Recluctant no more! | Organizing Made Fun: Recluctant no more!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Recluctant no more!

I told you about my recent read through The Reluctant Entertainer, by Sandy Coughlin.  Now, I want to share some simple and easy ways to have friends over.  

My favorite section of Sandy's book was how she talks about simplifying entertaining.  You have to first get over the fact that you don't have to have a perfect house, a perfect place to eat, perfect family, or even perfect food!  The best thing to do when having someone over - whether for lunch or dinner or dessert - is keeping it simple.  

Trust me, I used to drive my husband batty when we had people over, trying to have things looking "just so" and making too much of everything.  The older I get, the more I realize keeping it simple helps us to enjoy our guests more and be more relaxed and focused on THEM.  That's the's not about me, it's about THEM.

My Mom with grandkids looking through her baby book I made for her birthday.  She definitely has the gift of hospitality.

On that note, the need for some to apologize for the lack of cleanliness, or how the food tastes, or the state of your home in mid-renovation, etc. is really putting the focus on yourself.  I am sure that most of the time, your guests don't even notice the things you are apologizing for. 

Entertaining with construction....still happened!

For instance, when you are in the middle of a project, you think you shouldn't have company over. I can remember having hundreds of people over for our Christmas "sleigh-ride" {progressive dinner} and our deck was half under construction - we had it outdoors because our house was the stop for an outdoor nativity.  We still served up goodies on the plywood, covered in a plastic table cloth.  No one noticed or cared.  We had a wonderful time despite the renovation!

Rachel at her birthday party with friends

Offering a simple invitation to friends or to someone with whom you'd like to get to know, a simple "would you like to come over next Sunday after church for lunch?" is sufficient.  We usually only get turned down if the others have plans, but always find a day it will work!  

Keep your meal simple.  Find a few recipes that are easy and just stick to the same thing for each time you have company!  We usually do tri-tip when we have a small group, but we will just do hamburgers for a big group!  I like it because my hubby can help with the cooking of the main dish so I'm freed up to do the rest of the meal, and often ask my friends to help me. If that's too much - put a frozen lasagna in the oven! 

One other area that is so great to address is our five senses.  This is taste, touch, see, smell, sound.  The taste is your food.  

My "Famous" ginger dressing recipe here
The touch can be something like table linens or warm blankets to snuggle up with if you're outside, even the touch of glass goblets {instead of plastic} can be a unique and special feel. 

The seeing can be something pretty on the table, twinkle lights outside, a small flower arrangement with flowers from your yard.  

The smell can be the food also - or maybe a few sprigs of herbs {or the flowers} you have from your garden or lemons cut up for iced tea.  

And lastly, the sound - perhaps a fountain of water splashing, background music, or even one of your children playing their instrument for your company.

Our family fellowship gathering around the piano to sing praise songs!

So, think about it.  Really think about trying to be more hospitable in any way you are able.  Having a home where it's open for anyone to come over whenever or to have a dinner planned is truly a gift, and also something you have to work on! 

I am linking to these parties {click on parties tab}:

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