Do you ever want to host something but think your house just won’t be good enough for it? I challenge that thinking with an old saying, “There’s no place like home.” I have been to events, like baby showers and birthday parties, that were held at churches or activity rooms. But I have to say that I much prefer the atmosphere in homes. There is a certain amount inherent warmth and comfort in them that is not present in large halls, which sometimes bring to mind chirping crickets. It is also much easier to make a home look festive. Of course, there are space limitations but not everything needs to be inside and you don’t have to host 50 people.
When my hubs and I were in the "friend-zone" while living in Kiev, we threw a Mexican Fiesta to celebrate Ukrainian Christmas. (No, the countries are not connected in any way.) We entertained 12 people in my tiny 400-450 sq/ft apartment. My living room basically became a giant dining table. Though it was crowded, it was warm, cozy, and made for very fond memories.
To further prove my point let me tell you about our son’s lacrosse banquets. In 2017, I volunteered to be on the committee for it. The venue? The 9th grade cafeteria. Ugh! I am all about maximizing and it is possible to convert such a space into a wonderland. But with essentially zero budget and two hours to set up, the options were extremely limited. The tables were connected making them about 24’ long. In addition, we were only using half of the room and half of the tables and we couldn’t block off that section. Very intimate-NOT! Fortunately, I had enough of a stash in my events closet to make the tables pretty. The garden provided greenery with a few grocery store flowers thrown in for color. I was pretty proud of the results, considering. But the rest of the room was still blah. To boot, the fluorescents were shining way too brightly. Candlelight would have made it so much better. I should have thought of that. There was no background music. Didn’t even cross my mind. In my defense, the banquet was for a bunch of rowdy boys who didn’t care much about ambience. Dinner was catered by a restaurant and there were purchased desserts, which were all fine. The boys all sat together while the parents were left to fend for themselves with people they barely knew. For me, it was a bit uptight and awkward. It did not feel like a party, to be sure.
Contrast that to this year. The other night we hosted the lacrosse banquet in our backyard. Okay, it is a big backyard but the portion we used equates to the average suburban yard. Another mom brought tables and chairs from her church. I used the same table linens as 2017, but with a small budget, was able to add balloons, and framed photos of the players in action. (Unfortunately, it was difficult to get really good shots of the decorations because of the breeze.) Yes, it was more of an effort to set up. But all the guests helped us tear down at the end of the evening. It would have been a waste to not use all of that lacrosse muscle. Since we were at our house, we were able to have background music and younger guests were free to roam the yard. We had the meats catered from the goalie’s parent’s restaurant. Then we filled out the meal with store bought sides, bread, and cake. The food went over really well.
The vibe was relaxed and jovial. Even though the boys still all sat with their teammates, the parents were talking and laughing. Granted, we have a great group of kids and parents this year, but I also attribute much of the success to the banquet being at a home. It would have worked at many houses, it just happened to be ours. So, I encourage you to open up your home to events, whether they be Tupperware parties, bridal showers, or birthday parties. Home is best!
Dollar Tree is the go-to for many of our celebrations. This one was no exception. Here are some of the items I found there.
- Tissue paper
- Picture frames
- Plastic serving bowls
- Photos uploaded and printed by Walgreens, same-day service
- Jerseys and Helmets from the players
- White flat sheets which I use instead of table cloths.
- Tablecloths, toppers, and runners collected over time
- Pots-purchased from Big Lots 14 years ago and painted.