Get The Most out of Hosting a Home Party

HOME PARTIES: Sharing quality time and getting the shopping done too
by: Doris Ohlmann

In our fast-paced society, many people are looking for ways to get everything done and still have some fun and relaxation time with family and friends. Home parties offer an alternative from the hustle and bustle of shopping malls by bringing quality products into the comfortable atmosphere of your own home, where you can invite your friends and family members for an evening of relaxation — and get the shopping done as well!

Home parties have been around for a long time and make their rounds at varying times over the years depending on what’s new out there and what is of interest to a particular group at the time. There are many different kinds of home parties to choose from so you’re certain to find something that peaks your interest. Whether you join together with friends to demonstrate Tupperware, candles, clothing, makeup, jewellery or gifts, there’s sure to be a consultant out there who can share their wares.

If your teenage daughter is looking for volunteer hours to meet the Ontario 40-hour volunteer requirement for high school graduates, having her help with home parties may be allowed. Check with your school’s volunteer criteria. Otherwise, it’s still a good mother/daughter activity. Ask her what kind of party she’d enjoy and what part of the party she’d like to be involved in, and then get planning.

Setting up the party

Make a guest list. It’s best to invite more guests than you think will actually come. Ask each guest to bring along a friend or two. If your teenage daughter is helping out, ask her to ask a friend to help her at the party.

Invite your guests. You can make up invitations the old-fashioned way and drop them off to your friends, hand them out or send them in the mail. Handmade invitations can be fun to make and you can include your teenagers in the process. If your daughter is especially creative, give her the leadership on this one and let her decide what kind of invitations to make. If you’ve had a card-making home party on another occasion, you’ll be ready to go with lots of ideas.

Since many people enjoy interacting through social media now, you can also send your invitations electronically via Facebook, Evite or e-mail. Again, this may be another task you can hand off to your teen, who is probably more computer savvy than yourself. This medium offers a quick way to send invitations, and you can track replies and send reminders easily as well.

Display area. Provide an easy-access display area for your consultant to set up. Usually a good-sized table is all that’s needed as, depending on the products, often items can be passed around from guest to guest.

During the party. Your teen can again take the lead by acting as hostess for the party and greeting guests upon arrival, taking any outside apparel to hang until the end of the party or even providing child care services for those parents who attend with younger children.
If there’s time, you can include simple games. Some consultants bring their own ideas or you can check beforehand and collaborate on ideas for your guests. Some games include ways for guests who don’t know one another to learn more about each other — and thus new friendships may be formed. Ask your teen to hand out paper and pencils if needed or practise their public speaking skills by giving instructions to guests for how to play each game.

Menu. Serve simple refreshments so the emphasis is on spending time together and checking out the merchandise,
not on eating or worrying about having to hold onto a plate and glass while circulating or passing around samples. Serving food at the end of the party while guests are taking turns placing their orders is a good way to avoid the “I need a third hand!” refrain.

Even if your home party actually features food, guests are often invited to share samples after the end of a cooking demonstration. Again, this provides a better opportunity for the consultant to answer any questions from guests about specific products introduced. It’s a good idea to offer at least a beverage for your guests as they can sip on it while they’re listening to the presentation. Make up a punch and offer coffee and tea to make it easier. Ask your daughter(s) to circulate and take orders and bring the refreshment to your guests so they can sit, relax, socialize and really have a night off their feet! With just a couple of servers, it reduces congestion in the kitchen area as well, and with your young charges helping out, you can enjoy time with your guests as well!
Planning and hosting a home party might just be the best way to connect with your teen and share mutual interests,
ideas and time together.
Doris Ohlmann is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Ottawa Family Living.

Home Party Ideas
Candles — fine candles, candle scents, home decor and environmentally friendly home cleaning  products — quality home fragrances and accents for your candle collection
Clothing and Accessories — stylish and comfortable clothing fashions — latest fashion trends in women’s purses, jewellery and fashion accessories
Cooking — high-quality multipurpose kitchen tools, expert cooking tips and simple recipes to enhance shared mealtimes and suit busy lifestyles — high-quality houseware products for home, office lunches or baking with children
Makeup — scientifically advanced skin care and makeup with good-for-your-skin ingredients and top quality at affordable prices — quality skin care and colour cosmetics, including spa and body products and fragrances for men and women
Jewellery — for fashion-conscious women, Fifth Avenue Collection boasts one of the most comprehensive collections of high-line fashion jewellery using gemstones from around the world — fine, handcrafted, sterling silver jewellery — custom and personalized handstamped nickel silver jewellery (nickel silver is corrosion- and tarnish-resistant, and polishes to a bright silver-like finish)
Home Decor/Giftware — Quilted Cabin is 100 per cent Canadian-owned country decor for every room in your home, including primitive furniture, candles, wall decor, quilts, lighting and gifts — quality, affordable, unique vintage home decor and accents


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