All of us, young and old, have many opportunities to practice the art of hospitality, and it really is an art to entertain and to be entertained graciously. Since you will be a guest, as well as a hostess, many, many times during your lifetime, it is a good idea for you to begin now to learn how to be the kind of guest people like to entertain and how to be the kind of hostess people like to visit.
A hostess has more to do than anyone else in making a party a success. She sends out the invitations, arranges for the event, serves the food, and sees that everyone has a good time. But being a welcome guest is just as much an art. From the time of receiving the invitation to the time of departure from any event, the guest has a part to play in making the occasion a success.
A Good Host or Hostess Must...
As a guest, be sure that you have been included in the invitation, or you will not be welcome. Regardless, it's true, that some teenagers do crash parties. It is not accepted behavior, and even though your host or hostess may not seem to mind, his or her mother undoubtedly will not like it. How would you like to be giving a party and find that you have several more guests than you have planned for?
As the host or hostess, you should consider not only the number of guests you invite but whom you invite. So far as possible, try to have people who know each other and get along together. It is also a good idea to invite people that have some interests in common.
No matter whom you invite, you'll find that your party will be a better one if you keep the number small - say, not over twelve guests.
The invitation should be extended eight to ten days in advance of the date of the party. There are two ways to invite people: by word of mouth, in person or over the phone, or by a handwritten note (never by a typewritten one).
When you are ready to write the invitations, it is a good idea to prepare a sample and give all needed information, such as the date, time, place, kind of party, and directions for getting there.
Replying to an invitation is the first way in which you make yourself a welcome guest. If you delay in replying to an invitation, it may seem that you are waiting to see if something more interesting will turn up. Whether you want to go or not, you should show appreciation for the fact that someone likes you well enough to ask you to be a guest. Also, your hostess will of course want to know as soon as possible whether or not you are coming, so she can plan her time and make arrangements for your visit.
A Good Guest Must...
Courtesy and consideration are key words for any host or hostess. It is fun to have a party, but your party will be more fun for your guests if you learn how to be a good party giver. Besides planning for the party and making all the necessary arrangements, a host or hostess must be pleasant, show an interest in all the guests, and try to see that everything runs smoothly.
There are many reasons for choosing your own home as the place to have a party. First, it costs less to entertain in your own home. Second, it gives you a chance to have your family meet your friends. Third, a home is more personal, comfortable place in which to entertain your friends than any other place you can select.
-The date, time and place
-The amount of money you can afford to spend
-The kind of party you will have
-Whom you will ask to help you with the party
-Whom you will invite and how you will invite them
-What decorations and favors you will have
-What you will serve
-How you will serve
-What kind of activity you will have for entertainment
-When you will make your advance preparations
Sometimes a party is unplanned. You and your friends may just get together at someone's home after school or at some other time. The same rules of courtesy used at a planned party apply here. That is, if you are a host, you try to make your guests feel at home. If you are a guest, you observe good behavior and good manners. When you go to an unplanned party, be sure that your mother knows where you are and about how long you are going to stay.
When planning for any party at home, the first thing to do is to consult your parents. You will want to make sure it is all right with them and that your mother or father is going to be at home on the date when you are planning to have your party. Although you should do most of the work for the party, you will need advice, help, and support from other members of the family.
In deciding on the date, you should also be sure that it is one which does not conflict with something going on at school or in the community that your guests might be attending.
The kind of party you decide to have will depend upon the facilities and equipment you have in your home. Is the living room large enough for games or dancing? Do you have a recreation room? Is there a porch that you can use for games and dancing? Is your backyard suited for having an outdoor party?
Teenagers enjoy a party that is happy and casual. Getting together to play cd's, talk, play games, or watch TV is the usual kinds of parties among teenagers. Now a days they call it "hanging out." A good way to make new friends among boys and girls whom you do not know well and would like to know better is to invite a few people over after a football or basketball game. This may not really be a "party," for you might only have two or three guests, but you would still be entertaining.
You could have some simple refreshments and just talk. Naturally for such a get-together there is little if any planning for decorations or activities, for your guests would not stay long.
When you are planning a party for a group of friends, you may want to build the party around a theme of some sort or plan a special kind of party. For instance, parties are given to observe special holidays, birthdays, or for such special occasions as winning a football or basketball championship. Having a party to observe a special event or a special day gives you a theme around which to choose games, refreshments, decorations, and favors. The season too should be considered in planning the kind of party you will have.
If you want to have a kitchen party, at which everyone helps to prepare the refreshments, you will not need to plan any other activity, since the preparation of the food itself is the activity.
If you have a backyard or patio party, you may want to have your party outdoors when the weather permits. You can cook the food in the yard, if you have the facilities, or you can bring the food out from the kitchen.
-Party for a special occasion or a holiday
-Cd or TV party
-Breakfast, luncheon, or dinner party
... plants for the house or yard
... accessories for the home, such as vases
... personal gifts for the hostess such as candy, jewelry, etc.
... item's for the hostess's hobby collection or interests
Conversations is just what the name implies. It takes more than one to carry on a good conversation. It is not a monologue, with one person doing all the talking, but a dialogue in which two people take part.
Some girls feel that they do not know what to talk about when they are with boys. And boys feel the same way about girls. Here is where the knowledge of many things and the development of many interests can be important. Learn to skate, swim, play basketball, dance, take pictures, build model airplanes, or play a musical instrument. Be familiar with sports and current events at school and in the community.
Watch several different TV shows, rather than the same kind or the same ones, so you can discuss them with other people. Become familiar with several magazines, and at least look over one newspaper a day. You will find yourself with so many topics of conversation that you may have to practice listening instead of talking! This is sometimes a good idea anyway.
In some families, it is not the custom to have much family discussion or even conversation, and so the children may find it difficult to talk easily when they are with others. You need to practice the art of conversation.
Girls should not make the mistake of talking about themselves exclusively. That sort of conversation can be very boring. Equally boring and in poor taste is a description of what the girl did on other occasions and when having other dates. Give the other person the opportunity to talk about their interests. Ask intelligent questions and be a good listener. Avoid prying into personal matters. Avoid, also, being sarcastic.