We’ve ALL been there.
Your guests are coming over tonight and you’re running around your house like a headless chicken.
Here are a few tips to prevent your head from falling off… and how to get it back on if it does.
Be realistic about what you have on your plate. Is this a crazy season of life for you? Plan for shortcuts. Serve cheese and grapes instead of the wrapped baked brie. Find the best gathering hacks and stick to them. We often procrastinate when the task at hand seems overwhelming. Be kind to yourself and keep it simple.
Do the boring thing first
What’s the one thing you put off until the last minute every time? It’s usually the mundane tasks… like cleaning the toilet or grocery shopping. These guys get a bad rap when it comes to the list of gathering to do’s. Don’t underestimate the energy you’ll receive when completing the boring tasks first. When time starts to run low, you’ll get to focus on the fun stuff.
Rally the troops
Before your guests come over, set aside a few mini projects for a few guests to do. Let them set the table, put the salad together, or light the candles. You, as the host, are establishing a shared environment. And with a few things off your plate, you’ll be able to relax and get in the hosting mindset.
Remember the why
In a whirlwind of cooking and cleaning, it’s easy to get lost in last minute details. By the time your guests arrive, you’re ready to pour a glass of wine and burrow in your couch. Stop yourself when panic sets in. Remember why you’re gathering these people. Let the why consume you instead of the whirlwind.
Let someone else do the planning
We feel your pain. YOU are the reason we exist. We love that you choose to gather even in the midst of life’s busyness. We hate to toot our own horn, here, but we’re pretty excited about what we’ve got up our sleeves for you. Keep doing your thing, and we’ll keep doing ours… resourcing your gatherings.
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.
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.