Wednesday, December 10, 2008
This beautiful old house is located on the way to Haven Beach, at the intersection of two roads. Don't ask me to name those roads, I implore you. Speaking of ramshackle houses (and I wasn't, this one is beautiful), I continue now with how I'm preparing for the neighborhood Christmas party I am hosting this weekend.
In today's segment of Chesapeake Bay Woman's Guide to the Holidays we discuss how to properly invite guests to your annual neighborhood holiday function. Let's begin.
1. Decide on an invitation, but do not purchase any. Instead, use some leftover Christmas cards from last year. Nobody will ever notice.
2. Use Word to create an insert with all the pertinent information such as date, time, location and other germane facts. You will tape this over the cheerful Christmas message inside the leftover cards.
3. Call your 13-year-old son to ask for technical guidance related to designing the insert to be taped on the card. When he says this: "Wah wah wah MAIL MERGE wah wah, create the whole thing in Word wah wah" go ahead and give him the deer in the headlights look. It's your right and privilege at this age (yours, not his). Then explain that your way (i.e. take Christmas card, open, tape the relevant info you created in Word, hello? this is so much easier) will be less stressful for all parties involved. Remain calm as he rolls his eyes and shakes his head.
4. Print the inserts and cut them to fit inside the old Christmas cards. Utilize basic cutting skills most folks acquire in kindergarten, yet remember that cutting is not always like riding a bicycle, and some people are more patient and better at it than others. Repeat this mantra over and over until you are convinced it is true.
5. Tape the inserts in the old Christmas cards, covering up the Merry Christmas greeting. It's OK if your taping isn't perfect or if things are slightly cock-eyed (present company included).
6. Don't forget to include a phone number for your guests to RSVP, so you will be able to plan accordingly. Since you did forget to type that in the insert, go ahead and hand-write that nugget of information on the poorly cut invitation. You are currently way too far into the project to start over.
7. Say a few choice words when the envelopes from last year's Christmas cards are permanently sealed shut. Thank you, Virginia humidity. From last summer.
8. Write the names of your neighbors/guests on the envelope. At this juncture it is helpful to know the first and last names of your dear neighbors...as well as their spouses' names. Hypothetically speaking, if you can't remember Dear Neighbor's last name, or a spouse's name, go ahead and jot down the part of the name that you actually do recall. Assume they will know it is also for their spouse, and certainly they know their own last name. Since your children will be delivering the invitations, there's a possibility the neighbor will assume the children created the invitations. In fact, when they open it up, they will be 100% convinced the children created the invitation.
9. Blow kisses to your children as you send them off to hand-deliver the invitations to your neighbors.
10. Wait about an hour for the phone to ring. Here's what you can expect:
Neighbor: "Chesapeake Bay Woman, are you trying to tell me something?"
CBW: (No response. I have no earthly idea what he's talking about.)
Neighbor: Well, I received a Christmas card with no information in it."
CBW writes another Note to Self: "Dear Self, Do you remember in Step 1 where you said nobody will ever notice the re-purposed Christmas card? Guess what? When you neglect to INSERT the insert and tape it over top the greeting, they WILL notice."
This concludes our segment on how to properly invite guests into your home during the holidays. Always remember:
1. The actual invitation--which includes the who, what, when and where of your delightful holiday function for which you are completely unprepared--is an essential ingredient in the invitation process. Without it, there is no invitation, is there?
2. Wah wah wah The invitation sets the tone for your party and gives your guests a hint of what is to come. Wah wah.
(Go ahead and insert a pregnant pause here while you reflect on #2 above.)