I love parties. All kinds of parties. Backyard barbecues, birthday bashes, coffee clutches, potluck suppers, and cocktail parties. I love talking to new people and reconnecting with friends and family. And, of course, I love the great food.

I throw a big holiday party every year and invite anywhere from 50 to 75 guests. I’ve done it for years and always follow the same pattern. I start out strong, making lots of lists and labeling platters and coordinating tableware. I cook in advance and freeze what I can, and two days before the party, I feel like I’ve got it all covered. And then I look around the living room and see the dust balls collecting in the corner and the dog hair on the couch and the streaks on the windows and I start freaking out ...

I lash out at anyone who comes near me. I complain that no one helps me but then won’t give anyone any tasks of their own. I make life pretty miserable for my family for a good 24 hours, fussing and fretting that there’s too much to do, too little food, and that no one will show. Of course, it all comes together in the end and everyone has a great time. But I inevitably end up using mismatched paper products and forget the pigs-in-a-blanket in the outdoor refrigerator.

But there are people who can do this seamlessly! I’ve been to parties that are perfectly prepared. The hosts are calm, cool, and collected. The theme is carried through with care, everything coordinates, and I can’t believe for a minute they suffered from any pre-party pain.

Are you one of these perfect party hosts? Or if you know someone who is, I have a contest for you to enter!

It’s the The Ultimate Host Contest brought to you by the makers of Dixie Ultra Moments®Tableware and the one and only celebrity event and wedding planner, David Tutera. All you have to do is submit photos that demonstrate what makes you the Ultimate Host. The judging is based on: Originality (how you celebrate with style and strength while enjoying yourself and bringing people together); Personal Style/Creativity (innovative use of color, coordination of table setting, tabletop decorations, etc); Party/Event Décor (showcasing of party’s theme and reason for gathering); and Essence of Entertaining (capturing specific hosting attributes).

Check out The Ultimate Host Contest for specifics on how to enter. You can win cash, Dixie Ultra Moments® products, and a chance to appear in a 30-second webisode!

There’s nothing to it. You just have to do what you already do so well. And as for me, well, I’ll just keep trying! 


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