Pippa Middleton’s book “Celebrate: A Year of Festivities of Family and Friends” was recently released to less than stellar reviews.
Now, I am not here to pick on poor Pippa. I mean, what else is she going to do? She can’t very well work as a bank teller now, can she? And I have nothing against her or her sister (although a British friend of mine refers to them as The Wisteria Sisters in that they are highly decorative, fragrant, and have an uncanny ability to climb). No, what I have a problem with is with what seems is a sudden influx of people who want to entertain. No longer are you allowed to have some friends over, throw some Trader Joe’s appetizers in the microwave, and pop in a DVD. No. Instead, you are expected to have personalized place settings and correct feng shui in order to give your guests an experience. And with the help of a bajillion blogs, Pinterest, and lifestyle sites that show you how to correctly space the prongs on your salad forks, you really have no excuse.
I will admit, I too have fallen into the trap of being the hostess with the mostess™. For a Halloween party, I once made little goody bags for the kids that resembled witches’ brooms. This meant I had to run around outside and collect twigs for broomsticks. It did not make me look crafty and cute, it made me look crazy and a bit OCD.
There is a certain art to celebrating. A certain joie de vivre, if you will. I understand that. I respect that. Not everyone can be Martha Stewart. Nor should everyone try. This means it is okay to buy a wedge of cheese and shove it on your table with a knife in it. You do not need to shove a cinnamon stick up its bottom and make it “festive.”
You can blame Sandra Lee and the infamous Kwanzaa Cake (CORN NUTS, PEOPLE!) or the woman in Target who was flustered in the kitchen section and wondered out loud why there isn’t “a Rachael Ray section.” (The woman next to me muttered under her breath, “It’s called the frozen and prepared food section.”) But I say we take back our ability to non-entertain. We organize to non-organize gatherings.
Here are a few of my suggestions:
- Invite people over. Open the door in your pajamas and show them the way to kitchen.
- Tell people they can find beer in the fridge.
- If there are children involved, put them in a room with some paper, crayons, and close the door. (Also remove sharp objects; no one wants a lawsuit!)
- Girls nights out can be fun! Call a bunch of friends over. That’s it…what? Do you want conversation topics, too?
I am chock full of ideas, but since Pippa received a hefty advance for her book, I can only expect the same. I mean, I too can look positively darling lying on my couch with a glass of scotch and my fleece pajama bottoms.