Halloween Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

Registered
Joined
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm feeling really bummed out and I'm hoping some of you can relate or give advice on how to get over this funk.

My tenth annual Halloween party was on Saturday. It probably goes without saying among you folks but it's gotten more and more intense and elaborate every year. This time I took myself just about to the breaking point. In spite of the ridiculous amount of planning and preparation I did, so much went wrong. Things broke, things didn't work, details were forgotten, costumes didn't quite pan out. But the worst thing is, SO many people bailed on the party. Pretty much all the maybes turned out to be No's, and a lot of people I counted on coming didn't. Beyond that, the theme of the night seemed to be "I have to work tomorrow morning so..." or "I had to work late tonight so....". I was expecting 80 - 100 guests and probably only got 50 - 60. There's more food and alcohol left over than I know what to do with.

Everyone said the party was great, and I think most of them were being genuine, but I can't help but feel completely deflated. When I look back at how much effort and money was dumped into this, for it not to even live up to the previous year just kills me. It makes me wonder if I should just throw in the towel now, lest my Halloween parties become frail shadows of former glory.

The worst part is, I still have actual Halloween to look forward to, but I can't get excited.
 

Typical Ghoul Next Door
Joined
7,330 Posts
I'd say first stop expecting so much of yourself and your friends. You are pushing your expectations so high that anything less than exactly what you envision will lead to disappointment. Don't do that that to yourself! You had a great turnout (seriously - 50+ people at a house party? and no one got shot or run over and the house didn't burn down? that equals successful party in my book). Stuff always breaks or fails or something goes wrong and the big thing is to just let it roll off your back and enjoy hosting your party. It sounds like you are consumed with the party details to the point that you're not even enjoying yourself... that's terrible!

Give yourself permission to relax and stop looking at the stuff that didn't meet your expectations and see that the friends that did show up had a blast and you pulled off a rather large sized party without any major mishaps - and next time make it a priority to enjoy yourself! :D

Sounds like you burnt yourself out and that's why you can't drum up any excitement about Halloween itself. Might want to scale back or not do a party next year just to give yourself a breather. Burnout happens - I am just now getting back my Halloween mojo after 3 years of minimal decoration.
 

Registered
Joined
121 Posts
I agree with Frankie's Girl...you are expecting too much. I will say I'm like you though...I want everything perfect, everything to work the way I want it and I want all my guest to come. I freak out wihen things aren't getting done. In the end though...if you only have 10 guest that show up and that one person that comes up and says "I love the decorations or I had fun" that should be satisfation enough. This year I had my Ahhhh moment when we were almost done decorating outside...half of the things were knocked over due to wind, but I was still putting out last minute items. A little girl road her bike down the street and said to me " like your decorations". That made the day for me...and I could take a breath and enjoy the party.

Just remember...it doesn't have to be perfect...just have fun and enjoy your guest and the time of friendship and laughter!
 

Registered
Joined
226 Posts
I totally understand your feeling of letdown鈥.I鈥檓 struggling with that right now too, but it鈥檚 more of the emotional downside of having hosted a successful party AND just being physically exhausted.

Things went well, but I too had a few things that just didn鈥檛 go over as well as I expected them to. But here鈥檚 the thing: most of the guests will NEVER know any better! To them, everything goes off well unless there鈥檚 some major problem. I think many of the people on this wonderful forum are SO invested in Halloween, and Halloween parties and such, that we鈥檙e all our own worst critics.

So I take great pride in it when our party guests gush about the front yard decorations, or the theme, or the costume contest, or whatever else we do鈥

Don鈥檛 read too much into the little hiccups. Sure, it can be really frustrating given all the time and energy devoted to what we party hosts/hostesses do, but don鈥檛 let it damper your joy of doing it.
 

Registered
Joined
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I agree with everything you guys are saying and I'm sure I'd give the exact same advice to anyone else. It's tough to see things from everyone else's perspectives and get an accurate assessment of the party. I'm hoping reason will prevail and I'll recover from the funk in time to enjoy running the haunt on Halloween.
 

