Step 1: Entertainment
Upstage all the parties going on at the end of the year by adding in some drama (okay, I’ll stop with the wordplay haha) by setting up your very own mini-theater. It’s really not hard to do – I go to the Singapore Arts Festival every year (my mom and sister lives there) and they have al fresco performances in the middle of the park. You just need some scaffolding and plywood for seats, that adds to the artsy feel too.
I’ll do a smaller scale one in the middle of a large enough private garden that I’ll rent for the day and fly in some entertainment that people would love to see. I’m thinking of the Ishinha group with their signature Jan Jan Opera, they’re really good and offer something MORE.
Step 2: Decorations
You can’t have a garden party without decorations. It’ll be like having a wedding without the bride. You can get help from your friends and enjoy customizing your garden and furniture. This will not be easy without the use of gardening tools so better check out your local hardware for sturdy ones. If you do not like shopping downtown, you can also get those tools delivered on your doorstep.. Try bestofmachinery.com and browse with your friends through their discounted gardening tools and supplies.
I’ll pick up some nice flowers from Cameron Highlands and arrange it around the garden so there’s not just lush green grass but a lot of color.
(Image source: Wanaka The Bungalow)
I’ll be nice to have some fairy lights to get things going too!
…and maybe even an elephant! :D
Step 3: Snacks
You’ll also need some festive themed candy for people to snack on while they’re standing around and chatting.
I’ll go for chocolates instead of hors d’oeuvre coz I want everyone into a festive mood. Otherwise, it’ll just be another generic garden gala. This is my little twist – I love candy and I bought a lot of the Xmas themed ones.
The manufacturers actually come out with a lot of interesting limited editions during the end of the year! I spent over 4 years in Melbourne where there was a lot of limited edition runs of flavors e.g. White Chocolate Twix for Christmas.
Interesting side fact: There are places like Melbourne where snack manufacturers do their test marketing before deciding to launch a new product. I don’t know how they decide the criteria for a city/town – several places in the US are test beds too but it’s not the ones you think e.g. Los Angeles. It’s the slightly smaller cities with a more cosmopolitan make-up. Neither Singapore nor New York is a test bed. Apparently, you can’t be too big, or too small.
I’ll also have some Christmas crackers for people to pull just coz it’s fun!
Step 4: Dinner
It’ll be nice to cook for all your guests but the logistics behind it would make it too much of a hassle.
There are plenty of caterers who can do the job just as well at the end of the year. I’m thinking of having a party for 30 so that would be too many to cook for. It’s not like an 8 person dinner party, so I’ll just order some Christmas dinner staples!
Turkey with stuffing is a must, as well as a plethora of side-dishes to make everyone happy and full.
Step 5: Drinks
You need to add something more to get people sociable and in the mood for celebrating the festive season at your garden gala.
I’ll want people to stay and talk, laugh and bond, after all the entertainment, snacks and dinner. I’ll want something more so here’s to bottles and bottles of Guinness to finish the end of the year with more!
The reason behind this guide is because I’m interested in the above contest – Guinness is actually giving away the prize of a Garden Gala for end of the year! It’s a Celebration of More and it’s bound to be the best way to end the year!
Yup, you get to win a private party for yourself and 29 of your friends too! This is something you really don’t want to miss. I hate to bandy around the term “once in a lifetime” but this comes really close. I’m going to join but in the spirit of giving, I’m going to invite all my readers if I win! :)
Start: 12th December (Thursday) 10 am
End: 14th December (Saturday) 10 am
Go join the contest too but remember to invite me and my plus one if *you* win. Haha. The contest ends 14th December so head on over to the Guinness Malaysia Facebook page for more details now!