We’ve all experienced it: the dinner party where the host has thought of everything…from the themed menu, all the way down to the organic, environmentally responsible candle lit in the powder room.
I am always so impressed by this, probably because this is something that does not come so naturally to me. I admire those that can pull this type of gathering off: their drive and the sheer amount of things they are able to accomplish in half the time it takes me to think, “what was I just doing?”
I’m a laid back person in general, but now that I’m eight months pregnant, I’m venturing into “just plain lazy” territory. My home is rarely company-ready, and even when it is, it is far from perfect.
I have insecurities about inviting people into my home sometimes, but if I let that stop me, I will miss out on a huge blessing. So here are a few of my thoughts on how to entertain when you are not feeling like super woman.
My main goal: just keep it simple.
- The slow cooker is your friend. Seriously, it takes minimal effort and does the work for you. Throw a roast, potatoes, carrots, and beef broth in there; then 8 hours later, it might as well be beef bourguignon prepared by Julia Child herself…or something close to that. This recipe has been my go-to many times when I have company.
- For a simple appetizer, create an Antipasto Platter. These are great because they require no actual cooking, just assembling. You could even delegate this job to your spouse or kids if they are feeling creative.
- Lastly, do not underestimate the power of Pizza. I have yet to meet someone who does not like pizza. Order from your favorite delivery place and call it a day.
- No need to go out of your way to dress up your home. I’ll be honest, if it’s last minute company, I have a twinge of “oh no! they are gonna see the real deal” and “why can’t I get myself together!” I think most people are relieved when they walk into a home that feels “lived in” and normal. I think having a humble, yet loving home is a huge asset in setting people at ease.
- Clean, but just remember, it does not have to be perfect. Focus on the kitchen and sitting area in the living room. A clean kitchen makes the food more appetizing, and being on a comfy couch without having to brush the crumbs off your back side when you stand up is relaxing. Do a quick wipe down in the bathroom and you’re good to go. Just don’t offer to give a tour of the rest of the house and be sure to close those bedroom doors!
- Don’t apologize about the things in your home you don’t like. Chances are, your guests won’t even notice.
- Focus on your guests. The purpose of having people into your home is not to impress them with your cooking, or make them envy your impeccable style. It is about loving people in an intimate setting that communicates, “you are important and I want you to leave feeling poured into and loved.”
- Don’t worry about the dishes. Sit and linger at the table awhile after dinner. Or better yet, use paper plates. Your guests will appreciate your presence so much more than fine china.
- Be intentional about your conversation. If chatting doesn’t come easy to you, focus on asking about the other person. Be curious about what they are interested in and passionate about.
Entertaining is just a fancy word for showing kindness to people by opening up your home and inviting them into your imperfect life. Don’t be intimidated by all the ways you feel you “don’t measure up,” but instead, embrace reality and all the wonderful ways God has made you. You have a ton to offer…perfect home or not!
Enjoy your week, and invite someone in!