Entertaining with Oscar

(File photo illustration)

Roll out the red carpet -- Oscar's coming to town this weekend.

The 84th Academy Awards takes place Sunday at the famed Kodak Theatre in the heart of Hollywood. We're looking forward to host Billy Crystal laying it on thick, and the bevy of beautiful people lining up to see who takes home the coveted little gold man this year.

We can only imagine the tons of hairspray drilling a hole in the atmosphere and don't get us started on the celebrity gossip we'll be enjoying for weeks to come.

With an anticipated 50-plus million viewers worldwide one must ask -- why are we so nuts about this event?

"They won't be watching for the entertainment or even the sexy images, says psychologist Dr. Neal Mayerson, founder and chairman of the U.S.-based nonprofit VIA Institute on Character. "They will be watching because the show demonstrates what we all long for in the deepest recesses of our psyche -- affirmation."

In an issue of Psychology Today (Psychologytoday.com) Mayerson noted that "watching the Oscars gives us a vicarious jolt of satisfaction. It gives us optimism that affirmation awaits us. And, it awakens our gratitude for the people and things that we do have in our lives."

So -- it's good to enjoy this mother-of-all awards show -- but do it with friends. And do it in style, says Canadian party guru Kristina Chau, president of Not Your Average Party, (Notyouraverageparty.ca), a one-stop event planning destination.

What makes a successful Oscar party? "The guest experience --you want to create that Hollywood glam feel for your guests," says Chau. "Everyone should be dressed up and feel good, and attention to detail is crucial -- from cocktail napkins to a red carpet at the door."

This can be achieved on a budget, adds Chau. "Think dollar-store deals, lots of arts of crafts. Remember, it's all about ambience."

Party Packagers, a line of party supply department stores, notes the Oscars are all about glamour, so make it a night of elegance --they recommend decorations with colours that embody a refined style: gold, silver, burgundy, red and black.

Over-the-top glam aside, Oscar parties can be created on the most basic budget, says Teri Gault, CEO and founder of TheGroceryGame.com. "Start by taking inventory of what you have at home -- and build your (Oscar party) from there."


GUEST LIST: As this is a viewing party, it will involve a lot of couch surfing so keep the guest list intimate and really create that VIP feel.

INVITATIONS: Go eco-friendly and use a free online event invitation tool. Remember to include the important details such as the who, what, when and where, but also add in dress code for event. This is one of the most extravagant events of the year so encourage your guests to outfit themselves in their best party gear.

DECOR: You can never go wrong with creating a simple yet elegant ambiance with candles and a splash of colour with fresh-cut flowers. Check out your local dollar store for affordable candles, holders and vases and visit your local flower market.

RED CARPET: Create excitement as your guests arrive by having your own red carpet. If you don't want to purchase a runner you can buy inexpensive red fabric to create your own.

STRIKE A POSE: Have a camera on hand to take photos of your guests arriving.

FUN AND GAMES: Pre-print Oscar ballots for your guests to fill out during the red carpet coverage and have a prize for the winner with the most correct votes. The Oscar site has a great ballot template to download and print.


  1. Take inventory of things you may already have in your pantry, fridge and freezer, and build your menu from there.
  2. Be flexible -- instead of deciding what you want for your party, let the sales dictate what will be on your menu.
  3. Start gathering items you need as soon as possible - when you see things you like, buy them on sale.
  4. Use warehouse club stores like a caterer - their wide variety of frozen appetizers work well in lieu of the high cost of a caterer.
  5. Stack books under a tablecloth to make various levels, and serve buffet style, just heating frozen appetizers on trays over the course of the evening.

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