Speaking of hanging out with friends, it was kind of a last-minute get together and let me just tell you that sometimes those are the best. The kind when someone just texts you randomly that they made extra food for dinner, do you want to come over? Granted, that doesn't often work for me because I need at least a couple of hours to clean before people come over. But there's something really low-pressure about just doing things on the fly. I love it. We used to do that a bit more before we had kids, to be honest. I'd just call some friends in the afternoon and ask if they wanted to head over to our house for spaghetti that night. With kids, everything is a little more involved. But when you have friends that are like family--it's doable. Mel, Nancy and I were all in the kitchen pulling lunch together while our more-kids-than-parents nursery was taking place in the living room with the guys. I kept thinking, how on earth did we get this many kids? We've been friends with Nancy and Mark and Mel and Jason pre-kids, but it's still hard to remember back that far.
Do you ever do that? Last-minute get-togethers? I know they can sound intimidating. And it's not something you can pull off all the time. But I'm a believer in hospitality (I've actually taken pointers from my friend Nancy on this. She's great at hospitality). I think there can be a lot of insecurity for some of us when it comes to hosting. I know for me, afterward, I always worry whether everyone had a good time. Or whether the food was good enough. (I've shared with you my tragedies of how whenever I'm having people over, suddenly meals I'm very familiar cooking turn out awful.) But post-party, I'm almost always so glad I invited people over, because sharing our lives with other people is a good thing. And it's so nice when you're close enough to people that being together is really comfortable. When my mom and my sisters are at my house, it's just like an extension of me. I know they feel at home. When I'm at my sister's house, I feel completely comfortable. I can rummage through the fridge for a drink or help out with dishes if I need to. When I'm at my parents' house--I know I'm just at my other home. That feeling is a blessing.
On maybe a smaller scale, experiencing hospitality at a friend's house is that same sort of blessing. It's opening your heart and home to someone else. I remember a few years back, we had some friends over for dinner. They were close friends of ours at the time and had been to our house lots of times, and we'd been to their's. I forget what I'd made to serve, but the girl told me, "Brandy, you know you can repeat meals with us, right? We don't care. We just like hanging out with you guys." Ha! She must have known that I'd gone through my list of "meals to make for company." :)
The 'being together' part was the major blessing. The food and drinks were secondary. I think we have to keep that in mind when it comes to hospitality. People are blessed because you invited them into your life. All the other stuff is just extra. I enjoy serving food and setting a table and inviting people over, but I'll be the first to admit it can be very stressful. Especially when you've got kids running around, demanding your attention.
What do you think? Are you all about hosting? Do you stress over it and would rather not do it? Do you have pointers on how to survive hosting get-togethers? What are your thoughts on hospitality? Do you know someone who's just great at it? Remember, the first blessing is the 'being together' part. Below is a picture from our recent Christmas dinner, hosted at my house!
And for all the devastation of game loss yesterday--who can be sad when Downton Abbey is only a few hours away? Not me! I'm so excited to watch tonight's episode. I cannot wait! Let's reshash what happens tomorrow.