It’s good for you – and it’s easier than you think.
When I was growing up, our family hosted one party a year – our annual Super Bowl party. It was the only time we had more than a handful of people over, and my dad would be frantic the entire week before, readying our tiny house for an onslaught of maybe 25 people, at most.
I loved it. But my dad said it was too stressful to throw a party more than once a year.
When I moved into a new apartment a few weeks ago, I threw a housewarming party and invited just about everyone I could think of, scrolling through Facebook and clicking names until I realized I’d invited close to 200 people.
My apartment is not that big. Furthermore, I only had one chair. My dad would have flipped out, if he were still around.
See, for him, parties were about putting out an impressive spread for your guests and making sure everything was perfect. I’m not sure if he really had fun at our Super Bowl parties. But for me, throwing a party is just about bringing your people together. It’s about community.
And here’s the thing: all you really need for a party is some cleared floor space, something to drink, some food, and some music. You don’t have to go overboard cleaning beforehand, because it’s just going to get messed up anyway. Ask your friends to bring snacks and drinks, make sure you have some ice and cups on hand, and get ready to dance.
It might sound cheesy, but in my mind, these days it’s more important than ever for us to connect with each other in real life. We’re constantly liking each other’s posts on Instagram and Facebook, texting each other, and Skyping – but there’s really no substitute for getting all your friends together in the real world, where you can make eye contact, dance together, and hug each other hello and goodbye.
So, here’s my unofficial guide to throwing a party this weekend. Yes, this weekend! You can do it!
1. Create a Facebook event
Yeah, you could use e-vite or any number of other online event sites, but come on – most of us are on Facebook, and it’s just easier. Upload a picture of your apartment, or your friends, or your dog wearing a party hat. Give your event a name and a short description: Annie’s Weekend Dance Contest Potluck Party, or whatever. Don’t overthink it.
2. Invite everyone
With Facebook, you can invite 200 people and 30 will show up, 15 of whom won’t have clicked to say they were coming. You never quite know. But it’s highly unlikely you’ll get all 200, especially last-minute. So just invite them all, and see what kind of fun mix arrives.
3. Decide what you want to drink
You can keep it simple by serving a signature cocktail – maybe something with a good kick. Or make it super easy and just have beer. People will show up with bottles of wine and six-packs; not to worry. Have some seltzer in the fridge for teetotalers.
4. Put out some snacks
Chips and salsa are easy, or hummus and pita. A bowl of grapes and a few frozen pizzas work too. Again, people will bring things. Don’t sweat it.
5. Clean the bathroom
This is the one place I, personally, am a stickler. It’s not only nice for your guests, it’s nice for you. Shine everything up and pour some bleach in the toilet. It’s not rocket science. Make sure there’s a trash can in there, too. And a plunger.
6. Last details
Make sure you’ve got trash bags and paper towels on hand, for cleaning up messes. Make a Spotify playlist, put on your fave dress and some lipstick, pour yourself a drink, and wait for your guests to arrive!
You don’t have to have the perfect space to throw a party, or be the perfect host. Embrace what you’ve got, welcome your friends, and have fun. That’s what life’s all about.
GIF via giphy.com.
Comment: What’s your best party-throwing tip?