Okay, it’s officially Christmas Season. How do I know? The Broaddus’ hosted our ninth annual Christmas Party for friends and family. These things started off as murder mysteries (because, you know, nothing says “Happy Birthday, Jesus” like killing off your guests), but by the third year, the amount of guests made this unwieldy. So we kept the costume idea and went with themes. This year’s theme was “The 1950s”. I’d like to offer up some tips for hosting a successful party:
The host is present to greet all of their arriving guests and make them feel comfortable. (This is especially key when you’re throwing together folks from different areas of your life, say your church folks, your horror writing friends, family, and folks you grew up with).

Food. Drinks. Entertainment. We had a volunteer to handle our onsite cooking. We turned the Broaddus compound into a 1950s diner and served that kind of menu, including root beer floats. (All with my father’s doo wop collection playing as background music).

There’s also the tradition of the “Broaddus family players” making a movie to go along with the theme. This year’s movie was “Grease-Y” and once again, is not meant to see the light of day (screw you, YouTube!). No, we’re not showing them at Mo*Con either.

Interesting people.

(my lovely co-host)

(my faithful assistant, who, oddly enough, is now screaming for a raise. Apparently boob adjustment is not in her contract.)
(If you aren’t a fan of Mad Men, you won’t get Don Draper. But you have to love a friend who’ll dress us just for a joke only the two of you will get)

(Our dueling Lucys. Lucy on the right won best female costume over Lucy on the left. I, your host, won best (sorta) male costume.)

(Absolutely wrong costume of the night went to my sister and her husband and brother-in-law who came as segregation. Yes, she’s a “Colored Only” drinking fountain).

And yes, it was pure joy trying to explain segregation to my boys:

Me: Yes, we used to make black people do things in one place and white people do the same things somewhere else. This is what happens when grown ups rule the world.
Reese: But we’re mixed. What about us?
Me: Well, because of how you look, you would have had to make a choice. You guys could pass for white and that’s what some people chose to do rather than admit they were half black.
Malcolm: Daddy, I’d have chosen to be white. It sounds easier.

Back to party tips … Toss in good (though often loud) conversations, an environment of love, welcoming, and hospitality, and you’re guaranteed having to kick people out so you can finally going to bed.

Here’s a fuller set of pictures if you’re interested.

If you want to make sure that I see your comment or just want to stop by and say “hi”, feel free to stop by my message board. We always welcome new voices to the conversation.