Between Pinterest and other social media, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to hold get-togethers with gourmet meal plans, sophisticated drinks, carefully thought out decorations, and a home that is spotless. Such high standards mean we never invite anyone over because our homes are usually not perfectly clean. This means we miss out on creating happy memories with friends and if we have children, teaching them the fine art of home entertaining. Instead of allowing clutter to get in the way of our lives, we can learn how to entertain imperfectly. The first step to doing that is destroying the misconceptions we have built in our heads about what it means to entertain.
Myth 1: To entertain perfectly, my entire home must be spotless!
Truth: You can limit where your guests tread. Limit them to your living room, kitchen, and the closest bathroom. Or better yet, entertain them outside (especially when the weather is good) and just make sure your closest bathroom and the path to it are clean. Put up barriers to where you don’t want them to go.
Myth 2: I must plan a full course meal before I invite friends over.
Truth: Bring back the potluck. Or if you feel you must feed your guests, plan your get-togethers for times when everyone has already eaten and a snack will suffice. That way, you are not responsible for providing a full meal. Find easy appetizers to make or purchase ahead of time.
Myth 3: I must set aside an entire evening to entertain.
Truth 3: Not all of your gatherings have to be 4+ hour parties. In this day and age, flexibility is the key. Short get-togethers are easier to squeeze into complicated schedules.
Myth 4: All my parties must be formal.
Truth 4: Although formal parties have their place, it is the informal parties that sometimes make the best memories. Tell friends that you are having an open house once a month (last Friday of the month, etc.) where they can pop in for a bite, a drink, and some conversation. All they have to bring is themselves and the desire to socialize.
Myth 5: All my parties should include everyone in the ___________ group on the invitation list.
Truth 5: Just one guest can be occasion to entertain. Less people means less stress. Plus your guest will feel more honored for the invitation.
Myth 6: I must be an expert on drink or music mixing.
Truth 6: We all know someone who has a talent for mixing drinks or creating music lists. Ask for their help so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time.
So now that you know how to entertain imperfectly give it a try and you will see that it is much easier than you always thought.