Hostess With the Mostess

Okay, considering that the holiday party season is in full-on swing, I’m here to help (as always). So I present to you…

The WildHearts Guide to Entertaining: How to Be the Host(ess) with the Most(ess)

  1. Stock up. A good host/hostess has enough of everything. And I mean everything–yes, Mr. or Mrs. Mostess should ensure everyone’s cocktail glasses remain filled and the h’orderves are a-plenty, but that’s not all a good host thinks of. Band-aids for the clumsy guest who manages to slice herself with the cheese knife. Vicodin for your friend with anxiety issues (or yourself–parties get stressful, and no one likes a snappy host). Extra toilet paper and tampons hidden discreetly in reachable tins in the bathroom–trust me, no one wants to ask for that accouterment, and they will root around in your stuff.
  2. Be flexible. Your best friend shows up with her gross, loud boyfriend? Greet him with grace. A snooty vegan refuses to eat the vegetarian options you thoughtfully prepared (see Rule 1)? Offer to run down to the corner store and grab that bitch some lettuce. Your power goes out? Why, a candlelit dinner would be ever so fun! No matter what catastrophes threaten to ruin your big night, you are the best host ever, damn it, and your feathers won’t ruffle.
  3. Look stunning. I don’t care if it’s a casual margarita night (although, come on, it’s Christmas or Chanukah or Kwanza–pizzazz your get-together up a little). No one wants to go to your house to find you still wearing the outfit you tossed on to clean the house–a good party should appear effortless. Your sweaty gym-bun and flour-dusted sweatpants are just a gross reminder of how much work you put into your fiesta, and then everyone feels guilty and weird and over-compliments your canapés.
  4. Make plans (but don’t be afraid to break them–see Rule 2). Now, most people are content with sitting around in your pretty house and drinking, but sometimes a little more effort is required. Maybe you’re having a weird mix of guests who don’t know each other well enough to dive right into dinner-and-drinks chitchat, or maybe your friends just suck. Either way, if you’re afraid your party is going to fall apart like a badly-baked souffle, you need some backup plans. We’re adults here–Twister is not an option. But nobody said you had to leave drinking games at college–card games are a classy means of getting your guests wasted, and no one will be bored.
  5. Outsource. If you want to do everything yourself, fine. There is nothing wrong with that. Make sure you get extra of everything, clean your house like a madman, and have a fabulous outfit hanging on the back of your closet to pop into. But if the host task seems a little daunting, well, that’s only because it is. And the bigger the party, the more stressful your Lone Ranger routine becomes. So outsource! Caterers are by far the most helpful resource–mmm, delicious food that you slide into homey-looking pans so it looks like you did all the work, et voila! But if you’re really lazy, a maid can come in handy, and you can even hire sous chefs or servers to make yourself look like Donald Trump (with better hair, let’s hope).

So, that’s it! Now you can host a great party in 5 not-so-simple steps! I could drone on about location and presentation and why trying to make everyone lobster solo is sure to be a tragic failure, but really, I have better things to do. And for those of you who aren’t having a bash this year: here’s how to be the perfect guest! Arrive a little late, look great, pretend you love everything even if you don’t, try not to incite any arguments, play your host’s childish game of Kings, and above all, look like you’re having fun.

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