If you have been reading this blog for half a second, you know I love to host parties. I love to cook and organize and decorate, and yes, even clean. I am normally a pretty sloppy person. I don't like dirt, but I don't mind a little clutter piled up around the house. It wasn't always this way. I used to live in a snug little studio apartment that I kept spotless because you have to keep snug little studios spotless or you can't function. But after I met my husband and realized he wasn't always the cleanest person I subconsciously went the route of "when in Rome....."; it is much easier to allow a little mess than be upset all the time about something I can't change. (Unless I want to pick up after my husband all the time, which I don't, but I know plenty of other spouses that live that way.)
That is one reason why I love to have people over for dinner every other week or so. It makes me pick stuff up and throw things in recycling that would otherwise linger on the coffee table indefinitely and bring out the vacuum for a swipe into the corners.
We host wine parties a lot but this year on my list of 37 Things I Want to Do Before I Turn 38 I realized I wanted to throw a more special party, a themed party. We had a tiny get together to carve pumpkins and I was thinking that would be my themed party but it was such a tiny gathering and I just lost motivation to do much in the way of theme except hand out prizes for best carved pumpkin.
So I sat on the idea until one of our friends, Jessica, mentioned that there had been an Ugly Holiday Sweater Party the year before we met and I was intrigued. And I thought about it for about 20 seconds and then announced to everyone that I was going to host an Ugly Sweater Party.
The only rules are that guests have to wear an ugly sweater: no admittance without one! and they have to bring a nice-ish gift for gift exchange and a potluck dish. I am going to have awards for the ugliest and most garish outfits and a photo booth set up in my office so we can glory in the ugliness of it all.
The more and more I think about the Ugly Sweater theme, the more I like it. It takes off the pressure that some might feel of having to get all dressed up. Also fun is having to pick out your sweater. I have discovered the large thrift stores like Goodwill and Value Village aren't so good to find the perfect sweater, but smaller thrift stores like the Discovery Shop are much better. I am very excited about my Scotty dog sweater vest. But I need to find something like a snowman turtleneck to wear under it.
Also, we don't really go crazy with any holiday decorating so this will be a fun night to put out some tacky lights (some friends swear they have a nodding reindeer lawn ornament that we can borrow) and some festive bunting and garlands.
I am also going to theme the food a little more 50's and 60's with a tater tot casserole and Swedish meatballs and a cheese ball and some sugar cookies and retro cocktails.
On the to do list for this week is to figure out stereo speakers in the living room, painting a back drop for the photo booth, getting down to IKEA for a coat rack, and finishing my front door wreath. Next week will be a little crazier as it gets closer to the event. Luckily I am done with making art for gift shows so I can really focus on cleaning the house top to bottom. I can't wait to see everyone's ugly sweaters!