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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

05.30.2002

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host(ess) with the mostest 
9 tips to make you seem like a naturally fab party host

by
Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3 

Certain people just seem born with a natural ability to make other people feel comfortable in their home. Itís not about the niceness of the dťcor, the fabulousness of the food, or the quality of the quaffables (although these things never hurt). Itís a far more elusive quality: a certain something that allows them to be the life of the party while making every other guest feel just as central to the festivities. These inherently hospitable creatures have the enviable ability to divine what a guest wants without the guest once having to say a word Ė hence their magical ability to make every gathering they host seem like everyoneís idea of the perfect party, seemingly without any effort at all.

Iím not a great host by nature. I get stressed-out about whether thereíll be enough food; I feel a pang of genuine panic if I see guests getting up to leave before the clock strikes midnight. So in the absence of anything remotely resembling a natural gift for party-throwing, what else is there to do but work hard to fake the skills? Alas, the tricky part about learning to become a better hostess is that a key characteristic of the Fab Hostess is that she is totally, utterly, relaxed about throwing parties. Try too hard and youíre pretty much doomed to fail. Itís all so second nature to the Fab Hostess that she never makes a fuss over any of the little tiny touches she makes to ensure each and every guest is having a great time at all times. As a guest, you just know that at the Fab Hostessís parties, you never find yourself without a drink in your hand, twiddling your fingers alone in a dark corner corner, checking your watch wondering whether itís time to go home.

Fortunately, and despite the fact I wasn't born a Fab Host, Iíve learned a thing or two through careful observation of my many more talented friends, and a fair amount of practice. Check out these nine secrets towards becoming a better host Ö

1 Delegate the chores! The smart host knows that you donít have to do everything yourself. When youíre throwing a big party especially, invite as many of your friends as possible to actually help out with the planning. Make use of your friendsí many talents Ė ask your artistic pals to help with decorations, your musical buddies to make some party mixes, your culinarily-inclined chums to pitch in with the food prep. Itíll make them feel needed and loved, which is always a good thing, and moreover, make it far more likely for them to feel guilty about slipping out early come party time.

don't stop: there's more!

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