Party Planning Tips for the Lazy Hostess

Like all aspiring writers and bloggers, it is my dream to have an article published in the Huffington Post. I’ve never actually visited this website, but I envision it as the perfect meld of light entertainment (suggested by the ridiculous name“Huffington- which I’m convinced Ariana made up), and more serious, issue-driven reads (as suggested by the moniker“Post.”) I’ve noticed many popular articles and books have a number in the title, like “The 7 Habits of Effective People,” “Five Ways to Become a Published Writer” ( and “I Am Number Four.” So, I give you the following integer themed article. (Ariana, I’m sorry I made fun of your name. Please publish this!)



House parties are a great deal of fun, as long as they are at someone else’s house. Unfortunately, if you expect to keep getting invited to other people’s parties, you occasionally have to throw one of your own. Here are seven ways that you can a) prevent people from finding out that you live in squalor and b) throw a successful house party!

Helpful Hint #1: Do Not Have The Party At Your House.

House parties involve an alarming amount of work. If at all possible, try to have the party at an alternate location. For example, why not have your party at a local pool? I prefer pool parties because they really play to my strengths and skills as a hostess: not cleaning, not cooking, and not decorating. I simply show up at the pool at the required time with a “Happy Birthday” balloon and a cake, and let the lifeguards do the rest. These people are trained to SAVE LIVES. What could possibly go wrong? Maybe one party-goer eats too much junk food and pukes in the deep end (Jake’s 5th birthday). You just sit back, relax, and watch the boys in red shorts fish out those regurgitated cheese doodles. Or, perhaps a pre-schooler becomes traumatized after finding a dead rabbit in the diving well (also Jake’s 5th birthday). Again, not your problem. Mr. Red Shorts McSunscreen will get that floater out, give it a less-than-dignified burial behind the snack shed, and shock the chlorinated crap out of the water. If you are wondering what the children do in the meantime, you underestimate the fascination children have with vomit and dead animals. In the words of one 5 year old reveler: Best. Party. Ever.

Dead bunnies aside, there is one unfortunate event that can mar your pool party’s success: Rain. Recently, I rose early on the morning of my daughter’s 7th birthday party, looked at the dismal forecast, and was forced to make the difficult decision every pool party hostess dreads: take my chances with the rain, or relocate the party to my tiny, cluttered, dusty, dog-hair infested house, with its plague of mysterious, unpleasant odors. What to do?

Helpful Hint #2: Use The Internet

Whenever I need information or advice in a certain situation, I turn to the internet. This is how I found out that you should NOT put dishwashing soap in the dishwasher (totally counterintuitive). Actually, I learned that lesson the old fashioned way. More precisely, the internet is where I learned how to fix your dishwasher after you have put dishwashing soap in it (vinegar, if you’re wondering). If I’m confused about song lyrics, or the meaning of a TV series finale, or want to know why my dog is throwing up, or how many cups are in a pint, or how to make balloon animals, I turn to Google. After several hours of research, I realized that instead of spending the morning watching youtube videos on the hidden messages in “Lost” and how to make balloon animals, I should have been purchasing inexpensive gazebos and tables, renting an all-weather house at a local park, and creating fun indoor activities, crafts, and games. Instead, I opted to just move to party to my house and buy some extra beer.

Helpful Hint #3: Be Decisive.

Once the decision to relocate is made, it must be adhered to. Waffling will only lead to frequent and more desperate text messages and phone calls from confused partygoers. Your guests crave a strong leader, someone to rule with a festive iron fist: “The party will be at our house. Yes, I’m sure there is enough room. No, I don’t need you to bring anything, unless you have some inexpensive gazebos lying around. Also, all non-pregnant guests must consume a minimum of three alcoholic beverages” This last edict, if faithfully enforced, will prevent your guests from focusing on the balls of dog hair in the corners.

Helpful Hint #4: Be Realistic.

Try to look at your house with an objective eye.  It may not be party-ready, but focus on what you can accomplish in the next few hours. For example, I didn’t have time to steam clean the furniture, buy a new deck umbrella and sound system, or move to a bigger and nicer house. Instead, I scrounged up some throw pillows from the “give away” pile in the garage and placed them strategically over the largest and most ominous couch stains. Then, after wrestling unsuccessfully with the mammoth deck umbrella in an attempt to push it to the side, I decided to take the path of least resistance and crank it open to its full 10 foot span, which shielded the entire yard from rain and hid the moldy spots and bird droppings on top.

Colorful leis and face-painting will distract children and adult alike from the piles of dog poo in the backyard.
For a truly epic party, consider purchasing some (possibly illegal, depending which state you live in) fireworks. The spectacle and smell will surely make it a party to remember!

Helpful Hint #5: Camouflage and Accentuate.

Like a fat girl in a bathing suit, you should cover and draw attention away from those troublesome unsightly areas, while emphasizing your assets. To draw attention away from the waist-high weeds surrounding the front porch, I took advantage of my children’s current obsession with balloon animals by attaching a gaggle of multi-colored dogs, swans, flowers and swords to the porch railing with black electrical tape.  The latex swarm provided an interesting visual focal point for arriving guests that did not spark a conversation about weed killer. Even though some of the guests noted the unfortunate resemblance between the balloon swans and a certain part of the male anatomy, at least they weren’t looking at the weeds.

After some consideration, we relocated Danny’s balloon menagerie to the front porch for our guests to enjoy as they arrived.

Helpful Hint #6: Declutter.

Having a bunch of richer people with nicer houses over is the perfect excuse to take down your middle schooler’s 4th grade report card and the blue post-it notes your 6 year old daughter has used to label various household locations (FIREPLAC. DEK.) It’s also a great time to get rid of unsightly piles of books, papers, toys, and refuse. Try stuffing them in your children’s closets, under their beds, and other places your guests are not likely to visit, such as the bathtub.

Helpful Hint #7: Encourage Your Guests To Drink Heavily.

This is good advice for any party, gathering, or festival. Adults who consume several alcoholic beverages will be having too much fun to notice your house at all. Your party will be remembered for their crazy antics, instead of its unusual odor of sweaty, rancid pineapple.  

There you have it- 7 quick and easy tips to make your house party a success! Once you have completed these simple steps, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the party. And remember, the wonderful (though hazy) memories and partially deflated balloon-shaped penises will linger long after the last guest has departed.

The birthday girl and her friend enjoy the party.
Balloon swan or penis? You decide.
Balloon swan or penis? You decide.




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Currently residing in Sandwich, Massachusetts, Kristi is an aspiring writer and mother who spends most of her time ferrying her children to various sports practices and doctor appointments. She also substitute teaches and reads romantic fantasies by the bushel.

3 thoughts on “Party Planning Tips for the Lazy Hostess”

  1. All true!! I was there that day, but it’s your unique sense of humor and writing style that make it even MORE FUN TO READ ABOUT than to experience!! Kudos!!!

  2. Oh Kristi!!! This better get published!! I could not stop laughing!!!!! You are so talented. You know every year I look forward to your newsletter. They are my favorite ones to read. Any news on the Great wolf lodge? MJ Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:07:16 +0000 To:

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