tips for easy hosting (plus a printable invitation for a neighborhood party)

I recently read this very fun book about parties — all kinds of parties! From adults’ birthday parties to kids’ parties to wedding showers, and it got me pumped up to host people more often. The book is Celebrate Everything, and the author is Darcy Miller. Here’s a sneak peek to show you how gorgeous the book is!

I first read about Darcy’s parties in an issue of Martha Stewart magazine a few years ago, and my sister and I used some of Darcy’s ideas for our parents’ anniversary party. Darcy is a genius, I tell you!

As I was leafing through the pages of this book, I realized that John and I haven’t socialized much since COVID hit. One of my dreams has always been to have a house with a squeaky screen door that’s constantly opening because friends and neighbors are stopping by to visit. I wanted to have a bunch of kids running through the house, playing, while the adults laughed and talked. John always loved that idea, too, and we were working on building it together. But then COVID hit, everything stopped, and we haven’t done a great job of kickstarting the socializing again.

After reading Darcy’s book, I realized I want to be more intentional about reaching out to others. We decided to start at home, hosting a neighborhood party so we could meet all of our neighbors. We’re close with a few of the people who live directly next door and across the street, but we don’t know many of the people who live beyond that small circle.

I made these invitations using Canva and printed them out on card stock at our local UPS store. It was surprisingly cheap! I fit two invitations on each page, so I was able to print 40 invitations for about $13. When the invitations were ready, the kids and I delivered them, slipping the cards into mail slots and dropping them on welcome mats.

On the day of the party, we set up a beverage station using my gardening bench. I draped a clean tablecloth over the dirty surface and set out a few bottles of wine, a corkscrew, and some plastic cups along with bug spray.

We also put beer and seltzer in an ice bucket and set out a non-alcoholic punch in a glass beverage dispenser. Super easy!

Because the invitation said “light hors d’oeuvres” we figured it was enough to provide some very easy snacks, so I put some chips in a bowl, cut up some veggies and served them with ranch dressing, and put out some store-bought cookies.

And the party itself was fabulous! Everyone brought something, from wine to treats, so our table was overflowing with food and drinks. It was really fun to connect people to the houses we see all the time (“Oh, you live in the house with the big rose bushes! And you’re the ones who have that sweet Golden Retriever!”). Many folks thanked us for reaching out and said how happy they were to meet more neighbors. All in all, it was a very positive experience, and it made me feel even more at home in our neighborhood.

What do you think? Would you like to meet more of your neighbors? Do you have any interest in trying something like this? Let me know in the comments!

Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply