Have a Party!

patio partyWe used to entertain a fair amount. But then there was a dark period in our lives and for awhile, aside from necessary family events (eg. graduations) or holidays (Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Christmas) I was not up to having anyone outside of family over. We more or less rode on the coattails of others. Entirely. It was easy. It was comforting. And it meant we still had a social life.

But it lasted for five years.

And you know how it goes – you snooze you lose. I got out of shape in terms of entertaining. I lost my confidence…

…until almost exactly three years ago. That’s when I recognized what had happened, because I hadn’t actually realized it before. Or maybe I finally just started to care about it. Anyway, I decided to fix it. And, I can easily track my progress because I’ve been keeping a list of everything we’ve hosted.

I believe in starting out with baby steps. In 2010 I had a baby shower for my sister-in-law in September (which was actually a pretty big baby step for me), we had relatives over for a Bronco game in October, and we hosted Thanksgiving in November. Not that much, but it was a good start.

In 2011 I really stepped it up. We had:

– four couples over for the Superbowl in February
– a family dinner in March
– three couples for dinner in April
– a Mother’s Day family brunch in May
– three couples for an FAC (Friday Afternoon Club) in June
– took a break for July and August when we moved after 21 years 😉
– three ladies for brunch in September
– eight couples for what turned into a wild, spontaneous birthday party for Jay in October
– two family dinners in November (including Thanksgiving)
– Christmas dinner in December
– a big New Year’s Eve party (Lots of people came but I’m not a big fan of having New Year’s Eve parties because everyone is so done with the holidays. Pick a “shoulder” weekend during a relatively dead calendar period and you’ll have a much better party. But we did it because so many people hadn’t been over to our new house and we owed so many for so many years.)

So, basically, 2011 was pretty crazy. Maybe a little too crazy. But, you know what? We enjoyed it. We felt good about ourselves. It was fun.

2012 was less intense. We hosted eight get togethers, from having one couple over for burgers, to 20 for Christmas.

2013 has been busy so far. It’s only July and we’re having our 12th “event”! Keep in mind, that some are really small. And most are pretty easy. Fancy is not necessary. This weekend, for example, we’re having a SAC (Saturday Afternoon Club) with about eight couples. Everyone will bring an appetizer. I just have to make a couple of appetizers and a dessert or two, plus beer, wine, and a signature drink (Sangria or Mojitos or Colorado Wildflower…). I’ve got my standby playlists. The guys will smoke cigars. Hopefully it won’t rain. Everyone will have a good time.

We’re pretty much empty nesters. But Jay still works and, even when he retires, it’s not like we’re going to be jet-setting all over the world. We have to find ways to fill our time and having a party is a great way to share yourself with friends and family.

UPDATE: it was great. A slightly eclectic group of friends vs. a specific circle of friends. Lots of interaction; lots of heretofore unknown connections. I made three simple appetizers and a dessert and two signature drinks, and most everyone brought something. We sat around the fire pit. Some left as early as 10:00. Some arrived as late as 10:00. Mark stayed until 1:00 am. 😉

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