Wouldn’t it be exciting to host a small gathering of friends at your home once in a while? Chilling out at your favourite hangouts (out of your home) all the time can get pretty tiring and not-to-mention, costly! Imagine all the drinks and foods you order repeatedly while everyone laughs and chats away about anything and everything.
Why not consider having a warm and cosy chill-out session at home for a change? Such hassle, you say? Not really, as long as you know how to delegate the works, it can actually be fun.
A reason to party
Do you need to come up with a reason to call your besties to come over? Most probably not. But coming out with an ‘excuse’ or a reason, makes the whole get-together a tad-bit more exciting.
Here are a few ‘excuses’ to have a gathering:
- Festive gathering (New Year, special festivals, etc.)
- Celebrating an achievement (graduation, job promotion, etc.)
- Back-to-back Net-flix nite-out (Slumber party)
- Birthday, birthday, birthday
So, where do we start?
The food. You always start with the food, without it, there’s no party. You can choose to cook, have a BBQ, order in, or do a potluck. Stick to all-time favourite dishes, or be adventurous and try a new menu.
Once you set the time for the party, you can start thinking about the food spread, be it for lunch, dinner, a tea party, or supper. If it’s a lunch or dinner do, decide if it’s going to be a local dish spread - Malay, Chinese or Indian menu. Want to try something different? Consider Thai, Arabic, or western dishes like mash potato, grill chicken and salad.
A potluck is great when you have friends who love to cook and bake; make sure each guest brings a different item. This ensures you have a good spread of mains, appetizers, side dishes, desserts, drinks, etc.
A BBQ, of course, is always a wonderful option if you have the suitable area to do it. If this is the choice, delegate tasks among friends - someone in charge of the grill, getting the charcoal ready and the fire going; another person can marinate the food items. You can also grill corn-on-the-cob, potatoes and chunky vegetables. Remember the fruits and salads, a definite must for BBQs.
Having a steamboat is also an interesting idea. Boil a soup base (chicken or tom yam soup), then prepare raw ingredients to be cooked in the communal boiling pot.
A tea party would require finger foods such as sandwiches, sausages and nuggets, cakes and pastries, etc. Do add one fulfilling dish, like fried noodle or pasta; dim sum or ‘roti jala’ with chicken curry is also great. Just make sure you have enough to go around.
Of course, if you love to cook, this is a great time to put your culinary skills into action. Do your best dish - the ones that get the best reviews and comments. Less is more - your menu can be simple, one main and two or three sides is normally more than enough. Prepare a plate of mix fruit cuts. End that great meal with a simple dessert like ice cream or frozen yoghurt lined with caramel sauce, yummy!
Whatever your food plan, it’s about having something hearty enough to fill up hungry tummies, and light enough to go around during the after-meal chat session.
Setting the place up
Cosy and warm - that’s the key word. Spend a little bit of time dusting the house and mopping the floor. Wipe the windows clean. If this is all too much work for you, just arrange for a cleaner to come over for an hour or two. It’s fairly cheap and a good cleaning service provider will whip your house squeaky clean. Oh, and remember to wash the toilet!
Next, imagine where all your friends will be seated and the central hangout area - is it on the carpeted area in front of the television? Is there enough chairs? Bring out the plush pillows, the bean bags, the stools.
You can also put up themed decorations. For example, for a Christmas dinner party, you can have red, green and white coloured table cloth, napkins, candles and decorations. For Chinese New Year, a red and gold colour theme would be great.
You don’t really have to decorate the whole house though (unless you want to). The trick to a wow deco is actually to just make one place look great, a central viewpoint. My favourite would be the dining area.
Work on the table, fuss over it for a bit, work on table styling (lots of table styling ideas on the net). Lay out a fresh table cloth, set the placemats and bring out those matching crockery, cutleries and serviettes. Set it according to the type of food and party you are having. If it’s in the evening, consider lighting up some candles.
Bring the mood up
Put together a playlist of songs to set the mood for the get-together, depending on what is suitable. You can have festive tunes, or jazz all night, or even retro style music from yesteryears - whatever you like! And dim the lights for a bit, will you?
If you and your buddies like watching movies, then you can have a movie night with popcorn and snacks. Games anyone? Have a deck of card ready for a few rounds of Black Jack or Uno. Board games might work too.
Oh, remember to get room air freshener!
Finally, ready to party!
Remember, you don’t need to do everything yourself. Get your friends to help with the food, or music or even the games and movie. It can be more fun if you make it a group effort.
Food ready? Checked.
Table done? Checked.
Music on? Checked.
House smells great? Checked.
Toilet cleaned? Double checked.
Now, freshen up, dress up, and have your great first home party!