THECITY Magazine El Paso • Best of 2013

Page 171

e n t e r ta i n i n g

December/January, 2014


s we head into the holiday season,

tables, I put them at different tables. Think of how

and what I like to call the “Iditarod

much more the couples themselves will have to

of Parties,” I’ve been thinking about

talk about during the drive home that night!

group dynamics and what makes for a great soirée. Let’s face it: nothing is more boring than

Gracious seating plans are easily carried out with

attending the same dinner party with the same

place cards. Think of them as your dual-purpose

guests over and over.

little helpers. Place cards make your guests feel welcome and planned for and they enable you

A good rule of thumb for creating the perfect

to mix up the crowd. Just remember the onus is

guest list is to include 60 percent people who

on you to circulate among your guests and make

know each other and 40 percent who don’t. That

introductions during the cocktail hour before

can be tricky to achieve, but well worth the effort.

dinner. Don’t worry about introducing everyone.

As you plan your upcoming get-togethers, think

The act of the hosts welcoming each person

about shaking up your circles of friends and going

and making them feel comfortable will create

just slightly out of your comfort zone. Consider

an open atmosphere where guests are likely to

inviting a few people whom you’d like to get to

mingle with ease.

know better. The conversations around the room are sure to be more interesting if there are new

And finally, if you’re likely to be a guest as often

acquaintances and unexpected combinations.

as a host this season, keep this advice in mind: go over to the side of the room and talk to the

Seating is another key element to keeping the

person you least want to talk to. When you talk

evening lively. One rule I swear by is to never seat

to people who you may not expect to connect

couples together. And when there are multiple

with, something unusual can happen.