Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Portmanteau Partying

            So last week I got the urge to clean out my pantry, something I do every ten years whether it needs it or not. In the process of that joyful chore, I discovered a huge stash of paper plates, napkins, and plastic flatware that was taking up valuable space.  Throwing them out seemed wasteful, but giving them away? Who wants secondhand paper goods?
Mismatched napkins?
What's a party-planner to do?
            I was standing on my kitchen step-stool and sorting through the collection of twisty-ties I'd been saving, when it came to me I’d be hosting book club in a few days. I decided to break with our tradition of using bona fide dinner settings and flatware and use the seasonal paper plates and napkins I already had. I’d announced an “Oktoberfest” menu, so the orange paper plates and Halloween napkins would be perfect.
            I rifled through my stash to discover I had nine Halloween napkins—not enough. I rooted some more and discovered eight Thanksgiving ones. Again, not enough for the number of guests who were coming. I could buy more of one or the other, but then I’d have a bunch left over to add to my already over-stocked supply.
            At our recent Inklings outing, the subject of portmanteaus came up. (Yes, my writing group has riveting conversations like that.)  Not the suitcase portmanteaus, but the word ones—those words that piggy-back on each other to form spot-on descriptions of items or situations. For example, Apruary—for when the calendar says it’s April but the weather feels like February. Or chairdrobe—that chair in your bedroom with stacks of clothes piled on it. And check here to find out what glamping is.

            Problem solved. I’d have a portmanteau theme. I dug farther into my pantry and unearthed all sorts of Halloween and Thanksgiving gimcrack and put them to use. My book club friends brought WONDERFUL Oktoberfest food, and we had a great time celebrating Happy Hallowgiving!   

My versatile turkey is perfect for a portmanteau party. In the
years I've had him, he's been a Pilgrim, a surfer, an Easter Bunny,
a bride, and Santa Claus! For Halloween, he's a witch!
Another discovery in my pantry--
a mismatched set of jars which became...

Frosty containers for infused water!

PS If you happen to find some Christmas napkins in the mix of your paper goods, Merry Thanksgivoween has a nice ring to it!
Have a favorite portmanteau word or party to suggest? 


  1. I can't believe I missed such an educational meeting. Chairdrobe? So you guys were talking about my bedroom behind my back? And apparently we have matching (unmatched) pantries - right down to the twisty collection. I would have been happy to contribute my 1998 sure-I'll-use-it-sometime watermelon paper tablecloth to your festivities.

  2. Absolutely LOVE this one, Dee Dee! I'm pretty sure I can make practical use of this idea! :)

  3. Thanks for a great party idea. I love it! Your Hallowgiving pumpkin cracked me up. I can't wait to try this party. Also, thanks for linking to the glamping post.:)

  4. I love the jars!! And, you just described every day in our house. ;)

  5. Haha, that looks like so much fun! I love the turkey dressing-up.


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