A party is also a good impetus for thoroughly cleaning and organizing anything that's been bugging me. Rarely do I just stow something away unsorted, and for the record, I can say I have NEVER been tempted to use my oven, clothes dryer or dishwasher as temporary storage. (I know a lot of people who confess to having done that, so if you're one of them and you were smirking at my OCD-ness, just remember we all have our little quirks.)
And sometimes it's a good excuse to "spruce things up a bit," like my last-minute notion to display my great-grandmother's vintage aprons.
I guess it's fair to say that my parties tend to come with a bit of self-imposed stress. But I love entertaining, so it's the price I'm willing to pay. So what is my favorite part of throwing a party?
Well, it's not tidying up, although a looming red-letter day on the calendar does tend to get me in the cleaning spirit.
The cooking is fun (but it also makes another mess AND there is the risk of a "dud"), so it's really not my favorite thing about entertaining either.
Having a great time with our guests? That's certainly a high point.
But my very favorite part of having a party? Don't tell the guests, but sometimes it's the after-the-party. We don't throw "swing from the chandelier with a lampshade on your head" type parties, so cleanup is usually a breeze - pop a few serving pieces in the dishwasher, toss or refrigerate any leftovers, and take out a bag of trash, and it's done.
After the guests are gone, the house looks great, my little clutter piles have been dealt with, my decor has been snapped into focus, and some area of our house might even sport a new paint job. I can kick back, smile, and enjoy the memories of a fun time with family or friends, and not have to worry about mopping or organizing my closet, at least for a few days.
Today's Secret Sister brunch was wonderful - I am blessed to have so many caring and fun Christian women in my life. And judging from the food we enjoyed today, our 2010 cookbook is going to be chock-full of extra-yummy brunch recipes.
Next weekend, we just might get to see some