Registered
Joined
105 Posts
I'm exactly the same way... I want our party to be an EXPERIENCE, not a typical party someone could go to at any Joe Blows house. That puts a lot of pressure on a person. I realized, after this year's party, that it's better to do a little less and be able to enjoy the party more ourselves than to go overboard and completely burn ourselves out. We cut back a little this year and had actually decided beforehand it would be our last party after 7 years of doing them. But, we had so much fun at this year's party that we plan to keep doing it. We are cutting back on our decor, simplifying the games, and adding a costume contest category called something like "Best Around-The-House Costume" for people who can come up with a great costume using nothing but things they have lying around their homes. This will take some of the pressure off guests who feel obligated to buy a great costume to keep up with the many we have who come with amazing costumes. Hopefully, more people will come who have previously not wanted to go to the expense of a costume.

We always have a good crowd of 30-50 people, more than enough to have a great party, but I always let myself get too bummed when people don't RSVP, or they cancel last minute, and it makes me feel like the effort isn't appreciated. I tend to focus on who ISN'T coming more than I do on who is, and that's not right. I'm changing that behavior because the people who do come thoroughly enjoy it and appreciate it, and as others have said, that's what makes it all worthwhile. The fun, the fellowship, the memories we make for ourselves and others... that's what it's all about.

I was just telling my partner that I need to lower my expectations and just chill out more for the party. By doing that, I think we can continue to enjoy the party for many years to come and I hope you'll be able to do the same.
 

Registered
Joined
409 Posts
It is very hard Halloweenjon, I had my 40th birthday last year and decided I was going to have a big 80's party night. My Hubby and I spent ages making loads of 80's decor, and were all day setting up in the venue, I hired a mobile disco and paid extra for a large screen to show 80's videos alongside the music, and got some amazing catering. I spent ages on our costumes and was so excited. 80 people had confirmed, including works friends I had only seen the day before, on the actual night only 25 turned up, I was totally gutted. I was so embarrassed as the venue looked empty and the disco guy played to himself, there was mountains of food left, and I just wanted to go home. The worst thing was, people who I classed as friends did not contact me to say they weren't coming, or even the day after, when I went to work people just ignored me. This was until, at break time when I got very angry and went at that them all full throttle, that I couldn't believe they didn't have the decency to even come over to me. We lost a fortune with venue, disco, catering etc.
I would never have a big party again for any celebration, it took me ages to get over the hurt of it. It has made me realize that people are selfish, and they have no feeling for the time, effort and money that people put into things, because it's not them that are doing it. That's why I limit my Halloween parties now to the same group of people, close family and my teenage Daughters friends who I know will come, it may only be small, but we all have a great time:) I always get a bit wound up about things been perfect, but in all honesty, they just love the parties, it's just me stressing over nothing!!!!:) Enjoy Halloween
 

Registered
Joined
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement and perspective. I definitely think next year is gonna be a "reboot" of this Halloween party thing. I finally reached my limit, and lost sight of why I do it. But next year I'll correct it :)
 

Registered
Joined
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
It is very hard Halloweenjon, I had my 40th birthday last year and decided I was going to have a big 80's party night. My Hubby and I spent ages making loads of 80's decor, and were all day setting up in the venue, I hired a mobile disco and paid extra for a large screen to show 80's videos alongside the music, and got some amazing catering. I spent ages on our costumes and was so excited. 80 people had confirmed, including works friends I had only seen the day before, on the actual night only 25 turned up, I was totally gutted. I was so embarrassed as the venue looked empty and the disco guy played to himself, there was mountains of food left, and I just wanted to go home. The worst thing was, people who I classed as friends did not contact me to say they weren't coming, or even the day after, when I went to work people just ignored me. This was until, at break time when I got very angry and went at that them all full throttle, that I couldn't believe they didn't have the decency to even come over to me. We lost a fortune with venue, disco, catering etc.
I would never have a big party again for any celebration, it took me ages to get over the hurt of it. It has made me realize that people are selfish, and they have no feeling for the time, effort and money that people put into things, because it's not them that are doing it. That's why I limit my Halloween parties now to the same group of people, close family and my teenage Daughters friends who I know will come, it may only be small, but we all have a great time:) I always get a bit wound up about things been perfect, but in all honesty, they just love the parties, it's just me stressing over nothing!!!!:) Enjoy Halloween
That's a really, really raw deal. I wish people would be just a little more mindful and honest about their intentions to come to parties. It seems like so many people just have an allergy to committing to anything even if it's as innocuous as going to a party. They don't think about how hurtful it is to bail on the person who put so much work into the event.
 

