Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Does This Look Familiar?




"Prelude to the Christmas party, reserved for sentimental moments"



OK people, give it up. How many of you have had a sentimental moment as such before one of your parties? I'm sorry but not in all my days have I been this relaxed before one of my parties! Now I realize that you're supposed to look this cool and calm in front of your guests, and Lord knows I've tried to do so (and hopefully successfully!). But behind the scenes is this going on for me? I don't think so. Setting a table like this is fun and easy for me. And I enjoy getting myself primped and fluffed before a party. But during the prelude to the party I'm running around lighting candles, keeping an eye on the oven, making sure the ice is fresh, etc. And when I've had significant others who have helped me with parties, I've even been known to be hell on wheels and bark orders at them- in the kitchen and away from the guests, mind you. But does any of this stop me from entertaining? Not on your life because there is nothing more fun...even without these sentimental moments!

Image from House & Garden, Dec. 1948

29 comments:

  1. This is my dreamy ideal moment -- BUT so far from my real life moment that it makes me laugh! Yes -- although prep work and timetables can be helpful -- I am the one barking out orders to the DH, running around checking the bar, dashing around with bowls of nuts -- and looking for another pair of pantyhose because this pair has a run in it! After smoothing out the snags -- as the first guests arrive -- then nabbing a quick drinkie -- then I can relax and join the party!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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  2. love the photo and the fantasy - but that ship sailed ten years ago

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  3. Jan and Mary- You two make me feel much better! I'm glad I'm not the only one who hasn't had that touching moment before a party!

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  4. Mr. B and I always schedule 30 minutes before the party to sit and have a drink together to shake off the adrenaline of the running around. It never happens - and we are always checking the ice and the oven and barking back and forth. If we ever have a quiet moment it's 10 minutes after arrival time when no one is there yet and we are standing at the bay window facing the street saying, "It's a bust; no one is coming."

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  5. Patricia- Well, at least you and Mr. B have good intentions! I'm with you on the last part- wondering "Where is everybody????"

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  6. I guess "everybody" feels it is definately, "fashionable" to be late!! LOL...

    The photo is so NOT reality! Great post!

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  7. I do envy that fantasy couple in the photo.
    But I sincerely doubt that it was they who stuffed those aubergines in the foreground.
    Or set the table, for that matter.

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  8. The countdown moments in my home usually include a mention to my husband that this is not a good time to rearrange pictures, or in one memorable moment "NO YOU MAY NOT TOUCH UP THE PAINT IN THE FOYER"-note this was an hour before guests were do to arrive. As to the photo-yes my husband might be behind me,but probably with the intention of gagging me.

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  9. Ha! Yes, this is total fantasy. Our first New Years Eve party together, my husband announced - the morning of - that he was going for a motorcycle ride. After spending 3-4 days chopping, prepping, cooking and cleaning non-stop, and still having a million things to do, I almost lost my mind. I did do a bit of barking, to put it mildly.

    This woman has had a crew of hired help doing all the work for her.

    -Lana

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  10. Thanks Mimi!

    Toby, if she had 1940s fingernails- i.e. LONG- then no, she didn't stuff those aubergines, nor did she make the pinwheel sandwiches!

    Capegirl- What is with those last minute projects??? That drives me nuts too! ;)

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  11. Lana- Oh gosh, I would have "barked" too! Or worse!

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  12. Mrs. B's idea is a great one and I would love to try it out this NYE when we have a party. Mostly the last minute running around is my fault for not having done enough in advance, or doing too much.

    But, the hubby seems to always find a really annoying thing to do to "help" like pruning the bushes or some such nonsense the hour before when I really need him to prep the bar, take a shower, etc. Then when I am annoyed, it was "I was helping"...Yes, Dear you were.

    I had 60 for the husbands last birthday and did everything myself, next time I will hire a high school girl/boy to pass, refresh, etc. IMO, help is the key to enjoying your own party!

    Happy Holidays!!

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  13. That image is fabulous. Kind of sexy for 1948 :)

    It's sort of hysterical and enchanting at the same time, though. What a great find Jennifer.

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  14. I am afraid we are all in the kitchen barking. And my husband is a great guy who will do lots of work but we still bark before the event.

    After the party is another story: we do the dishes together (we took out our dishwasher) and talk it over and share stories the other one missed. It is our moment to enjoy the party together.

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  15. What a wonderful moment to strive for! I agree...she definitely has a caterer or domestic help! there are too many last minute details to take care....after the party...now that's another story
    ;-)
    I'm soooo glad to know I am not the only one who starts "barking" during the last moments before an event...I always feel bad afterwards...but, darn it...if you see what needs to be done-what are you standing around for???!!!

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  16. Oh my gosh y'all, it's the same story... no matter where we live! Glad to know I'm not the only who has a stressful prelude to the party!

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  17. Love the picture & wish it could be that easy! Mrs.B's idea is a great one. My husnband & I just end up having our first drink as we run around for that last half hour or so, but the thought of actually sitting down sounds fabulous! Will have to try!

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  18. Lauren- If you're ever able to swing that, please let us know what it's like!!!

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  19. Never in a moment before a party was I that relaxed. Not sure I'd want to be either though! I kind of like that thrill and stress right before. Call me crazy the rest of my family does.

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  20. Desiree- I kind of like that adrenaline rush as well!

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  21. My first ever blog comment on my first ever blog! This picture touches my heart because it could be my mother and daddy. The china in the picture is what Mother chose when they married. She was a beautiful brunette and Daddy had dark wavy hair. Now they are a beautiful silvery white haired couple. They had lovely parties when I was a little girl in the 50s. Mother always dressed me up and put up my hair with a little rosebud in the bun. I was allowed to greet guests and then go to bed.
    thanks for causing me to take time to remember!
    And thanks for the blog - it is a committment to have something to share everyday!

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  22. So funny! This is NOT the reality that I live in! But wouldn't it be wonderful to be there for a moment!

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  23. Reb- That is such a nice memory, and I'm glad this photo reminded you of that. Wasn't that fun when you were allowed to say hello to the grown-ups b/f having to go to bed? I used to just love that!

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  24. Willow- I guess we now have something to aspire to! ;)

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  25. I wish....I'm a raging bitch before my parties, worried about last minute details! My BF has wised up and comes as the guests arrive - about 20 minutes after the start time LOL. By then I've generally calmed down :-)

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  26. It's half and half here at the manse. Half the time I'm stuck in the kitchen doing a last minute something. The other half of the time I pour Mrs. E. a glass of champagne, turn on the Bill Evans and wait for the guests to arrive.

    (By the way, The Bill Evans Trio's "Waltz for Debbie" is a failsafe way to slow down the moments before the madness begins, whether or not you're stuck in the kitchen... . The opening bars of "My Foolish Heart" will banish the barking mood.)

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  27. AD- Glad I'm not the only one ;)

    E&E- I have that CD, so I must remember that the next time I entertain.

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  28. I LOVE the photo!! Oh to dream!!!

    No matter what tasks are involved, I would never shy away from entertaining and the joy it brings to all parties (myself included).

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  29. Your hostess experiences sound like mine. It is so stressful. Great picture though - one can dream....

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