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My tips from frequently being the hostess

My hubby and I (and our kids) love to have people over to our house.  In the past, we were frequently the "host" house. 
 In fact, we remodeled our last house with the intentions of being the "place to party".  That's why we love big kitchens.  If you'd like to become the party house, there are some things that you should know.  Here is my list of things to know, to do and pros and cons of being the host house.
Pros
You don't have to drive to someone else's house.

If it's an adult party and there is going to be alcohol, you don't have to drive.
If it's going to be a big party, it gives you a reason to get a lot of little jobs around the house done before the party--deadlines are good motivators.
Your kids are already close to their beds--not that any of the kids would fall asleep.
Cons
You frequently end up cleaning for hours the next day.
Things to know
  • Funny things will happen.  I once went to put my boots on and realized there was a pretzel in one of them.  Then I went to put the other one on and there was a pretzel in it!  A pretzel in one shoe is an accident.  A pretzel in two shoes is someone being silly.  You will also probably find pretzels and other snack foods under couches and behind toilets.
  • At least 2 kids and possibly more will come to ask if they can play games online.  This choice is up to all parents involved.  If the weather is nice out, we don't usually like the kids to be in the office on the computer.  Plus, we don't generally like the kids to be in the office. . . . period.    But, sometimes it happens.  It is crazy how long some kids will watch another kid play online.  Make sure you know what your kids are playing.  There are so many inappropriate things on the internet.
  • Another thing kids will ask for is to play the Wii or X-Box.  It's nice to have at least 4 controllers.  You can get cheap ones at Target, Walmart or Kmart for 1/4 of the price of the real controllers and they work fine.
  • Make sure you are stocked with Bandaids and other first aid supplies.  At least three times a party someone will need a bandaid.   We've had countless bee stings, scratches, scrapes and splinters.  One time it was an adult.  We had to flip the trampoline, and mid-flip one of the mommies got scraped on the leg with the leg of the trampoline. 
  • Christmas lights are festive and fun all year long for any kind of party. 
  • Expect spills, messes and crumbs.  It's all part and parcel of having a party.
Things to do
  • If you plan to be the host house frequently, buy cheap plastic cups and write the names of the kids who are frequent guests in permanent marker.  That way, every time they are at your house, you have a permanent cup for them and you don't have to buy disposable cups every time.
  • Learn how to make popcorn on the stove.  Popcorn is an inexpensive, healthy snack that most people like.  Depending on how big your pot is, you can make a huge batch and people can munch for quite a while.  If you'd like to do something different, you can make kettle corn by adding a couple tablespoons of sugar or xylitol right after the first kernel pops.
  • Make sure that you keep paper plates in stock.  Depending on how long people stay, you might run out of your normal plates.
  • Make sure you have extra AA batteries for the game remotes I talked about above and for cameras.
  • Create a "Lost and found" box.  We always end up with extra clothes, socks, shoes and toys.  If you have a "Lost and found" box, people can look through it each time they come back and get their stuff.
  • If you have the space, keep extra jackets around just in case someone forgot theirs.  Even when my kids grow out of their jackets, we keep a couple extra.  That way, if the kids get too crazy inside, but it's chilly outside, they can borrow a jacket and go play.
  • Invest in extra folding chairs.  At almost every party I've been to, including at my own house, there are sometimes not enough chairs. 
It can be messy to host at your own house, but it in my opinion, it is so worth it.  It is definitely a trade-off.  But, I love having a house full of happiness and fun.  Even when the party is over, the memories live on.  The couple hours of cleaning up the next day is something that I know will happen.  But, I love every part of it!
If you'd like to host a brunch, be sure to check out my Tips and Menu for hosting a Fall/Winter Brunch.


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