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Spend & Save

In The Red: Will my first party at this pad also be my last?

Last week I mentioned my Christmas party. This, I should say, is most uncharacteristic – both mentioning it and throwing it. Mentioning it, because there's always a risk that no one will arrive, rendering it a hopeless flop. If that happens, I'll be forced to lie here in these very pages in order not to appear a total social disaster to you. Throwing it because, well, partly for the same reasons. But also because parties take time. Time, money, and energy – three things that I don't possess in abundance.

In fact, it is for all of these reasons that I have lived in my flat for almost three years and have yet to host a single soirée. Suppers? Yes. Lunches? Of course. Even the odd post-bar after-party. But anything constituting something more than a casual get-together with a group whose number you could count on one hand? Nope. Well, not yet.

Thus far, all celebratory occasions have been marked by gathering in the (relative) discomfort of an over-crowded bar. The hoards of strangers buzzing around are a small price to pay for a venue where the drinks are provided by someone other than myself and there's no cleaning up to do the next day.

It's only because I am thinking of moving that the idea even occurred to me. Longer-suffering readers will know only too well that putting my flat on the market is an idea with which I've been toying for some time. Perhaps, I thought, the reason I have failed to do so has something to do with the conspicuous lack of parties held within its walls. Never have I lived anywhere without hosting a party at least within the first 12 months. Neither have I ever lived in any one place for so long. Could there, by any chance, be a correlation? There is, of course, only one way to find out.

So it is that this coming Friday I will (I hope) be welcoming a group of friends into my humble abode, handing out mulled wine and mince pies to the sound of Phil Spector's A Christmas Gift To You. And you know what? It hasn't taken up too much time. Just a few trips to the supermarket to stock up on snacks and booze.

And, better still, neither has it been too grossly expensive – probably no more so than a couple of regular nights out. At least this way, I won't need to pay people to eat my home-made Christmas cake.