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Chapter 5. The Style Hand > SUCCESS CARD 20: Entertain with Flair & Give Gifts

SUCCESS CARD 20: Entertain with Flair & Give Gifts

Entertain with Flair

Entertaining provides a way for you to be in the spotlight. You have the opportunity to showcase your skills in organization, time management, marketing, communication skills, and, in some circumstances, housekeeping! You get to show your creative side, as well. Anytime that you step out of the everyday and take on a special project, such as entertaining, you have a chance to be noticed and make an impact. Once a year, take out your calendar and set a date for one event you'd like to host. For instance, it could be an informal potluck with friends, a baby shower for a co-worker, a thank-you breakfast with your best clients, or a holiday cocktail party. If you're feeling more adventuresome, plan to do all four! All don't have to happen at your home; some can take place at a restaurant or friend's house. Begin to think about one event that could become an annual affair, something that a particular group of people will plan on and look forward to every year. You could tie it into a holiday. Try celebrating something in a month other than often overbooked December: St. Patrick's Day, New Year's Day, or Fourth of July, for example.

The secret to successful parties lies in the planning. Your to-do list can seem overwhelming at first, but it will get easier once you've done several parties. Whether the event is formal or informal, the basic list is the same: objective, theme, guests, invitations, food, seating, music, and decorations. An event in a restaurant won't give you control over a few of those items, but for other events, pay attention to every aspect. An event's objective can be as simple as celebrating a birthday or completing a project. Its purpose could be to solidify a business relationship or to finalize an important deal. Once the objective is clear, the rest of the planning should be fairly easy. An event doesn't have to have a theme, but it's fun if it does. For an easy theme, center it around a type of food or past common experiences. High school reunions often feature “blast-from-the-past” themes with attendees dressing as they did in high school. Potluck groups often plan their meals around different ethnic foods or holidays. One particularly creative potluck group in Chicago threw a party based upon the “Dick Van Dyke” show from the 1960s. Attendees wore black and white, shared foods popular in the 60s, and each couple had to perform in the living room after dinner! For an offbeat theme, look through Chase's Calendar of Events at your local library. It lists all of the interesting—and sometimes wacky—days that Americans celebrate, such as National Sea Monkey Day (February 15), Northern Hemisphere Hoodie-Hoo Day (February 20), International Mirth Month (March 1–31), and Wonderful Weirdoes Day (September 9).


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