Dear Anti Martha
My holiday party is just three weeks off, and I’ve realized there’s no way all the renovation and decorating I had planned will get done in time. So 50 of my closest friends will soon know that my house is a wreck. Short of cancelling, is there anything I can do?
Dear Harried Hostess
Frankly, Anti Martha’s idea of inspired entertaining is to invite some pals over for cheesey weiner wind-ups and beer while the hockey game is on (go, Leafs, go!). So I asked my friend, William Macdonald, a society designer type who gets invited to a lot of lah-dee-dah parties, about what to do. Here’s his advice:
1) Remove clutter from shelves, tables and mantles and put it in a box. Hide the box in a closet. If you forget about it for a year or two, that's a good thing.
2) Clean the house – especially the bathrooms. Dust the lampshades – if the party gets going, they may end up on someone’s head.
3) Stock up on the fixings for great cocktails (be responsible, now!) and terrific nibbles. For ideas, check out the LCBO. Burn some great CDs. Make room for dancing.
4) Before guests arrive, turn the lights down low. Light lots of candles. Put flowers in vases.
5) Enjoy yourself. And DO NOT apologize for the way your house looks. If anyone says anything (and they won’t — see tip number three), smile and say something about how you’re really into a mid-century, down-at-the-heel vernacular – but in an ironic way.