We're having "The Holiday Party" for my hub's office at our house this year. I scheduled the party early in the season.....so people wouldn't be worn out (and whining) from too much eating and drinking.... and folks might actually enjoy themselves.
I started seriously prepping yesterday....cleaning cleaning.....getting the the industrial strength shop vac out....sucking on the baseboards and pookies settled in corners and behind the furniture.
The men folks were confused by this activity.
"I thought the cleaning ladies were coming before the party."
"Why are you cleaning then?"
"To get ready for the cleaning ladies."
Guys just don't get it. You have to prep to be cleaned. You can't have cleaning ladies come to a dirty house or they will spend all their time cleaning...but it’s the wrong type of cleaning....it's cleaning for daily life rather than cleaning for a party....which is a totally separate type of cleaning.
So after scouring the house with my gigantic vacuum looking for offending dust bunnies, spiders, and dog hair......it was time for the fun part......decorating!
Well, I thought it was going to be fun........but....Murphy ’s Law or Santa’s Revenge was at work......because nothing went right.
So I thought I'd share some important hints and tips I’ve learned from my recent mishaps...so if you’re getting ready for your parties.....you might be spared some big time pre-party trouble.
1) Never put old pine cones in a microwave. I like natural decorations....pine cones in a wooden bowl.....cat-tails(as in flora not fauna) in vases.....but if your pine cones are dusty and you wash them......do not dry them in a microwave... ( it seemed like such a logical idea at the time) because you won't have anything to put back in your bowl..... old wet pine cones ...explode....like popcorn kernels. The only positive... a nice piney smell while you're cleaning up the hot sap.
2) Always allow plenty of time for glitches with new creative ideas. So here's the problem....everyone will end up in my kitchen at the party.....right? The standard party clump.
To encourage mingling, I'm spreading out the beverages....wine in the family room, beer off the kitchen and a champagne station in the living room. This also allows folks who are a tad nosey to look around my house...without embarrassment. Trouble with the champagne station......no tablecloth large enough to elegantly drape over the card table....and serve as the bottom for the topper (I believe that line comes from an erotic novel.)
Brilliant idea: use the 2 gazillion thread count cotton flat sheet from the new bed linens. Bad idea: Wash the 2 gazillion thread sheet and put it in the dryer. Know what happens to a pure cotton sheet post dryer?
Wrinkles.....thousands and thousands and thousands of wrinkles.
So....I’m ironing and ironing....20 minutes.....40 minutes.....the sheet is never ending.....and it's still crumpled.
So I channel my feisty Lithuanian grandma (okay not really but I did think about her)....and remembered what she used to do.... drape a towel over her shoulder and have a bowl of water near the ironing board....she’d press the wet towel on the sheet....iron....then viola....linen as smooth as a baby's butt.
Happy to report it works...sad to report it took me an hour and half to make my sheets look like a baby's butt.