The graduation ceremony is two weeks away. The graduation party is the day after that. At my house.
Where the front door needs to be refinished, and there are holes to patch, touch-up painting to be done, flowers that need planting, a room to remodel, extra seating to find, food to order, plates and napkins to buy…
I’ve been to many parties where the hostess wore a worried expression as she answered the door and quickly left us to fend for ourselves as she hurried about the house fussing over the details. I’ve been to one party where the hostess was so relaxed and engaged and enjoyed the party right along with all her guests. That was the moment I decided to be that kind of hostess.
So, taking my cue from my friend, I ran through my impossible, mental to-do list:
- create lush container gardens to welcome guests
- refinish front door
- deep clean the house
- put kitchen cabinet doors back on cabinet
- paint bookshelves in guest lounge
- patch all the holes in the walls
- repaint the house interior
- makeover the backyard including a DIY fire pit for s’mores
- create individual cups filled with s’mores ingredients
- buy new breakfast room chairs
- stain the breakfast room table
- buy plates and napkins that coordinate with school colors
- buy floral foam and fresh flowers and create stunning centerpieces
- scour alleys and dumpsters for pallets to DIY extra tables
- buy drop cloths, dye them blue and cut into table runner
- buy more placemats
- order prints of Senior pictures and make cute photo holders with pictures for guests to take
- set up a memory table with a picture of Hannah from preschool through now
- buy a large jar and notecards for guests to jot down advice for the graduate
- hire a photographer and rent a photo booth
and whittled it down to this:
create lush container gardens to welcome guestsplant the flowers I bought before they die refinish front door deepclean the house put kitchen cabinet doors back on cabinet paint bookshelves in guest loungeclear clutter from guest lounge
- patch all the holes in the walls
repaint the house interior makeover the backyard including a DIY fire pit for s’moresain’t nobody got time for that create individual cups filled with s’mores ingredientsbuy the icing sugar cookies at Walmart and the brownie bits from Kroger Hannah likes for dessert buy new breakfast room chairs stain the breakfast room table buy plates and napkins that coordinate with school colorsGo to Dollar store and buy pack of paper plates and napkins buy floral foam and fresh flowers and create stunning centerpiecesgather empty jars and fill with daisies (Hannah’s favorite flower) scour alleys and dumpsters for pallets to DIY extra tablesborrow extra tables buy drop cloths, dye them blue and cut into table runneruse something I already have buy more placematsuse what I already have order prints of Senior pictures and make cute photo holders with pictures for guests to takeorder wallet size prints and set out for guests to “take one” set up a memory table with a picture of Hannah from preschool through nowfind a few pictures of Hannah to set on the gift table. buy a large jar and notecards for guests to jot down advice for the graduateuse a jar and a box of empty cards I already have hire a photographer and rent a photo boothmake sure my camera battery is charged and in the camera
How do you decide what to keep and what not to keep on your party planning list? Ask yourself if the to-do helps you accomplish the goal of making guests feel welcome and included in celebrating the occasion with you. If not, scratch it off the list.
No one cares about the faded front door. Because what my friend knew, and what I now know, is that the party is about radical hospitality; perfect home not required.
See you in class,