I’m with Goldfish over at Fish of Gold: I’m not much good at parties these days. I haven’t hosted a party for years, and the only ones I go to are those connected with very important events, such as weddings, engagements and special birthdays.
When I was young, I loved parties. The dressing up, the social interaction, the laughing, the music, the dancing. Now, you couldn’t pay me to leave the comfort of my home at night, pay zillions for taxis and stand around making small talk to people while the music’s so loud, we can hardly hear ourselves think.
So when I read that the last Bloggers for Peace challenge of the year was to plan a party “that will ripple peace to the world”, I groaned.
Then I started to think about it: is there any requirement that a party have a specific number of people, or that it even needs to be away from home? No, I don’t think there is.
So, my peace party would be this: gather together the loved ones in your house or invite some dear friends or family over. No texting, checking Facebook or other anti-social activity while this is going on.
Cook a beautiful but simple meal. In the words of one of my friends: “make a salad, bake some potatoes, and put some steaks on the barbecue. Other ideas are to make a huge paella that everyone can dig into; or serve a steaming platter of spaghetti marinara with salad and crunchy bread. Include something sweet at the end, even if it’s just ice cream (have you SEEN the fancy flavours now available? Lemon meringue, coconut lime, and passionfruit pavlova are among them).
Open a bottle of wine—or, if alcohol isn’t your thing, make luxurious hot chocolate (here’s a stunning Jamie Oliver recipe). Put on your favourite music—not too loudly—and talk to each other. Tell jokes, laugh, talk about the people you miss, talk about the funny things you have done together.
If you celebrate Christmas, consider having a low-key day like this. It will be peaceful and relaxing, not too expensive, and you’ll avoid the stress of the “more is more”, overly commercialised stupidity that has hijacked the season.
If we all spent less on holiday celebrations and had our own peaceful, modest parties instead, then donated the money saved to some effective charities, we could go a long way to making the world a better place for millions of people.