How often do we find that we are losing track of friends without enough time to spend together? It seems easy to say "maybe next month," "when I get that promotion," "when the kids are out of school," or any other myriad of excuses. The bottom line is if we don't make the time to celebrate our friends we won't have the time ever.
It is all about committing to connect, and creating opportunities to make that happen. Be sure to involve everyone in the fun by asking them to bring a dish or other element. No one likes to show up at a party empty handed and it is easier if you specify.
Here are just a few more ways you can celebrate your friends!
Halloween Fright Night
Time to spook it up and get back to the reason Halloween was created. Let's return to scary for just a bit. Come as your favorite ghost, ghoul, monster, witch, or werewolf. This isn't about any stuffed shirt party but a chance to make grunge look good and frightening.
You can incorporate trivia here with questions about famous vampires, Dracula, monsters and more (sure Buffy counts!) You may even want to create a mini haunted house complete with ghostly blow ups and spider webs and haunting music. Have everyone bring their most terrifying treat to share.
Celebrate your friends with a Halloween Fright Night!
Girl friends and I got together and bought season tickets to a local community theatre. We go on a Saturday night about once a month and all convene for dinner before hand at our favorite neighborhood café. It is a lot of fun and this particular theatre has never let us down with a real variety of plays and great talent playing. I'd like to do the same with a handful of other venues as it means we have guaranteed seats and a night on the calendar to look forward to.
I have noticed that there are regular groups of couples that get together for the same theatre shows and even parents with their children and make it a family cultural outing. It is still a celebration of friends!
I know that most men don't enjoy shopping (okay they hate it!) except when it means being left for days at a home improvement center or auto dealership. So to make sure everyone has fun, the guys need to have guy stores to hang out at like Frontgate, Bass Pro Fishing, Brookstone, Best Buy, Circuit City, Bose or any sporting goods store. Usually there is at least one of these in most of the popular outlet shopping centers. Then the ladies can have their occasionally necessary shopping therapy at a discount.
Men are generally quite happy with one or two resources and spending time in research while women like the more stores the better, flitting from one to the next always in search of the best bargain (very rarely is it the ideal fit or most flattering look and many times it will sit in the back of the closet with the tag on, but it will be bragged about as the ultimate steal to fellow bargain hunters!) If children are in tow it can be helpful to ensure a stop mid-shopping at a food and entertainment emporium like Chucky Cheese.
Savvy retailers often provide play areas to allow Mom better shopping focus. The key is to know that something as proverbially ordinary as shopping can be a chance to celebrate friends and another pair of eyes is always appreciated to share the virtues of a dress that we might not otherwise need.
Celebrate your friends with outlet therapy!
Goodwill Games (Bunko/Bingo/Bridge/Poker)
I've got a handful of friends that have regularly scheduled game nights well apart from a supper club or theatre night. The games are most often a group of women or men, rarely mixed and include bunko, bridge, gin rummy, poker, and even bingo. Crowds range from four to ten plus and easy eats are provided in the form of sandwiches and appetizers.
Jigsaw puzzles could be added to this mix and certainly scrabble, monopoly, pig mania (really a blast!), and trivial pursuit. This is a really nice change from the monotony and soloness of computer games. It is a good social opportunity and allows for some of the competitiveness to come into play, just no sore losers please!
Celebrate your friends with a goodwill games night!
Art for the Ears
Recently I attended a concert at Atlanta's Botanical Gardens with friends. It was a beautiful night and though they were very restrictive in not allowing food or drink brought in, they did provide for purchase delicious gourmet fare, beer, and wine by the glass or bottle. It made it very easy and the venue was smaller and more intimate than a large concert hall or performing arts center. I realized that it wasn't truly important to me who was playing but that it was the comradery we enjoyed and the minimal planning since we could buy our feast on site only.
Now whether you are game for an outdoor venue and take your chances with weather or prefer the safety of a music center or playhouse is up to you. Music truly is art for your ears and it is another fun way to celebrate friends by creating a regular concert schedule to enjoy together. It can include food, beverage and picnic style or just grab a bite before or after at a local tavern. The point is to share the experience.
Celebrating time with our friends is one of the best parts of this life experience. It is up to each of us to create that time and make the commitment to honor those relationships.
Copyright 2008/2009 Melissa Galt