My Perfect Party Planner

Have you ever dreaded going to a family, office or neighborhood holiday gathering?

Have you ever worried your own event might not turn out “right.”

Well, my “Perfect Party Planner” may help you deal with your holiday happening woes.

“Patrice’s Perfect Party Planner”

Tip #1: If you are dreading a gathering, don’t go. Okay, okay, just kidding – although sometimes not attending is a valid option – try this instead: 

  1. PREDICT BETTER: Parties and life, get better when we predict better. Take a minute or two and picture the party working out great.  Picture yourself leaving the soiree thinking, “Wow, that wasn’t so bad. In fact, I had a great time.” or “OMG, that was wonderful.” Envision whatever works best for you; the more details you throw in the better. If you are hosting an event, and nervous about how it will go, picture everyone complimenting your food, decorations, (or whatever you want them to compliment) and telling you what a great time they are having. The point: is thinking about a positive outcome – even for a few minutes, will make you much happier than worrying about a negative outcome for weeks, days or hours in advance, predict success! 
  2. CREATE PLAN B, C, D: Come-up with what you will do if you do find yourself getting frustrated or bored.  “When I start feeling _________ (frustrated, angry, annoyed, impatient, bored, etc.) , I will ___________(check on the kids; compliment someone; help with the food or dishes; walk outside; ask about someone’s vacation; dance; sneak a peek at presents, etc. )  Special note: try not to fill the second blank with “Eat and drink everything in sight”, because as you might imagine that could lead to other problems. The point here is to give yourself options in advance, it will help relax you and if you are creative with your blanks, may even give you a few laughs. 
  3. EYE CONTACT: When people are talking to you, stop thinking about what you are going to say in response or worse yet, looking around the room, and simply notice their eyes, take a second to really look into their eyes. (Please remember we are talking momentary eye contact here  – going much longer might be misinterpreted and scare your colleagues or give your neighbor Nancy’s husband ideas – keep it short, okay?) The point is, notice them not you.
  4. GO WITH A GOAL:  Make a game out of the event. I do this almost every time I attend a party where there will be lots of folks I don’t know or know well. Although I am an extrovert, I am a closet introvert at parties. I absolutely hate mingling at parties. I did PR and special events for years and I am completely comfortable in that realm; I can talk to anyone just about anywhere, but for some reason small talk at social gatherings is really difficult for me, like run-out-of-the-room-screaming-difficult. So I have learned to make a game out of it, and decide ahead of time at least three things to find out about folks attending. Last week, I focused on learning what at least three people love to do in the spare time and what they enjoy about their professions; I met 7 or 8 really nice people and exchanged emails with one. No big deal? For me it was huge, and allowed me to enjoy the party. The point? Divert attention from your worries and put others in the limelight.

Each of these ideas is cost and calorie-free, and can improve any event. Pick and choose what works for you to create a fantastic holiday experience, and reduce your stress level in the process. Some take more practice than others, but since holidays parties are here to stay, pace yourself and enjoy. 

The Twelve Days of Christmas

And, now for my party planning piece d’resistance, I have recreated the classic Christmas carol Twelve Days of Christmas! (Aren’t you excited???)

To create my version, I used some tips that I offered a while back – in a post I wrote titled, “I hear you”, (but whose plugging previous posts), which was about a presentation I heard by author and life coach Marianne Ford. Marianne reminded us that being right isn’t a right and sometimes conversations and life go better when instead of sharing our wisdom, i.e. rebutting the comments of others or offering advice, we simply respond with a friendly, “I hear you.”, or a non-committal but respectful “Ah- huh.”, “ Wow!”, “Okay.”, or “Really?” 

I need all the help I can get in this area, so I wove her words of wisdom and some of my tips into . . .

“Patrice’s Twelve Days of Christmas”or “Twelve Ways to Survive Holiday Happenings”

On the first day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
Patience for the party.

On the second day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
Two sacks of courage.
And, patience for the party.

On the third day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
Three “Ah-huh’s”
Two sacks of courage.
And, patience for the party.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
Four smiling nods
Three “Ah-huh’s”
Two sacks of courage
And, patience for the party.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
Five “Oh, that’s great!’s”
Four smiling nods
Three “Ah-huh’s”
Two sacks of courage
And, patience for the party.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
Six “Tell me more’s”
Five “Oh, that’s great!’s”
Four smiling nods
Three “Ah-huh’s”
Two sacks of courage
And, patience for the party.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
Seven “That sounds fun.”
Six “Tell me more’s.”
Five “Oh that’s great!’s”
Four smiling nods
Three “Ah-huh’s”
Two sacks of courage
And, patience for the party.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
Eight I-can-do-this
Seven “That sounds fun”
Six “Tell me more’s”
Five “Oh that’s great!’s”
Four smiling nods
Three “Ah-huh’s”
Two sacks of courage
And, patience for the party.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
Nine “Okay.”-“Wow!”-“Really’s?”
Eight I-can-do-this
Seven “That sounds fun”
Six “Tell me more’s”
Five “Oh that’s great!’s”
Four smiling nods
Three “Ah-huh’s”
Two sacks of courage
And patience for the party.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
Ten “That sounds hard.”
Nine “Okay.”-“Wow!”-“Really?’s”
Eight  I-can-do-this
Seven “That sounds fun”
Six “Tell me more’s”
Five “Oh that’s great!’s”
Four smiling nods
Three “Ah-huh’s”
Two sacks of courage
And, patience for the party.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
Eleven “Oh my goshes”
Ten “That sounds hard.”
Nine “Okay.”-“Wow!”-“Really?’s”
Eight I-can-do-this
Seven “That sounds fun”
Six “Tell me more’s”
Five “Oh that’s great!’s”
Four smiling nods
Three “Ah-huh’s”
Two sacks of courage
And patience for the party.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
Twelve I got through it’s!
Eleven “Oh my gosh’s.”
Ten “That sounds hard.”
Nine “Okay”-“Wow!”-“Really?’s”
Eight I can do this.
Seven “That sounds fun.”
Six “Tell me more’s.”
Five “Oh, that’s great!’s”
Four smiling nods
Three “Ah-huh’s.”
Two sacks of courage
And, patience for the party. 

And, just in case you are wondering, the twelve days of Christmas are the evening of December 24/January 6 (Epiphany) or December 25 to January 7 – depending on the Calendar, Julian/Gregorian you are following.

Feel free to share this new holiday classic with your friends and family, not that I am shamelessly suggesting you email it to everyone you know, or share this post on Facebook or anything, but if you want to . . .

And, for those of you, who are now trying to remember the real lyrics to the “The Twelve Days of Christmas”,  here they are:

Twelve drummers, drumming,

Eleven pipers piping,

Ten lords a-leaping,

Nine ladies dancing,

Eight maids a-milking,

Seven swans a-swimming,

Six geese a-laying,

Five golden rings,

Four calling birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves,

And a partridge in a pear tree!

 

Happy Holidays!



 

 

 

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