Gramma Good's Tips To Be A 'Hostess With the Mostest'

"Your parties are your vision" -- Gramma Good

I love to entertain. I started entertaining with small dinner parties for family and friends in my early twenties. I remember my first dinner party. It was a "fondue extravaganza". Everyone participated. My guests laughed and I was delighted with my party so... I was a delightful hostess to my friends.

1.Be a Happy Party Hostess

That is what a successful party needs... a delightful and welcoming hostess. You don't need a large home, a lot of money, elaborate food or entertainment. I have gone to very wealthy parties given by friends, which I am sorry to say, were boring. So what is my trick? I enjoy the art of entertaining.

2. Know Your Strengths

The first thing I would advise a hostess... know who you are. Suit your parties for yourself. For example, I do not like to entertain before sunset. So, I set a mood for my parties that will make me happy. If I am a happy hostess, my guests will be happy guests. Remember your party is your vision and you are the commander in chief.

The parties my husband (I cannot leave out my husband who foots the bills and gives advice!) and I have given together range from black tie affairs, to large sit-down dinner parties in our home, to the most casual of casual of last minute dinners with friends. So...

It is definitely not hard for me to find a "reason" to entertain.

3. Create a party around what inspires you.

One summer day I was at an outdoor market picking out the most luscious looking vegetables for a salad, and flowers for our bedroom. A thought for entertaining came to mind, as I held up a beautiful vine ripe tomato in one hand while my other hand held a bouquet of long stemmed pink roses. My party theme will be around vegetables and roses!

Grammas and moms I want to share this party theme with you. I guarantee you a successful fun-filled evening that will be talked about over the wires the next day.

4. Make the theme fun and go all out!

I invited three couples that are fun. Told them to come casual. I greeted them with French music playing in the background and I presented each girlfriend with a long stemmed pink rose. They were smiling from ear to ear! My party was getting off to a great start.

5. Make the party have an activity (whether wine lessons, games, etc).

As we sat around our small bar, the next surprise was a short lesson on two French wines. I looked up the wine's history! Remember when entertaining, "Nothing "GOOD" happens by accident." Conversation flowed among us. Questions were asked. There was laughter galore!

We then sat down for dinner and I gave them their next surprise. In the center of my dining room table I placed a large, beautiful, old French wooden salad bowl filled with eight lettuce wedges, whole vine ripped tomatoes, stalks of celery standing up among the lettuce and tomatoes, miniature cucumbers, small bunches of scallions and around the bowl were country French dishes filled with sliced black olives, crumbled bleu cheese, bacon bits, two salad dressings, and eight vegetable cutting knives. "Make your own salad," were the first words I uttered as they were putting their napkins on their laps! They all looked up at me with their mouths open... and laughed!

Needless to say, dinner at the "GOOD home" that evening was a huge success. I was a delighted hostess and my party was a delightful success. To think, my theme was created as I strolled through an outdoor market!

Do Something GOOD Today: Invite your friends over to a themed party. They'll have as much fun at the party as you do planning it!

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