Everyone has that one person close to them. The one who says the same thing every year on their birthday or when another special occasion rolls around. “Don’t bother getting me anything, and whatever you do… Don’t throw me a party!”. While we want to respect their wishes it seems disingenuous not to do something special for them when a special occasion occurs, especially when it’s something they’ve earned like a job promotion, personal victory or the news that they’ve beaten a serious illness.
Here’s the thing. People who hate parties say that they hate parties but they probably don’t… they probably just hate bad parties. And who could blame them? Bad parties are awful! Those tacky, boozy affairs that are punctuated by awkward silences, lame “So what do you do?” conversation starters, cheap decorations, nasty pre-packaged processed food, cheap and acrid ‘almost champagne’ and that one idiot who clearly doesn’t get out very much and is now dancing lewdly at the girls from the accounts department. Nobody needs that!
Invite only the best people
If somebody professes to hate parties they’re probably overwhelmed by large crowds, noise and raucousness. Somewhere in our evolution, we started equating bigger with better. A smaller, more manageable guest list is infinitely preferable to a menagerie of half remembered faces. Even if you keep the guest list down to half a dozen or so this is still enough people to create a happy and convivial atmosphere without things ever getting too agoraphobic.
Keep the food, drink and decor classy
If you suspect that your friend / partner / sibling doesn’t hate parties so much as the trappings of parties, it’s up to you to break the mold and create something that will shatter their preconceptions and put a (grudging) smile on their face. This means no cheap plastic hat, no garbage food, no beige buffet and no undrinkable supermarket plonk!
Go to a high end vendor for decorations. The kind that usually caters for classy corporate events but also does the domestic stuff. For an example of what I mean, you can view decorations here. If your unwitting party person is a foodie then take the time with your friends to create some culinary masterpieces which will show them how much they mean to you. Keep the drinks flowing but make sure that you know everyone well enough to gauge how they’ll behave after a few.
Make it about them
Remember that your party doesn’t have to be a party in the strictest sense of the word. It doesn’t have to have party hats, balloons or streamers (although it certainly can). Make it about them. If they’d prefer a few civilized drinks while enjoying a movie marathon or a hardcore gaming session in the company of good friends then give them what they want.
Help them clean up afterward
Nothing puts the stank on a fun night like having to clean up the aftermath in the morning. You don’t want to leave them lumbered with a mess of crumbs, beer bottles, food wrappers and cigarette butts at the end of the night so take some time to help them clean up when the festivities are over.
The smile on their face will be more than worth the effort.