Don’t underestimate the power of a good playlist. It gives people something to talk about, dance to, and covers a lull in conversation. Start the music while you’re preparing dinner, well before your guests arrive. Let yourself jam out to your favorite tunes. It will calm your nerves and bring you out of the awkward zone.
Somewhere along the way as our culture broke free from social pressures to entertain and get family dinner on the table by 5pm, we lost the habit of gathering. We let food become fast and convenient, cooking a necessary evil to outsource. It’s funny how that happens with change. We often swing wide in the opposite direction for a while, working so intensely to steer clear of past baggage and mistakes that we lose the goodness that thing had in the first place. The goodness, in this case, being the joy and downright holiness of the kitchen.