This is my dining table, which can be extended to seat 8 people or used as a large buffet table. That’s Indonesian art on the walls.
Since my memorial party last Sunday, many guests have told me how much they enjoyed themselves and asked when my next family get together will be. This type of compliment pleases me and is my reward for working so hard to make the party a success.
I was thinking about what makes a successful party. I am 71 years old and have hosted and attended parties around the world — in California, Thailand, Germany, New York, and Hawaii. Some parties were wonderful while others were disastrous.
It helps to have a schedule or timeline. Don’t just wing it and don’t just let it happen. Have a clear idea of what time you will eat, start the program, and end the party. Further, you should know how to prepare for the event, clean the house, stock up on food and beverages, buy the flowers for the table, and set up the table and chairs.
Above all, serve the meal 30 minutes after the start of the party, because there is nothing worse than cold, unappetizing food and people who are too full from eating appetizers and too drunk from drinking alcohol. Never wait for everyone to show up. Let everyone know when the meal starts and stick to the schedule. You snooze, you lose.
My next party is set for April 30, when my in-laws from Boston and my daughter and her family will join us for dinner. There will be 8 of us. I’ll set the table with fine china and bring out the silver and cloth napkins. It will be nice.