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Party hosting is my forte, I really do love doing themed parties and having people over.  But only because I don't stress myself out about it.  I've learned how to simplify things over the years as well as create less waste (I don't want to be cleaning all day but I don't want to use so much paper and plastic either!)  Since we host Halloween, rather than Thanksgiving or Christmas, I figured I'd get this tips out early this year, in case you host Halloween too:


Make a signature drink and/or get a keg.  If your crowd has a lot of beer drinkers, get a keg instead of all those cans or bottles (which yes, can be recycled, but a keg can be re-used, which is better, and you don't have to clean up all those cans!)  I know you might be thinking 'well my guests have really different tastes, what if they don't all like the same beer in the keg?'  You know what people like more than a wide selection?  Free fucking booze.  Get the keg.  Choose the lowest common denominator with wide appeal, like Bud Light.  Even for a large gathering, between a big container of a signature drink and a keg, you'll be all set as the host.  Feel free to put out a bottle or two of wine, if you wish.  If someone is a particularly picky drinker, they'll bring their own.

Don't stress about a ton of menu options.  I am a picky eater and I have been for life.  But ask me how many steak houses I've been to.  It's what my dad loves and at some point, you cannot keep being the one everyone caters to.  Picky eaters know they're picky eaters.  I never expect anyone to cater to my diet at their own home.  I bring something, or I eat before or after the event.  The only thing I'm pretty careful about is peanuts because John's brother is highly allergic.  Not that he'd eat anything, but if foods touch it's a problem, or even if someone touches peanuts and then touches Eric, he'll have a reaction.  It's easier to avoid.  If you have a guest with that severe an allergy, you probably already know how to prepare for that and so do they.  But otherwise, don't feel the need to create an elaborate menu with options to appease every type of diet.  It's so complicated and expensive, and you end up wasting leftovers and extra ingredients if it's not something you'd typical eat in your house.  Just make a few things you know the majority of people enjoy and if anyone asks what they can bring, tell them and let them!

Use glass cups.  Glass automatically makes your party feel fancier than it is, like you put more work into than you actually did.  An added bonus of glass cups is that your guests are less likely to use more than one.  With plastic, they may set their drink and forget about and instead use another plastic cup.  People take better care with glass, but even if they don't, at least you just wash and reuse it.  We do have plastic cups for playing beer pong and flip cup, but we put water in those and don't actually drink from them.  Then we just reuse them, which is way more sanitary anyway, trust me.  Unless you really want to drink warm beer from the bottom of a plastic cup after a ping pong balled that's covered in my dog's fur just bounced into it, then you do you bro.  But for actual cocktails, bring out the glass, it'll be fine.

Use real plates and silverware too.  Much less wasteful than plastic, disposable plates and forks.  If you feel like you don't have enough, ask to borrow from family or head to the thrift store.  It definitely doesn't matter if it doesn't all match.

Let someone else deal with the music.  People love playing their own playlists, so let them connect their phone to your bluetooth speaker and play around.  No pressure on you to keep tabs on it!  One less thing on my plate to plan, I'm a fan.

Are you hosting any upcoming holiday gatherings?  How do you simplify the process and create less waste?