3/24/09

Game Night Entertaining!


Meet my Guest: Kim from The Art of Domestic Living

When Sandy first asked me about being a guest writer for her blog I told her that I was both honored and humbled, but mostly I just felt inadequate when talking about “entertaining.” Rarely do my husband and I host dinner parties or entertain on a regular basis, even though these are both goals that I would like to implement in the future. However, this “assignment” challenged me to think about my views of what I consider entertaining to be.



What my husband and I do have is a willingness to “open up our home.” 

We built our home with the thought process that, “we are blessed to be able to build, let us share this blessing with others.” As I started thinking about how we open up our home to others I immediately thought of the following events:

* Our Sunday night activities. Most Sunday nights we have a standing invitation to some of our single friends to come over and play games like Settlers of Catan. Usually I serve a dessert or a snack, something simple, for us to enjoy. (Sometimes, it is even purchased from Costco!)

* The other regular night that we open up our home is Monday evenings. My husband started a neighborhood Bible study, and it just works to meet at our home. For this night, I rarely provide any sort of refreshments. We just open up our home as a meeting place.

* A couple of years ago, we opened up our home to approximately 30 teenagers who met at our place on a weekly basis. They started straggling into our home at 6:00AM for a Young Life training meeting! Thankfully all I had to do was set my alarm a few minutes before they arrived and unlock the front door.

In these situations I have learned to “relax” when it comes to my attitude about my home. 

It is unrealistic for my home to always be neat and tidy, let alone clean! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy having a neat home, but I can’t let that dictate when people are welcome to come and visit. A perfect example of this just happened this past Sunday.

My in-laws unexpectedly “stopped over” since they were on our side of town. It was about time for supper, so I insisted that they stay. Thankfully I had some extra food planned and it was an easy meal to prepare. (This is not always the case!) However, the house was a mess! I had papers all over the kitchen counter, toys were located in all parts of our living area and I don’t know the last time I had cleaned my floors! Yet, I chose to focus on spending time with my extended family and I didn’t even apologize for my dirty house!

For me, entertaining starts by simply being hospitable.

I want to encourage you to see that entertaining doesn’t have to be done on a big scale. Building relationships with others should always be the most important goal of entertaining. Most of the time people come to visit you, not to see how clean or unclean your house is. In fact, some might feel more at home in a house that isn’t perfectly clean!! When friends, family, and neighbors make impromptu visits, I strive to focus on this rather than the horror of discovering we are sharing the room with dust mites.

A pleasant atmosphere is important to me, but I try to not let this become a priority over with whom the people I share it.

I'm so happy to introduce Kim as my guest today! Kim is a wife, a mom to 2 young girls, and a part-time home economics teacher. Besides loving her family, she enjoys sewing, knitting, cooking and reading blogs. Kim has been reading Reluctant Entertainer for almost 2 years, and it was my canning post on PEARS that drew her in. So head on over to The Art of Domestic Living and say hello to Kim!


TOP PHOTO: Kim used Reluctant Entertainer's Apple Pie in a Jar canning recipe for her pie! Try it - it's delicious!

17 comments:

Sandy Toes said...

Oh how yum...apple pie in a jar! Great post on entertaining...game nights are my favorite..so easy and fun!
sandy toe

Bevy said...

Thanks for this guest post - Kim! I couldn't relate more, in my heart's desire for entertaining and hospitality. Our family is in the near process of moving and so this is one area that I anticpate getting back into. Thanks for the reminder... I've been wanting to have a regular "pie night" with friends and family. Love your blog, Sandy!!! It's so wonderful.

Anonymous said...

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Gina said...

thanks for sharing, that's a great reminder that entertaining need not be fusy and elaborate-it's really all about sharing food and fellowship and life with others. Let those floors stay dirty! (I'd feel like cleaning after the guests go home anyway-I just save myself the hassel and clean later!)

Jen said...

Great post...i have been thinking of hosting a game night with friends. i do want to start entertaining this spring at least 2 times a month...

Miss G said...

Kim, this is a great post! Wonderful thoughts! I especially like your open invite to your single friends. Being an out of college single for 10 years and still having many friends who aren't married, I know that sometimes it feels hard to get together with your married friends. That is a really cool idea. It's getting my wheels turning! :) Also, I am not familiar with the game you mentioned. Where did you get it? What's it like? Thanks. Kelly

Kirstin said...

awesome post. If we always wait till everythings perfect, we'll never have anyone over. Often, I just do a quick tidy if someone is coming and if it's an unanounced visit, I just don't worry about it.

RefreshMom said...

Thanks for the encouragement; I have perfectionistic tendencies that I can't live up to, so I tend to not entertain as much as I'd like because I can't get all the pieces together at the same time! Still working on it...

I'd love to have you drop by RefreshMoments and link up for Ruby Tuesdays, a blog event that anyone who blogs with an essence of P31 is invited. And since I can't have everyone in for tea, I'm doing a giveaway for "An Afternoon Tea in a Box." Maybe that's a step in the "entertaining" direction for me!

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

Thanks for sharing this post! I agree that entertaining and being hospitable includes all kinds of get-togethers, formal and very casual!! And having a loving heart is the only thing needed! :)

Jennifer said...

We love Settlers!

Melanie said...

Great post. I like the idea of opening your home even when you don't feel it's company clean. I did that recently with an out of town, overnight guest...a friend of mine for years. Knowing that she keeps a very clean home could have caused a bit of anxiety. I decided not to let it. I did clean according to the time I had available but didn't get worked up about it.

Linda C said...

Thank you for saying this out loud:) We all need to hear it often.

I know I have fantasies of having an ever ready-clean house with pie just out of the oven warm for drop in guests. Well, that lady doesn't live here:)

So, here let me move that newspaper out of you way, tell me what you've been up to while I make some sweet tea:)

Linda C

Carol said...

Great blog. The Settlers of Catan game caught my eye. Thanks for all the entertaining encouragment and ideas.

GiBee said...

I have to say ... sometimes it is a lot easier to be relaxed and laid back with family!

Stephanie said...

I think I need to read this post everyday to remind me to relax and enjoy instead of stress and not have anyone over!
You have a great blog. Thanks for all your tips!!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Great post...we just had a game night at our home -- it was EASY! Pizza, drinks and desserts -- and a game! Love the simplicity of a few easy things to nibble on and a game to entertain and help break the ice!

Blessings,
Melissa

NorthLasVegasmom said...

It took a life changing experience to get me to get the courage to reach out and host dinner parties at my home. I suffered a stroke at the age of 32 while 9 weeks pregnant. A year to the month my husband and I committed to start monthly themed dinner parties at our home. We hit our year mark soon and have had an amazing time doing it. Your welcome to check out my blog and see my many parties and ideas for future parties (as well as parties from other brave souls). My blog is www.maggiesdinnerdates.blogspot.com