6
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alix, you forgot about the conga line part!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-30-2004, 03:35 PM   #7
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Dove....here is a link to a spam musubi.http://jimfl.tensegrity.net/eb/archives/001401.shtmlWe have bbq for those that don't like spam, but 90% of Hawaiians are spammers,(not the computer @#@#$##)
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Old 11-30-2004, 03:48 PM   #8
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Booze, blues, and barbeques. THAT"S what I'm talkin' about!
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Old 11-30-2004, 04:13 PM   #9
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I'm not happy unless the food is overflowing.
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Old 11-30-2004, 04:17 PM   #10
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I'm not happy unless the food is overflowing.
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Old 11-30-2004, 05:07 PM   #11
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Conga line! You know me so well buckytom! That picture of me posted so long ago is me in the conga line behind the bride. CON GA CON GA! Woohoo...I am feeling the need to party...whos with me!
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Old 11-30-2004, 05:38 PM   #12
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Party on, Alix.
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Old 12-01-2004, 01:02 AM   #13
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I'm pretty casual myself.............people tend to come to my house kick off their shoes and lay back and enjoy the moment. Most people end up gathering either in my kitchen or family room whenever I have a get together.........they are one open space but different levels. I don't fuss..........except when it comes to cleaning prior .......when it comes to the food I keep it pretty simple and don't fret over it. I figure if they don't like what I serve there's a Wendy's or Arby's just down the way they can hit when they leave All kidding aside JRsTXDeb..........I don't do anything different (except fix bigger helpings) then I would if I were to invite 5 of my closest friends over. I think the more relaxed you are the better. I'd just prepare a variety of appetizers that would appeal to most anyone.
The main thing is keep it simple so you don't get frazzled and just relax and have fun. Spend time with each guest at various times throughout the evening to let them know your glad they came.
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Old 12-01-2004, 06:15 AM   #14
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SizzlininIn hit it just right. I have a small home and have had parties for 20+ and we all had a great time. My key to a successful large or small party is organization. Do as much ahead of time as possible and put out the food and drinks ( presentation is important) then relax, and enjoy.

Hope your party is a huge success.
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Old 12-01-2004, 09:18 AM   #15
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well it sounds like I'm on track! I've been to parties [usually higher ranking military] where everyone seems so stiff...then to others where everybody relaxes, finds their spot and just enjoys the company. I didn't know if it was related to the hostess being relaxed or if there was some special recipe for success! I am planning roast pork tenderloin and a deli tray of meat and cheese with some sort of little roll for sandwiches, a marinated veggie/antipasto type tray - in small quantities to replace often, the typical veggies, tamales/chili...I like the idea of putting stuff around the different areas...most everyone will end up hanging out in the kitchen [my six foot son stretched out on top of the island with room to spare all around]....so I plan to beg, borrow, steal a few extra bar stools! Then I'll use the local deli for a few pre-made things to fill in - a few typical for our group and some things that no one else would think to serve [variety of olives for one thing...] Okay - I can look forward to it now - will be checking the recipe sites for more ideas.
Thanks everybody!
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Old 12-01-2004, 09:20 AM   #16
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Sounds like a good plan JRsTXDeb..............have a great time.
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Old 12-01-2004, 03:19 PM   #17
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party

First of all relax! If you are relaxed and enjoying yourself your guests will too.

Do as much as possible the day before.
Don't be shy, ask for help! Ask a friend or relative to come an hour early to help set things up. You'll both enjoy the time together. Don't forget to make hubby do a few things!

Don't worry about the conversations, with 20 people that'll take care of itself.

If you're going to be serving lots of food... try to set it up so that the you have a varity of foods in different places. This will spread the crowds out some.

Don't offer a million kinds of drinks. Just a few.

for large crowds *and 20 is large* I try to stick with just finger foods. Less dishes and less mess. Unless, it's a fancy sit down dinner I use paper plates and plastic forks and cups. Anything that makes it easier on you before and after the party is a good thing.

That's all I can think of now... but, I'll post again if anything pops into my brain.

smiles, T
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Old 12-01-2004, 03:55 PM   #18
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Ice and toilet paper. Buy in quantity. Relax and have fun.
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Old 12-01-2004, 03:58 PM   #19
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LOL mudbug.
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Old 12-01-2004, 04:00 PM   #20
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i wanna party with the bug!!!! i'm kinda scared, but it sounds like it could be fun...
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