12/2/07

Ordinary People (Progressive Dinners)

On earth, prestige and power are what is important. In the unseen realm, the angels and God actually value insignificant people, ordinary people - people of unimportance.

Last night was our annual Christmas Progressive Dinner where four ordinary couples got together. This tradition has gone on for years – four couples, four homes, and four different courses. Different tastes in music, table settings and cooking. Homes filled with ambience and a festive spirit.

We really consider ourselves insignificant couples in the world’s eyes, but in each other’s eyes we regard ourselves as true friends. These are the kind of friendships that are rare and hard to find, but we recognize their worth. We have cultivated and maintained them over the years through vulnerability and honesty, affirmation and acceptance.

People are longing to be accepted and loved. And in today’s society true, deep friendships are undervalued. Acquaintances we all have – neighbors, people at church or work, people who you might mingle with at parties or even know through other friends.

But how many of them can you call a true friend?

I’d love to share with you how to start a progressive dinner. For the reluctant entertainer, it’s actually a fun and light, easy way to connect with people. Preparing one course is so much easier than a whole meal. Doing it at Christmas time is a real joy because your house is already festive and you don’t have to think twice about what music to play!

How to start
* Find 3 couples or individuals whom you have similar interests with, or who you think would be compatible in sharing a whole evening together.
* Make sure all 4 couples (including yourselves) live within a short distance of one another.
* Divide the courses up by appetizers, salad, main dish, and dessert (for 5 couples, add in a “soup” course).
* Set the time (we start early – 4 pm) and date!
* Allow one hour for each course (we allow 1 ½ hr. for the main course).
* If it’s a hit, make it a tradition!

Our tradition has continued for over 5 years. It’s one night of the year that we all crave, because it’s proven to be rich and momentous. Momentous in that we all set our circumstances aside and look to the faithfulness of the One who brought us together in the first place.

Yes, we are ordinary people with ordinary lives.

But we know what we have in each other, and that our friendship mirrors the love that God has for us.

We’re not willing to let it go!

(Photos: Great friends; the delicious main course; lovely ladies)

Stay tuned for an upcoming post on "setting a table on a budget,” and the recipe for the YUMMY salad I served at our dinner last night!

11 comments:

OKGardners said...

Oh what a great idea! I remember doing this about 40 years ago at a church and it was so much fun. We need to try this concept again and make it a tradition like you have done.

Thanks for reminding me.

Betty in Oklahoma

Sue @ Praise and Coffee said...

Looks like great fun!!!

Jen said...

We have friends like this but there are 18 of us...yes 18...so sometimes we do things with certain ones....it gets harder to do but we manage.

Dawn said...

I love progressive dinners, they're lots of fun.

ValleyGirl said...

This is such a great idea! We used to do this with our youth kids when we were leaders, but I've never thought to do it with adults. How does it work to have the couple responsible for the main course at two other homes for two or more hours before they get to serve their hot meal? (I ask because my oven doesn't have a 'time bake' feature!)

Nadine said...

Sounds like a fun idea. You all look like you had a great time.

I can't wait for your salad receipe. You always have good ideas.

Anonymous said...

We have a group that has been doing this 3 times a year for the last 18 years!! what fun!

Lea
www.theendoftheroad.typepad.pad

anya* said...

sounds like a great time. i wonder what this would look like with lots of little children underfoot...

Diane @ A Watered Garden said...

We have a group of 6 couples that have been friends for the "long haul" as well...what a blessing! We have an annual dinner, however,some of us live 45 minutes apart...so we usually host the whole dinner. We love progressive dinners...it's just difficult where we live because people are more spread out.

Sandy said...

Hey ladies - Here's the scoop on the "main course" for a progressive dinner. You have to pick something that can be cooking in the oven! The past 3 years we've had prime rib - cooked in different ways, of course. Delicious. You just have to plan it right, but it can be done.
This last week we had a stuffed beef tenderloin - and it was so yummy.
Usually the gal cooking "main course" leaves about 10 min. early from the "salad" home. And then we plan for a little bit longer time at the "main course" house, too.
Hope this helps! And Anya - try it with little ones underfoot! Why not?!? :)

Kerry said...

What a great idea! Maybe next year. I'm hosting my first cookie exchange and am going crazy with how to keep it simple (appetizers, a game or two, etc.) Since it's my first one I decided to invite my closest friends so I could practice and hopefully make it an annual Christmas event!