Just Throw the Party: Finding Connection Once Again

With our youngest ready to go to college next year, we decided it was the right time to downsize. We sold our house, and on Thanksgiving Day, no less. So, we’re moving and soon – right after Christmas. So, you could say I have a lot going on. It’s also the end of the year and the busiest month for me professionally. We will be moving after the holidays so it was tempting to not decorate the house and start packing. However, it was important to my family to keep Christmas going in the house they grew up in. Thanksgiving weekend, my family banned together and we put up the decorations and the house looks beautiful. After all that, my husband and daughter said “We should still throw our Christmas party.” My first thought was, “What?!” but then it quickly changed to, “Yes! Let’s do it.”

Why We’re Throwing the Party

People thought I was crazy. Why would we throw a Christmas party at the busiest time of the year when we are also trying to get ready to move??? Simple – make memories and reconnect.

Memories Matter. This Christmas holds special meaning for us. It’s the last one we’ll share in this house I built for my family. All but one of my kids are grown up and off to college and on their own. My youngest is getting ready to join them next year. Continuing our Christmas traditions will provide a sense of stability and help make even more lasting memories for my whole family moving forward. It’s essential to make these memories for you and your family, they don’t just happen on their own.

Reconnection. During COVID, people stopped getting together and we became disconnected from our family and friends. My kids are grown up and doing their own things. For a long time, our social life was focused on their activities and sports, which has now ended. My work makes it hard to say yes to things and I’m not as social as I would like to be. As humans, we need to connect with people. This is essential to our wellbeing. We need to navigate life transitions by intentionally staying connected to people. That is what makes life fun and easier. So, we’re throwing the party. It’s time to get back to what matters. 

My Best Kept Secrets to Throwing a Great Party 

Keep It Simple. Assess your time and energy and plan for what you can do on your own and what you need help with. While we love to cook and entertain, this time I am hiring a caterer so we have less to do. I created a simple menu for them to deliver. This allows me to focus on connecting with the people. If budget or time stops you, you can always ask people to BYOB or bring a dish to pass. Or throw a party or get together in between meal times so you don’t have to spend more. Have people over to watch football games, make holiday cookies, or a gift exchange party.

Manage Expectations. There can be a lot of anxiety when it comes to deciding who to invite and wondering who’s going to come. When people can’t attend, do not take this personally. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, we all have a lot going on and some people are struggling getting back and reconnecting. I am going in with the expectation that about 25% of the people I invited would be unable to come. If it ends up being bigger than a good thought is “the more the merrier!”  If it ends up being smaller, then think, “What a great chance for more meaningful connections.”

Why You Should Also Throw the Party 

Ultimately, it’s all about making connections, sharing laughter, and creating moments you’ll remember. So, even though life is busy, especially at the end of the year, remember what matters – staying connected to family and friends. I’m in my 50s now, and soon, all my kids will be out of the house. We’ll be in a new home, and time will keep moving. So, throw the party and keep it simple. Good food and people – that’s what I love. 

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