2005 Un-Gift Guide: The UnParty

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Gift: An UnParty
Price: Priceless

During the peak of the holiday season, breathing room can grow scarce and nerves can get frayed as the calendar fills up and you find yourself juggling work, pleasure, friends, parties, shopping, family and snow all at once. What you need in the midst of all of this is one good night off.

Rather than bailing on a party that you really don't want to go to (and feeling guilty afterwards), give yourself and a friend the gift that keeps on giving: an UnParty. This is how it works.

You invite a friend or group of friends to an UnParty on a specific night in the midst of the holiday season. On this night the agreement is that you won't go anywhere. You all put the UnParty on the calendar and if something crops up that conflicts you get to say, "Sorry, I have a party that night." In fact, should anyone ask, you tell them you are going to a party and will be home late. Then you and your friends all go home and stay there, undisturbed.

This is really the gift of time at home. You can now do anything you like with a long night at home, including catching up on those things you haven't taken care of, planning ahead or just plain relaxing. While everyone else runs out of steam, you will be recharging. And you give this by inviting your friends to do it with you.

Of course, afterwards, you must still write or email to thank them all for the UnParty.

(Photo: Petshooter)

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.