Have you been toying around with the idea of inviting a few friends to your home for an informal but delicious evening meal, perhaps one where you sit outside and share some acoustic guitar, or enjoy the company of each other’s children?
Have you always wanted to host a unique barbeque with a whole hog on a spit or a giant paella pan sitting on a fire being layered with flavor around your guests?
Maybe just the thought of a formal six-course, sit down dinner for six or eight around your dining room table makes you smile?
When boomers were growing up many of their parents entertained at home all the time because they simply didn’t believe in or have the means for babysitters. When they wanted a night out, their entertainment solution involved taking us kids out to a movie and or a restaurant with them, but that was not always desirable for the obvious reasons: the costs, selecting a family-friendly option, waiting in line for a table with hungry children, no option to sit at a bar, keeping the kids entertained and well behaved. Not only is stressful for the children it is not very enjoyable or relaxing for those around them. Often parents would instead opt to have people over to their own house for a meal or a game night.
Children love having people over as this comes with all the honors of showing people their home, pets and favorite toys. Sometimes other children arrive for them to play with. You can help them create the fondest memories are of playing tag, kick the can or hide-and-seek with the younger guests.
Then there is the food and drink. can you remember the excitement you felt as you watched your parents prepare for guests to visit? Back in the day, many moms had beautiful chip and dip sets. For those who are unfamiliar with a chip and dip, it is a large bowl for potato chips with a little added bowl that sits connected on the rim of the bowl that holds the dip. Many had matching highball and martini glasses; what a beautiful set that would be today.
The moms put the chip and dip out and the dads set up a makeshift bar. As guests would arrive, mom would lead them into the living room, dad would take drink orders and mix the cocktails. The children would be allowed to have a special, non-alcohol drink with ice in a special glass.
Entertaining at home has changed quite a bit over the years most of us do not own a chip and dip with matching glasses, but there are some constants. The first and most important rule of entertaining is making people feel comfortable and welcome. This very basic but required element of having guests in your home comes naturally to some. This begins before they even enter your home, by allocating the proper spaces for your guest to park and communicating those instructions in advance of their arrival.
Once they enter your home have something wonderful for them to smell and see to create an inviting and comfortable vibe. Smart real estate agents who host open houses are the master at this. They pop some cookie dough in the oven so that as you enter it will invoke a warm and homey scent. Then you see the plate of cookies next to their listing sheet so you can not resist picking one up and look at the property details.
During your event, pay individual attention to your guests to allow them to feel important to you. This may be as simple as asking someone to sit next to you at the dining table or showing them your garden.
Most people don’t entertain very often, therefore when they do, it is overwhelming. Having people over to their house can be very intimidating for some. Other than close family members, most people do not share where or how they live with others. However, most people absolutely enjoy visiting a friend at their home. Think about friendships you share and the first time you went to their home and it will likely conjure up memories about what endeared them to you. I have a friend that I knew loved textiles, I visited her home to find she dedicated an entire room to a giant loom. I was impressed and truly understood the depth of her passion for textile work.
Domestic spaces create a more intimate environment than you can experience at a restaurant or country club. It affords the opportunity to get to know the host or hostess better by seeing their unique style of decor, learn about their hobbies, meet their family members (including pets) and see just how they pull it all together in real life. It is real, with no facades and when it is done properly, it creates lasting relationships among hosts and guests.
There once was a woman who started a business women’s wine club for the purposes of networking and getting to know some fellow business leaders better. We were in tough economic times, many people had cut back on time and money spent out networking. Budgets were tight; spending money on marked-up wines and appetizers was not a priority.
This savvy businesswoman understood that networking with others is paramount to business growth, so she gathered a list of ladies she liked and some she wanted to get to know better and invited them to her home. She served wine and simple appetizers on a random weeknight. Each of the women in the group took turns hosting the event at their home each month. Those bonded friendships with some of the most amazing businesswomen in the area will last a lifetime.
You do not have to have people over just for business, it can be simply social. Perhaps you have met others at church, or at school that you would like to get to know better. If you just moved into a new neighborhood having the neighbors and their children over for a BBQ or an evening of cards is a great way to form friendships. Inviting people to your home is always advantageous.
If you need help preparing a menu, the food, serving, caring for guests, clean up and or entertaining www.ChefEvents.Net can provide you with lots of ideas and advice on the topic.