So I’ll be honest, it’s taken me a few days to recover from the Panthers’ loss on Sunday to the Broncos. I will say, however, that if there were any team in the NFL I could choose to lose to, it would be the Broncos. My sister is a huge fan and Peyton Manning is one of the greatest players I’ve had the chance to witness playing the game so it was an honor to watch him perform so well in what could possibly be his last game.
With all of that being said—let’s talk about the best part of the big game. No, not the halftime show (although that was AWESOME). I’m talking about the party!! I had the pleasure of going home to Gastonia where my parents hosted a get-together with some of their friends! It was a lot of fun, and I learned more about hosting parties. To be honest, I’ve never hosted a party that didn’t involve punch made with Aristocrat vodka, so this was a new one for me.
My mom gave me some advice and tips that’s she’s learned over her years of playing hostess. Her friends used to tell her she and my dad should open a bar because they had so many fun parties when they were younger! My dad is the grill master and my mom does all the indoor cooking, it’s a team effort.
- Prep work is the key to success
Plan your meals or hors d’oeuvres in advance and begin cooking the longer things first. You will have more fun if you’re able to hang out with friends at the party instead of finishing up the cooking in the kitchen.
- Have plenty of finger food
Cooking a nice meal is great, but it won’t get eaten in a crowd of people that are chatting. Little smokies in a crockpot with BBQ sauce and chips and dips are the way to please a crowd. My dad’s chicken wings, ribs and beef brisket are literally melt in your mouth, slap your momma good. We always have them for parties.
- Have a fully stocked bar
I didn’t know this because it’s always BYOB in college, but it’s always best to be able to offer your guests a drink. We made 50 Jell-O shots for Super Bowl 50, which was super fun! Creating a unique drink for the occasion makes things a little more special. Additionally, make sure you have non-alcoholic things to drink for those who are driving as well. We appreciate our designated drivers.
- Stock up the bathroom with TP
Stock everything up, including paper towels in the kitchen. Also make sure you have a hand towel for drying nearby. Clean your bathroom as well! That should go without being said, but maybe not for 21 year olds.
- Place your recycling and garbage containers in easily accessible areas
We keep our recycling in the laundry room and our garbage under the sink at home normally, but for the party my mom placed them right where everyone could find them. This keeps your house from getting super dirty. I wish I’d known this when I threw parties in high school; I can’t tell you how long it took me to clean up because people couldn’t find the trash can!
- Plan to stay up after everyone goes home or to bed to clean up
This extra effort at night will be so worth it come morning. My mom said that even 30 years ago she never went to bed without cleaning up. You’ll just to have to face the sticky, stinky mess the next morning. Another tip I wish I’d practiced previously. My roommates and I still spend the majority of the next day cleaning up a party from the night before. I’m getting in this habit now!
I don’t necessarily think that hosting parties is a different notion between generations. I believe that the way we mature into successful hosts is we learn from our mistakes and grow into more mature adults. As 21 year olds, we aren’t at the stage of hosting immaculate and classy parties, but as time goes on I hope to embody the welcoming atmosphere that my parents’ home emits. It’s awfully fun to be surrounded by friends and family celebrating the good things in life!
Cheers to happiness and kindness!