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>Entertaining is Easy. Really.

January 3, 2010

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I’m getting the impression that entertaining has earned a bad rap. Entertaining, meaning, inviting people over, serving them a bit of this or that, and having a great time.
I know times are different. Most households involve not one, but two, parents working outside the home. We are busier, more harried, and stretched thinner than ever before.

Quite frankly, I think this all makes entertaining in the home more desirable than ever.

Why? If you have kids, you don’t need a babysitter.

And, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than going out to dinner. Really!

Don’t get me wrong – we took a two year hiatus on hospitality and are only just getting back into the game. Scrappy changed a lot for us, and it was more than I (we) could handle. But he’s older now, and a bit less scrappy, so we’ve begun, once again, to dabble in one of favorite pass-times. It doesn’t have to be that hard! YOU can do this!

Our first effort, last November, was a Wine Dinner. You gasp – such an undertaking! A WINE dinner! Oh no no no (she says, waggling her index finger at you) do not be fooled, gentle reader. It was a snap.

Send an evite to three couples. This isn’t a family event.

Ask them to choose a course – apps, entree, salad/soup, and dessert.

Ask them to bring a bottle of wine to pair with it.
It’s basically a glorified, fancy potluck, friends. You’ll probably get stuck with the entree – that’s ambitious to bring in from the outside – but who cares? You get to have 6 super fun friends over, you’re only responsible for one course, and one bottle of wine. I think it’s more fun if you DON’T confer ahead of time on who is bringing what. You might get Thai apps paired with an Italian entree, but that just makes it that much more fun. It’s not that intimidating to your guests – they get a night out, too, and they get to show off a bit of culinary skill at the same time. Or they can run down to that swell Greek place on the corner and who is going to mind? Not us!

Spruce up your table. Dig around and find something in your closet – don’t go running out to Pottery Barn, it’s not necessary. Snip some twigs and greens in your yard; throw a vintage quilt over the table, tie some cloth napkins up with a bit of ribbon and you’re done. An antique bowl or two, a few candles, and heck, pull that wedding china out of the box for once. This is a great excuse!
Or, if you’re friends with some freak with a closet full of table linen, ask her if you can borrow some for the night. (You know my cell phone number.)

Having people over is also great motivation to do a bit of primping about the house. But don’t go crazy now! We get apathetic about our abodes when it’s only us. When you force yourself to show off your rooms, you just might find yourself hanging those photos you had framed two years ago, dusting off your wedding album, and finding some fresh flowers for your bathroom counter.

In our case, it was good practice for hosting 18 of my nearest and dearest at Christmas. I had done so much to prepare for our re-entry into entertaining that there wasn’t all that much I needed to do for the fam except a little Fly-ladying here and there, and a run of the vacuumm.

I can’t wait to do it again!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 4, 2010 1:18 am

    >I agree! It's not too hard to put together a dinner party, and it's so important to have people into your home. I learned from my parents that it's more important to be hospitable than to worry about the house being spotless.

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