Registered
Joined
2,867 Posts
Yep, I think nearly all of us know exactly what you're going through. GodofThunder touched on the crux of it, "...most of the guests will NEVER know any better!"
I'm working on maintaining perspective myself. By early Sept. I have an idea in my head of what the perfect decorations will be, how my perfect costume will look, and how the perfect party will go. Then when it's time, I see what I didn't get done-- the props that didn't get finished to my satisfaction, the costume I had to slap together at the last minute because the tiny crown I'd ordered didn't arrive (even though I ordered a month ahead), the cool food items I just didn't have time for...that's what I see. My guests don't have a blueprint of my mental image of perfection to compare to the reality. They see what I did get done, which honestly is a lot more than what the average person does--- A Lot More! They don't care that only 2 of my large props are animated. They just see that I have some props you can't find anywhere else. They don't compare my thrown-together reaper outfit to the wondrous zombie Queen Victoria I was going to do. They just see that I have a costume. I have plenty of food, and it's good. No one thinks, "If only there were breadstick fingers, then this party would rock." We had fewer people than usual, too (in part because several had a shared seriously ill elderly family member) but we had enough for a good crowd (fewer than 50, but it's exclusively in the house here-- too cold outside). And more than one person said it was the best Halloween party ever. That's a win, even if I didn't get all the pictures up in the haunted gallery...
So that's it-- were the guests impressed, and did they have a good time? If so, your party was a success, even it it didn't quite live up to your mental image of what should have been
 

Registered
Joined
371 Posts
Aww, I just wanna give you a big hug right now!!


I usually have my party fairly early in the month, it was the 18th this year, so it often feels like October and Halloween are just OVER after my party and I feel too spent or not as enthused to celebrate actual Halloween! My party is such a big deal to myself and others that I've heard it from other people as well, haha.

I didn't have any major mishaps, I was getting a little funny about the guest list though and need to come up with a better plan next year since I had no idea so many people would want to come this year.

I just sent out a FB invite and am considering not doing it again since there are way too many Maybe's and I really dislike ambiguity. Most Maybe's just don't show up, that's the general rule and I try to make it clear to people that if two days before the event they are still in the Maybe RSVP, then I am just going to assume they aren't coming and they won't be on the official hand written guest list. So basically, I'm not planning for you, or expecting you, so if you show up and I can't accommodate you fully, tough.

I digress. I'm sure your party was amazing. Sounds like you went to great lengths to make it awesome, and most people understand if some things go awry, in fact most people doing even notice!

I wouldn't worry about it too much :)
 

Registered
Joined
387 Posts
Hey HalloweenJon, I think we're related. I so feel your pain and I understand how rotten you feel after your party. I had a party this year too and it was really difficult since I knew I was going to have one leg surgery and ended up with a second one on Oct.8th . . . my party was the 18th!!!!! I killed myself getting ready and went all out even though I was hobbled and in pain. Only 20+ people came and I was so bummed out until I realized that the one's that actually DID come . . . were all my fun guests that I enjoyed more the one's that didn't come. I learned so much that night about myself and my expectations--they're mine and mine alone. I too wanted to create Disney like event so that this party would be an EXPERIENCE! But my friends thought the decorations I did get finished were fantastic . . . far better than anything ANY of them would or could do and it was only half of what I wanted to do. The good people that did come came to SEE hubs and I . . . they'd been happy in a barn without any decorations! Lol. They like you and that's why their coming.

Pick out three or four things you really like to do and do those well next year. Add a new thing from time to time and put all your focus on your guests and yourself having a good time. Every party will lift you up and not bring you down because you're in the moment too just like your guests. I'm certainly going to scale things back after this year and from now on I'm going to focus on why I wanted to have a party anyway . . . to have fun . . . to be with my friends!!!!

