Here come the holidays! Time to dust off your punch bowl.
For those of us who don’t have working fireplaces, the punch bowl is the friendly center of the holiday party. Here happy – and happier and happier – guests cluster while sipping festively colored punch from cute little cups, discussing the events of the day and generally getting acquainted before they eventually, and inevitably, hijack the iPod to play I Want Your Sex on an endless loop while groping their new found friends. Nothing spells party success like guests dancing on the table, vomiting into the rubber plant or warbling along with George Michael into the half-peeled cucumber ends they fished out of the garbage can. And for that, there’s nothing like a quart or so of inhibition-busting rocket fuel in the form of fruit-flavored strong drink freely ladled from a large bowl.
What? Seriously? You don’t have a punch bowl? OMG. Go right out and get one. You cannot seriously hope to master holiday socializing without a punch bowl, and I for one would never even try. Some suggestions:
In a pinch, you could use a very large goldfish bowl if you happen to have one around. I’m sure Swimmy would enjoy a change of scene – fresh water, a little extra food, a new spot on the windowsill. It would be like a getaway spa weekend for the little fella. Of course you would have to give the bowl a good rinse with Clorox and run it through the dishwasher four or five times before filling it, but in an emergency sacrifices must be made, and all that rum goes a long way toward disinfecting even the scummiest container.
You can buy an entirely serviceable punch bowl and ladle from Target for under $20, and Macy’s has cool modern sets with cups for a hundred bucks. Or you can go for broke, literally, and spend four grand for an embossed silver Tiffany bowl. Alternatively, if you happen to have any little old lady relatives who are not as socially active, or mentally sharp, as they once were, you might even just “borrow” one next time you’re over at Aunt Betty’s or Cousin Edwina’s for a visit.
Anyhoo, just go get one and start planning this year’s bash. Then, twelve months from now, when your party guests have forgotten the hellacious hangover and that unfortunate incident with the neighbor who wandered over during last year’s party, you’ll be ready to start the whole festive process over again!
Tomorrow: A punch recipe guaranteed to jump start any party, even one attended by my relatives.