Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tipful Thursdays

Well, its been a crazy two days prepping for my housewarming on Saturday.  Today has been the craziest.  I've been baking up the wazoo & getting a music party mix together to last the whole time. 

Also, trying to budget this has been fun--ahem.  Actually not that bad;  I just realized that doing almost all of the food prep yourself saves you tons of money.  The price hike just for someone else to do it isn't worth it when you live at home!  So, I've been baking cookies, brownies, special chocolate candy bars, spice cake & making all the chips & veggie dips.  All those cost a fraction of the price if you do it at home & most of us who love to bake or cook will have much of what we already need right at home already with no trip to the store.

I will still have to go to the store for things I don't usually keep around the house like:  pre-made meatballs (those are cheaper bought from sam's club), deli sandwich spirals, lots of nibble veggies for a tray, chips, queso, Beer cases & soda pop,brats, hot dogs, and some other things I ran out of (like onions & sour cream).

When you plan a party, always plan for most of those who RSVP'd yes to show up (including spouses & children), then add five more people to compensate for big eaters.  Here where I live people don't tend to RSVP yes, only what they call "regrets" a.k.a. "I can't come."  It makes it hard to plan on food that way, but I simply figured out to assume that 2/3rds of the people who haven't replied with regrets will probably show up & then I add the five person buffer.  See how that can help.  So, try to not just stock up on a few foods; try to add a wide variety of food, both snacks/appetizers & desserts. That way you aren't making two of the same cake & buying three bags of meatballs & having to constantly track when you need to make more.  This way, the people who come first have the greatest variety & will eat less of everything.  If someone comes right before the party ends, my attitude is: you get what's there. 

One thing I am kind of not too happy about for housewarming parties is the trend of the person holding the party for their new house to provide a gift for those who come...AHEM, you are coming to welcome me to my new house.  I don't expect a huge gift (or any for that matter) but my last housewarming was a bust because of

1) I stated that gifts were not necessary but I still put a registry together if anyone desired to give me a gift so they had an idea on what I needed.  That actually pissed people off & I varied the items on it & gave them three weeks to decide.  People didn't like that expensive stuff was on the registry (there was no way to make a note on items based on priority & little notes to tell people it was just for our reference).  Let's just say I lost friends over this stupid situation.  Hence, this time no registry & I mentioned gifts were not necessary.

2) I found out from a little birdie that people were miffed that I didn't have any "little gift" for those who came.  This completely surprised me.  Usually at parties I throw that are non-housewarming, I've never had a complaint that I didn't give someone anything.  Why is it expected at the one party to celebrate MY moving into a house??  In times past usually the house owners' throwing the party are expecting a gift of welcoming to the community, not the other way around.  I couldn't believe it effected my relationships at church & with some friends.  It wasn't like I didn't have food or drink--I never ran out of anything!  So, this time, I have made tons of chocolate chip cookies to give to people just to not have that happen again. 

This ridiculousness would be like someone getting mad at my baby shower for putting an expensive car seat & rocking chair plus other needed items, that are expensive, on my registry.  How silly would that be??  You NEED a car seat!  You need oodles of clothes for your first baby & toys--you don't have anything!  Also, what if people expected a little gift (other than candy favors) at the party.  I mean I looked at housewarming tips & they suggested giving everyone a candle or usable favor...DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THAT WOULD COST??!!  My entire budget for the whole party just for favors such as these! 

OK, I'm done venting.  I just am trying understand an age where staying at home is ridiculed & people who you host expect more than the money you spent to feed them & give them drink.  They want to take something home with them!  I don't think I've ever received one hostess gift once since I got married & starting entertaining.  Something I was taught as polite to do; considering the host/hostess probably dropped over $100+ to feed everyone that attends.  It makes me not want to host anymore large parties--only parties where close friends attend.  Mostly due to the fact I know they don't expect anything past the good food & time together.

So,  tips for you for when you host a huge party: 
1) Have favors for both adults & kids to avoid any offense (dollar tree or making cookies works cheaply)-if you can afford it.  If not, don't do it & I would encourage upset looking people to enjoy all the food you worked hard to put together for them (I have no other advice for that--of someone else does--leave a comment!)
2) Make sure you have enough food.  Use my handy guide above to figure that mystery out

3) Don't make give giving to you required unless its a baby shower or wedding shower (that should be obvious).

Tips for you if you are going to a party: 

1)Let's bring back etiquette:  thank the host/hostess for their hospitality, whether or not you get something from them. 

2) Don't get offended if they have not given a"little something" for you to take home, be glad for the great food-remind yourself how much it cost just for something to eat while you are there!

3) Bring a little something for the host/hostess-you are getting FREE FOOD & DRINK that they spent their hard-earned money on--the least you can do is bring a little something to show you appreciate their hospitable entertaining;

4) Encourage others to have manners--if you hear someone commenting on how there isn't a little "gift" for them or about any of the food.  Kindly stand up for the host/hostess & remind them that, in this economy, it already costs a lot to feed this many people.  Remind them kindly that they are getting a free meal out this & nothing was given to the entertaining host/hostess in return from them.  Just remember to be tactful to both the person complaining & the hostess--meaning keep it low key & don't let others hear the conversation.

I'm really not too upset about any of this happening.  I sometimes wonder if it was the geographical location & attitude of the people there in general (it wasn't the only weird quirky thing that happened while we lived there).  So, I'm hoping this Saturday's party goes better & praying that a good amount of people show up.  That's another problem I have--people decided they are coming & then don't show up:  PLEASE COME, even if its for a few minutes.  That's polite & also being a man/woman of your word.  Things come up, but realizing that you want to go somewhere else more than this party is rude & you should go to both equally or go to the one you said yes to first. would think that would be a simple one.  I've had many a party deflate because no one showed up that said they would (except for close friends).  My goal: to teach my children proper etiquette about life, so they may be gentlemen & ladies.  Its becoming rare these days!  I can't wait for all the fun though;  regardless I get to hang out with friends  & eat the things I have made as well (YUM!)...I will make the best of it no matter what happens.  My part is to let any offense roll off my back as the hostess!

I think that's all I have to blog about for now...if you have any ideas or anything you would like to see about parties either stay the same or change, feel free to leave a comment below!

Have a great Thursday & remember to enjoy today!