These 2 Unexpected Tips Will Make Your Dinner Party a Success

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One year on my birthday, which falls on Christmas Eve, my husband and kids gathered around the living room excited for me to open my gifts. I was not excited. At all. In fact, I was so not excited that I cried and said I didn’t really have time to open their gifts at that particular moment because we had a tribe of people about to descend on our home for our annual Christmas dinner. I had hair to dry, cheese to slice, and floors to sweep.

They were not impressed. Mad and hurt and definitely not impressed.

As I’ve told my friends this story I've realized that I’m not the only one that stresses out over entertaining – even when we’re excited to have people over! I have a friend that scrubbed the grout in her tile floor with a toothbrush before her guests came. I have another friend who literally stayed up most of the night trying to get her house ready for a party.

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Let’s take the stress out of this, shall we? We are so blessed to be able to have our friends and our family in our home – let’s make this joyful and memorable (in a good way!).

My friend Kelly Welk from Ciderpress Lane is my go-to gal to help me do just that. Her recent book Dinner Changes Everything is full of menus and scheduling for your party. When to slice the cheese, when to turn the music on, when to get ready, when and how to make the gravy, etc. I knew she had to be a guest on my Instagram Monday Mixer show. If anyone can take the stress out of entertaining for us, it’s Kelly😊

She had two amazing and unexpected tips for making her guests feel welcome and loved in her home and coincidentally, these two tips are also going to help you take some of the stress out of your event.

Tip #1

Give your guests something to do.

This is genius and one that never crossed my mind! Have you ever been to dinner at a friends house where the hostess is busy cooking and prepping in the kitchen, you ask what you can do to help and she says “Oh, I’ve got this, you go enjoy yourself!”. So you awkwardly wander off to chat with the other guests all the while feeling kind of weird because your friend is obviously not getting to enjoy any of the fruits of her labor. Give your guests something to do! It helps them feel less awkward, it makes them feel included, and it takes some tasks off of your plate. Mostly people really want to help so let them! Let them light the candles, make sure there’s toilet paper in the bathrooms, slice some tomatoes, or toss the salad.

Tip #2

You set the tone for your event.

Even if everything isn’t perfect, if you are at ease your guests will be too. Take a few minutes before everyone arrives to find gratitude, say a prayer, dance, or sing along to your favorite song. Take a selfie so when you look back weeks later you’ll remember how excited you were for your friends/family to be there.

These two simple things have inspired me so much, thank you Kelly. Hop on over to Kelly's blog to see the soft cocktail drink recipe she shared with us. It's perfect for a crowd.

And I’m going to throw in a bonus tip that I think will apply to every type of event you host and attend:

Tip #3

Remember it’s about the people – not the food or the flowers.

The people. People really just want to do life together and we’ve given them, and us, an opportunity to do just that. Enjoy it😊

What do you do to make your guests feel welcome and loved around your table? And I just had a thought, what’s the bigger picture here? If our guests are feeling welcome and loved around our table, how does that make an impact in our communities and our daily lives? What are your thoughts?

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