What is a party really for?
We're not meant to do life alone - and anyway, we can't.
A friend told me something that hit home within our opening months: that the party she just attended at Cookhouse really had a way of making the birthday girl feel special. That wrapped up our purpose with a bow - we help our clients celebrate the important people in their lives. What about parties for oneself, like throwing your own birthday, engagement party, shower, or wedding? Through a variety of stories (during, right after, days after, and years after an event), I believe the common underlying purpose of marking an important life event with a party - whether for someone special or for oneself - are the following:
- Thanking others for their love and support in the past
- Expressing gratitude for friends' current presence in their lives
- Deepening their connection with others
- Inviting them to continue journeying with them in the future
It doesn't matter how the party was decorated, who cooked, where it was, or if there were any speeches. Guests leave feeling like a special part of the host's family. And in this modern age, especially in urban environments, we often choose friends to be a part of our extended family.
The "success" of a party, then, is not measured in Instagram likes or number of attendees, but in making the celebrated guests feel valued and connected. Throwing the party is just another way of saying "you're important to me, and I think you should know it."
On a related note...
This Thanksgiving and upcoming holiday season, please consider inviting someone who has lost a parent, spouse, child, or friend to your table. We all need to feel at least a little bit valued to another person, and those who are lonely or grieving may feel especially lost during the holidays after losing such an important connection. Even if the invitee may already have plans for Thanksgiving dinner, making someone feel special is worth the little bit of effort it takes to ask if he or she would like to join your family for a meal.
"We're all just walking each other home."
Photo: Kindred Wedding Storytellers