Party smart and how!

The economic crisis has put a hold on holiday parties, as companies from Wall Street to Dalal Street and Fort area (in Mumbai) cancel or cut back their seasonal festivities.

For many of the city’s middle class, employed by foreign investment banks, this was a season where they could start counting the rupees they would earn in bonuses the next year, while sipping on champagne or even whiskey. This year, all cheer is missing.

I am a first-hand witness to all this. My i-banker husband is willing to let go of the idea that he might not get a single penny in bonus. How hard is it to tell these guys you don’t get a bonus in a year when your company, and society as a whole, has been brought to its knees?

To liven the mood, I said, “Let’s have a Christmas party. Nothing fancy, just friends and home food and spirits to bring in Christmas.” We were en route to office. He braked hard almost throwing me off my seat.

“What are we celebrating? My impending job loss or the misfortune that has been enforced on us,” he pointed back. I was expecting some statistics and he did not disappoint me. He continued. “Do you know company-sponsored holiday celebrations have already hit a 20-year low in 2008, according to an annual survey from an executive search firm.”

I tried another tact. “I am not referring to those fancy parties with ice sculptures and free-flowing liquor and wine,” and even turned on my forlorn look. It worked.

“This will be the last party and I will even cook at home. You just get the desserts,” I braved.

I launched into a lengthy tirade on what food will we have, which I know generally goes unregistered. “We won’t have a full course meal as that will have your guests feeling sleepy by 9 PM. Instead, lets serve a variety of finger foods and other items that can be made ahead — this way I won’t be stuck in the kitchen while the party is going on. You can set up a buffet-style table so guests can serve themselves throughout the evening. I will ready a cheese and cracker tray, vegetables and dip, pigs in a blanket (mini hot dogs wrapped in crescent dough and baked), and mini quiches.” What say…

He eyed me suspiciously and said, “You sure, that’s all I need to pay for?”

“Yeah. I will manage and lets ask friends to get the spirits and maybe someone would like to get in some food too,” I countered. “I don’t feel as though we have to have a fully stocked bar in order to have a good party.”

This is how I got my party planned and spirit-supply outsourced. Happy Holidays!


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