What makes a successful party?

Christmas 2015 061-A

My Christmas party (December 2015).  That’s Pat in her red leather jacket, which she had purchased in Italy in November.

Next month, the family will remember my sister in law, Pat, at her funeral on Saturday and then at her burial the following Monday. After the burial, the family will congregate in my home for a catered lunch.

There will be 16 adults and 2 young kids in our home for that lunch. Three out of town guests will be among them.  I think 16 adults and 2 young kids is the maximum my house can tolerate.  Any more than that will be too uncomfortable.

When I moved into our 3 bedroom 2 bath house in 1991, I entertained quite frequently, inviting about 50 people. There was negative feedback from Aunty Marge and cousin Mitchell.

Marge: “Why did you invite so many people?  I don’t like it.”

Mitchell: “When I walked into your house, I saw so many people I didn’t recognize.  I thought I was in the wrong house.  Then, I realized they were your friends.  I decided to stay when I saw your daughters.”

Yes, people, I get the message.

This year, I will host four family parties and a small luncheon for two married friends.

This I can tolerate.

Keep your family separate from your friends. People prefer to party with people they know and feel comfortable with.

And keep the guest list manageable.  Having too many people can ruin the party.

11 Responses to “What makes a successful party?”

  1. Olga Says:

    I am not inclined to throw parties. Having a just a few family members for dinner is as much as I can handle.

  2. SchmidleysScribblins Says:

    Good advice most of the time, however when Connie recently held a shower for her daughter Rita, she invited both. David and I arrived early and left when the younger crowd Rita’s age began to arrive. I met one or two older friends who had known Rita for a long time, on the way out. I just can’t party with young twenty-somethings!

  3. Christine Says:

    It is nice how you love to entertain!

  4. anonymousonthemainland! Says:

    It sounds like you love family and friends and include them in your parties..Great you can host the gathering having it catered to ease up on your and your husbands work to entertain..Sorry for the loss of your beloved Pat..People today don’t even send cards or attend funerals here in the state cide..I live by the largest mortuary and crematorium and funeral gardens in a tri-county area, many pay thousands and thousands to say goodbye to their loved ones, never seeing them and telling them they love them when they were alive, I do not understand it at all..I say be good, loving and kind to each other it could be the last you see them, be pleasant and peaceful..No amount of funeral will make much difference to the decendent and the money could help the family who survives live better, aloha to you and God’s continued blessings for a recovery of your health problems..aloha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. DJan Says:

    I too have trouble enjoying large gatherings where I know few if any of the people. But then again, I’m just not the partying type, either giving or attending. 🙂

  6. Linda Reeder Says:

    I used to take my turn in the rotation of big family Christmas gatherings, but I stopped when my house was overrun with small children who were not kept under control.
    I come from a large family, but I have never liked large gatherings. My ideal dinner party is no more than 10. However, in the summer, I like to do outside garden parties and then I have had as many as 75 guests. Just so long as they stay outside except to use the bathroom.

  7. Kay G. Says:

    Sorry for the loss of your sister in law. I love her red leather jacket, she seems like my kind of gal!

  8. Tom Sightings Says:

    I only once had a party for 50 people. for my parents’ 40th anniversary. It worked out real well, but I don’t think I’d try to repeat.

  9. DeniseinVA Says:

    Good advice. When Gregg was in the navy it was customary for us to give many parties of up to 50 people. I catered them all myself and as I am more of an introvert than an extrovert, I welcome a quieter lifestyle, though I did what had to be done without complaining. These days I enjoy smaller, intimate parties with a few friends. Our family lives too far away for regular visits and as everyone is getting older it becomes even more difficult.

  10. Joared Says:

    Family gatherings ceased when I was a youngster as everyone scattered great distances. Now there are so few left and they’re far away such dinners don’t occur. Friends here included our family with theirs as 30 or more attended on special holidays which seemed to be welcomed by all as I’ve encountered them through the years.

  11. marmeladegypsy Says:

    I mix up people all the time! And they all end up saying “I talked with the most interesting person!” I have quite a diverse crowd so the photographers mingle with the neighbors, the theatre people, the artists, the cyclists, the trendy couples, the liberal book club and the church folk. They all seem to have fun. Although I’ve maxed out at 65 or 70 people, I have decided I have a better time at my own party when the crowd is smaller. At least I get to see everyone for more than hello and goodbye at the door! And to be honest, my little house doesn’t accommodate people very well (especially with a Christmas tree! Or several.) Now I try to limit a sit down dinner to no more than 12 and preferably eight due to space — tables are big!) and casual stand up things to 20-30 or less (which is still tight but a lot of those are couples). That said, my favorite is for 4-6 of us!

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