One of the best things about owning your own home is having enough space to throw a party! It’s always great to get friends and family together – you don’t need a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion to invite people over. One of the nation’s favorite excuses to plan your own awesome bash is the Super Bowl – and now is the perfect time to get the invitations out.
Does it seem like it would be too much work? Well…it could be, but we’ve got some great hints for streamlining the process and making it fun for everyone. You’ll be the hero of the day – trust us! Follow these step-by-step instructions and you’re sure to have a blast!
Get the Word Out
Using electronic delivery is the best in this day and age. Send out a group email or text, or jump on to an Internet-based service like Evite. These options are quick, easy and can reach dozens of people in a few clicks.
Clean the House
But don’t over-clean it. Over-clean? What’s that all about? Keep in mind that this is a casual, come-as-you are kind of party. Sure, the floors should be mopped, bathrooms cleaned and clutter stashed. But this isn’t a white glove event. Unless you’re inviting your nitpicky in-laws, who fuss about every speck of dust, people aren’t going to expect a pristine house. As long as you’re tidy enough, you’re set. Don’t strive for perfection.
Set It Up
Grab some team color décor and get a little festive! Put up some banners, balloons and streamers. If you’re going to have people rooting for each team, put a strip of tape down the middle of the room for fun. Decorate each side of the room with separate team colors and create a natural divide for each set of fans. Lay in some plastic tablecloths, tableware and cups in team colors too!
Make sure you have more than one TV. Place them in the living room, in a bedroom or in the dining room, in the garage, or perhaps one outside on your patio or deck if the weather is fine. You may also want to set aside a room somewhere for the guests who aren’t interested in watching the game. This area is great for non-sports conversation, running a DVD movie or taking care of young children who aren’t interested in the game.
While you may plan to have your more “significant” food in the kitchen (think easy to prepare, serve yourself foods such as chili, pre-cut sandwiches, sloppy joe meat and buns or pasta and meatballs), establish snack stations wherever people will gather. Chips and dips, finger foods and bite-sized sweets like cookies and brownies are ideal for quick bites when the on-screen action is hot. When placing your food and beverage areas, make sure that they’re not going to block the sight lines of the TV’s. People tend to gather around the snack spots, so make sure they’re not cutting off anyone’s view. And remember, you don’t need a chair or seat for every RSVP. Some fans prefer to stand rather than sit, and younger folks tend to be just as happy sitting on the floor. That said, be ready with some fold out chairs if you need a few extra perches.
And More About Food…
If you’d like, it’s perfectly acceptable to invite guests to bring their favorite snacks. It reduces the load on you in both time and money, and this way everyone there is guaranteed to have something they like. This works really well for guests that have special dietary requirements or are careful about what they eat. Arrange plates, cups, cutlery and napkins near each food or snack station. Make sure you have a generous supply of beverages, both non-alcoholic and “adult”. Sodas and juices can be stand-alone beverages or can serve as mixers. Don’t go crazy stocking a full bar – choose a white wine and a red, two or three brands of beer, and three or four types of mixable liquors. Lay in enough of each to make sure you’ll make it through the final quarter.
You can also arrange for hot food delivery at some point during the game as a change-up. Pizza is ideal, but you can also go with Chinese (eggrolls, fried dumplings, crab Rangoon and other finger foods are easy and fun) or an assortment of different flavors of chicken wings.
Make sure that all guests know where the beverage coolers or tubs are, and let them know that they are free to grab what they need or refresh their drinks as they like. This way you’re only checking the levels on your drink stations and not fetching drinks for each guest.
Clean as You Go
Stash trash bags in handy areas near each trash can so that you can empty them and start fresh quickly. As trays or serving plates empty, refill them, stash them in the dishwasher or dispose of them. Appoint one of the kids as a “roaming maid” every once in a while – give him or her a trash bag to take on the task of party patrol; asking guests if they would like to toss their cups or plates.
At the End…
Ask guests if they want to pack up some of the leftovers to take with them. This should cut down on the amount of food you’ll have to process on your final cleanup. Make sure you’ve asked in advance for a couple of volunteers to stay with you to share the workload – a few extra sets of hands will make it a quick and easy process.