To be a great host in a party

The simple truth is that it doesn’t take a million dollars or a million ideas to be a great host. While some of us may be over-whelmed by the idea of entertaining or come up with many reasons why we can’t do so, when it comes right down to it, there are far more good reasons for getting our friends and family together on a regular basis.

I remember once hosting a chili party for old and new neighbors in our area, complete with 12 children (all of whom were under 5). As my husband and I scurried around before the big hour, trying to keep our own children out from under foot and happy (we didn’t want to greet our friends with tear-stained kids), I wondered if it was all worth it.

But as the evening got underway and we had a chance to finally see our friends and have meaningful conversations with everyone, I changed my mind. And as the other parents and neighbors left, thanking us over and over for ”hosting” the evening, I knew that entertaining was definitely worth it. And it was relatively simple. Now, I know it’s not as simple as hitting the drive-through at McDonald’s, but it certainly is rewarding and fun.

The key to keeping your entertaining simple is to have a simple plan. You may not always stick to it, but at least you won’t get overwhelmed before you even begin. It is easy, especially when it comes to hosting an event or party, to put it off for one reason or another: My kids are too little. My kids are too big. My house is too little. My cooking is too basic. My dogs are out of control. My family room smells like kitty litter. Who would want to come? I can never come up with a great idea that’s never been done.

You can borrow from the theme party ideas or let them spark an idea of your own. Great entertainers love to be borrowed from, as long as it is not the same party your neighbor threw last weekend! Imitation is the ultimate compliment, so feel free to admire and “borrow” other people’s ideas freely.

Most of my favorite tried-and-true recipes have come from other people’s parties, and I can honestly say my friends are flattered when they taste the same dish at my house. “Is this my apple pie recipe? It always seems to taste better when someone else makes it!” It will certainly simplify your life, and why should a great idea have to be discovered twice?

And remember, no matter where you get your ideas for entertaining, you will make them your own just by being you. Your own style and flair will shine through no matter how or where or when you entertain, so grab an idea and start entertaining. It’s simple!