I hope this helps and know that you're not alone. Like the others Frankie's Girl, CherryBrandy, GodofThunder and Ooojen said . . . we are our own worse critics. But we can also be our best cheerleaders too . . . dead of course cheerleaders. Hang in there bud . . . we're here for you! *hug*

GG
 

Registered
Joined
105 Posts
IWe lost a fortune with venue, disco, catering etc.
I would never have a big party again for any celebration, it took me ages to get over the hurt of it. It has made me realize that people are selfish, and they have no feeling for the time, effort and money that people put into things, because it's not them that are doing it.
I got a sick feeling in my stomach reading this and I'm so sorry you had to go through it. It's every party-throwers nightmare, and you're exactly right - the degree of self-centeredness these days is amazing. People are rude, inconsiderate and have not a clue what it means to go to all the time, effort and expense to entertain others because they don't have the STONES to do it themselves. The only reason I keep having our party is for the small contingent of people who look forward to it every year. If people don't RSVP, they don't get invited back. Period. It's not like they even have to pick up the phone... all they have to do is click a button on FB and THAT is too much effort. F 'em, I say. You keep doing parties for the ones who appreciate it, cause what it's about is memories, and sharing time with people who care. If they don't, it's their loss.
 

Registered
Joined
199 Posts
I'm so sorry!! Like people said, 50-60 is a really good turnout. But, if you were expecting more, I get that you are disappointed. Still, I'll bet the people who were there had a really good time, and are telling everyone about it!
 

Registered
Joined
383 Posts
yes.Gone are the days where people felt obligated by good manners to RSVP (by the way a proper RSVP includes yes or no..no maybe..If you are ambigious, they will be ambigious) and then actually show up because it was 'expected' and if something did happen and you missed the function, a note of apology was common practice. In this day and age even an email would suffice.
 

Registered
Joined
174 Posts
Um, yeah I can't believe that many people came to the party. That is pretty good in my book. Maybe next time keep receipts and make friends with your local grocer, they might take some of it back. And alcohol (as long as you didn't buy a keg, which I learned my lesson on that!) can be saved for the next party. Christmas (yuck) Thanksgiving or even fourth of July party. Alcohol doesn't go bad for a while, I think. I have returned unopened food before. You are right about people being rude and not even bothering to tell you if they are coming or not. The days of RSVP have seem to gone. Which is puzzling because now all you have to do is click accept on Facebook! Don't be too discouraged. Murphy's Law slaps us all at some point or other.
 

Registered
Joined
174 Posts
or heck, have an after Halloween clean up party! Get help cleaning and putting things away by bribing them with food and beer!!
 

Registered
Joined
1,712 Posts
HJ - actually sounds like it turned out well - unless you were focusing on the ones who didn't show up. I think the key is the ol' "Half empty glass/half full glass. Like Giggling Ghost said in her post - the ones that came were the ones who were really into it.

And we hit the "if it ain't done, nobody'll notice" point as well. Again, as someone else mentioned, we on this forum tend to go much further in our decorations and party plans than most people out there. Our guests appreciate that fact, and the true haunters understand the time factor.

Cut yourself a break., you did great.

Oh, and my wife's huge annoyance is the non RSVP-ers. It's called common courtesy, folks!
 

Registered
Joined
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Again, thanks everyone for the encouragement, it's helped. I do see now that our turnout was good, and I've gotten lots of messages from people saying how great it was. I'm a victim of my own lofty expectations.

Unfortunately I did get a keg, and it's hard to say how much of it was consumed but the thing is still really heavy. People demolished the small amount of bottled beer I bought - naturally. We've got a couple handles of rum left from the punch we thought we'd be refilling, but that'll keep. The food leftover was all finger foods and stuff like that, but I have just been bringing it into the office where it promptly gets devoured, so at least it's not going to waste.
 

Registered
Joined
409 Posts
Thanks tgoodman. That's exactly why I stick to a small Halloween party every year now, it's a mixed age group of my close family and some of my Daughters friends usually about 15 ish of us. I do go 'all out' on the decor though, and I really enjoy doing it. The guests that do come, are so excited and can't wait to see what it's going to be like, and love taking photos etc which makes it all worthwhile:D My Hubby is at his wits end though as he is not creative at all, and with the party been on Friday practically every room he goes in is full of home made stuff! He was trying to find something for work earlier, but gave up when he realized he couldn't get through the barrels, waterfall and skull cave along with ten pirates all in different poses:mad: Think he will be glad when it's over !:D
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top