Thursday, August 13, 2009

Conversation Starters for Every Party (Real Simple)

Ever had that moment during a party where the friendly chatter seems to hit a lull? Aside from lively music, interesting friends, and plenty of cocktails, here are some tricks to keep the conversation flowing at any party.

Table Topics are decks of cards containing a variety of humorous, thoughtful, and intriguing questions for guests to ask each other at any kind of party, from a backyard bbq to a family reunion. Check out their website to see the plethora of party themes they've got covered.

Bachelorette Party Table Topics to Go (a smaller version - more portable) at the Bachelorette Bash could be a a huge hit. You can get them at Pottery Barn.

If you're a hostess, leave the Table Topics out somewhere guests will find them. It's less forced than walking into the room and announcing, "Okay girls, now we're going to play this game!" (lame), and your guests are more likely to have fun with it if they just discover them sitting on the side table while everyone is gathered for cocktails.

If you're attending a party, these make a great little hostess gift, perhaps paired with a bottle of wine. The packaging is so cute you really don't even need to wrap them.
For those who are curious, here's a little background on how they got started (from the company's website):

In December 2002, Cristy Clarke was on her way to a Christmas cocktail party, trying to think of interesting conversation starters because she couldn't face another evening of small talk that went nowhere. Her experiment was a complete success, and by morning she was writing questions to test on her three daughters at their family dinner. The successful result is TableTopics, a collection of conversation starters meant to spark fun, interesting, and meaningful discussions around the dinner table, at parties, on dates, on road trips-wherever!
Who hasn't been there? A brilliant idea, Christy. And a good reminder that at-home entertaining is about having fun with your friends. These little conversation starters are a great way to keep the joyful, lighthearted spirit alive at any gathering.

Shop online at the company's website, or - if you don't want to wait for shipping - stop by your local Pottery Barn store and pick up a deck (they carry several different party themes at most locations).

Thanks to Real Simple magazine for these great tips!

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