Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Have the best ---- party ever!

1) Follow the general guidelines about how to arrange a party. You need a solid ground and steady backbone your party is going to be build on. There's plenty of sites about this, so I am not going to talk more about that.

2) Add the awesome sauce

* what or who is the reason for the party? 

What do you associate with that? What are that person's favorites? Find out things like this, so that you can customize the party

There should always be a theme, and not just a general "something like" theme, like "Christmas". (Yes, sorry about that).
Is it "childhood Christmas"? "White Christmas"? "Winter wonderland"? Believe me, if your ordinary holiday party has a theme, people are going to think it's better.

You choose the theme according to the reason.

Parts of a theme:
- color
- emotion, mood
- symbols

Yes, you need to see the party as a movie you are staging. You choose the actors by inviting people. You choose the soundtrack to manipulate the emotions. You choose the settings for the same reason. Everything in a movie is chose to make a certain impact. People might not be as aware of the symbolism of things as they were earlier in the history of mankind (from cave paintings and saint attributes to language of flowers and memento mori), but I believe subconsciously we all are influenced by them.
Think about this staging when you prepare the festive venue for the party.

So, if it's Mothers' Day, the reason is your mother. Don't just arrange a "mothers' day party", but arrange the party as if it was your mother's birthday. Choose her favorite color as the theme color, and the "message" of the event is appreciating all your mother did for you (even if right now all you can think of is that she beared you.) You also need to know her favorite flower. So for my mother I would arrange a "tiger lily mother's day". She also loves hats, so it would be like a queen's reception, all the guests in hats and formal wear. My mother would love that. :-D

Make the main person the focal point of everything that happens.

On mother's day, give your mother a comfy chair in the middle of the room where she can sit comfortably and watch what is going on without needing to move, and where she can just wait to be waited on :-D Give her a crown and a throne. Guests should automatically drift to her, even if they weren't actively looking for that.

(Frankly, the only other spot no-one should need to look for, is the toilet.)

* please all the senses: sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch.

No, you don't need to care about such senses as balance, time and pressure, but... if you can, go for it. The more sensations you can pack into your party, the better. BUT KEEP IT BALANCED! Cacophony, chaos and sensory overload are not desirable qualities of a party. 

So, let's assume it's Daisy's birthday.

sight: Daisy's favorite color is yellow. Her favorite shape is the heart. He favorite pattern is polka dots. He favorite flowers are the daisies, of course.

sound: What ever is Daisy's favorite music style. Create a play list by taking her top 10 favorites and adding similar songs.

taste: Daisy's favorite food and spices are lemons and ginger.

touch: this is one of the most difficult things to mind, which is why most people don't even try. But ask Daisy to relax, and then think about her favorite spot in the whole world. What is she wearing? When she reaches out her hand, what does she touch? Let's assume her favorite spot is a meadow she used to play in when she was little. She is wearing a summer dress made of light cotton. She touches soft, green uncut grass, wild summer flowers and butterflies. So - soft, worn, thin cotton. You can have the tablecloth and napkins made of this. Silk ribbons feel a bit like grass, so you could make a fuzzy pillow of silk ribbons.

* social interaction is the most important part of a party. 

People think they have a great time, when
- they are relaxed and trusting, so see that nothing anyone can find scary, unpleasant or uncomfortable is a "must join" activity. People must be able to refuse without needing to fear any kind of social punishment (like people laughing and mocking one, or getting isolated etc.). If you plan some program someone might find unpleasant, plan also a couple of alternatives for those people.
- they are comfortable. Now, you can't do anything about their clothes, but see that the temperature is tolerable and that there are things like blankies and slippers if need be, and they know where the toilet is, and the toilet is impeccably clean and well equipped with towels and toilet paper etc.
- they laugh
- their needs are satisfied 
- they are included and engaged 

For a host to be successful, you need to
- be attentive, treat every guest as if they were the honor guest
- learn some jokes and funny stories and learn to tell them well. You can learn from stand-up comedians and funny people how to do that. It's OK to practice on video. No-one else needs to see that but you.
- learn good conversation skills. It is not difficult.
- learn to listen actively
- learn to dance and dance with other people. Learn to teach simple dances to people who don't know how to dance, because dancing is easy and it makes people happy, so you should be able to drag people to dance floor, first by example, then actively
- not be afraid of jumping in to entertain people with a show if need be 

Have some conversation pieces around, maybe a pack of conversation starters. Make this party specific! For example, a collection of vintage Halloween decoration. Some horror movie props. A coffee table picture book of mystical events.

Now, believe or not, but this started with me pinning things for fathers' day... and just like mothers may not be interested of anything else but *their kids, *beauty and spa. *housekeeping and *romance, fathers may not be interested of anything but *fishing, *sports, *tools and *beer
We too often forget that mothers and fathers are human beings with their own unique interests and hobbies and preferences. When kids are small, they aren't expected to think about this, but I think it's the responsibility of the spouse or parent's siblings and friends to coach the kids to give the parents something they actually appreciate and not just because it came from their kid.

So get a list from every one you are arranging a party for with those questions: favorite color, favorite music (at least 10 songs/pieces), favorite smell, taste, touch, hobbies, preferences, interests.

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