This Holiday Party’s Password is ‘No Kids Allowed’
PROBLEM: I’m hosting a holiday party soon, and my husband and I have planned it to be adults-only. Our kids are staying with my parents and we set the time late, too, so people could come after their kids go to bed. All of our friends seem to have gotten the hint, but one. She says her nanny is going home for the holidays, but “don’t worry,” they’re bringing their son with them so they won’t miss. Am I a terrible friend if I tell her to stay home? I just think we can all use a night without kids….
KB: Nope, you’re not. It’s that simple. Other People’s Kids are a scourge on adult parties, and they should absolutely be left at home. (If you were having a daytime family party, I’d answer differently.) But no one wants to worry about stepping on junior with her stiletto, and last time I checked, smoky, boozy rooms were not a stimulating environment for anyone under 18.
Rather than telling your friend to stay home, though, I’d frame it the other way around: The party will likely be too loud, raucous, and late for a small child. And if all else fails, you can tell her you’ve already said no to other people’s kids so it wouldn’t be fair to make an exception. If that doesn’t close the matter, it’s your friend who’s being rude.
LG: I’m with KB — just be upfront. Your friend is not going to want to be the only person with a kid at your holiday party any more than you want her to be. But if she shows up with the whole family, just sit Kevin in front of a TV and put on The Nightmare Before Christmas. I’m not saying scare him into leaving early, but … well, what’s Christmas without a little Christmas
SB: Seems like you’re friend really needs a night out. Not that she’ll likely accomplish that by bringing her kid in tow, but you never know. I say let her bring the kid, and I doubt she will stay long. I get your frustration, it definite changes the dynamic, but it will likely be party business as usual as soon as the kid leaves.
MM: You’d rather be direct now and tell this friend how you feel than run the risk of her bringing her kiddo and you being mad at her for ruining your party. Unless you’re okay to set up a video game room or make a special ‘kid brownie’ with some brandy mixed in.