Finding a better balance when hosting.

  This is probably a terrible time to write this post.  This afternoon is our annual friends’ Thanksgiving, so very soon my dining room, living room and kitchen will be swarming with people…and I’m about to tell you all my tricks.  I guess I’ll just have to hope that none of my guests read this before the party, or just love me too much already to care that I’m blinding them to my poor housekeeping with good food and my dazzling wit.

Some of our guests at our 4th of July party
  The Mr. and I love to entertain.  He loves to cook, especially when our friends get in the kitchen with him, and I love having a house jammed to the gills with people.  Being one of 17 grandkids on my mom’s side alone, I grew up on a steady diet of huge family holidays; 20 people showing up for Christmas was considered a small year.
  As much as we love having people over, it can certainly be a lot of work.  Especially with the wrong mind set.
  I think a lot of people hesitate to host gatherings because they think they have to provide a Martha Stewart-esque themed get together in their scrubbed-til-gleaming home for the party to be a success.  If we did that, we’d NEVER have people over.
  A while ago I came across a quote that I’ve adopted as my mantra for entertaining.  It was something along the lines of,  “At a party, guests will notice food, company and housekeeping.  But they will only notice housekeeping if the food and company are lacking.”
  …think about it.  When was the last time you visited a friend and noticed their dusting?
  I’m not saying that it’s not worth it to do some cleaning before hosting.  If nothing else, I find that the thought of a party motivates me to finish tasks I haven’t been able to get the energy to do otherwise, but not having the time to do it all shouldn’t be a reason to not invite people over.
  This week I’ve had a huge test for my statistics class (and as such, study sessions for said test nearly every day), baby reading group at the library, a dentist appointment, Moms’ group and a dance class.  I also have a cranky toddler and a nasty case of congestion that won’t go away.  I promise, I have not had time to go over my grout with a toothbrush.
  The sheets in the guest bedroom will be washed for our friends who are staying the night.  The bathroom will be clean and the floors will be swept.  Beyond that, I’m considering it all to be gravy.
  Our parties are always pot luck.  We provide the main course and our friends bring the sides.  There will be good food.
  The more the merrier, and we have at least a dozen people planning on coming.  There will be good company.  
  I don’t think anybody will mind that I didn’t have time to dust the baseboards.
When was the last time you invited friends over?  What’s stopping you?
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