Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Hospitality for the Rest of Us: Little Gatherings
In case you didn't know it, introverts, this is your thing. Seriously, I'm telling you, small intimate gatherings are the way to go. You get to talk to people and enjoy each other without the hoopla of a large social event.
These little gatherings can be as simple as milk and Oreo cookies or as elaborate as a ten course meal. It's your choice in regards to how much you want to do. The elaborate meals should probably utilize the LRH method so you're not in the kitchen the whole time.
One thing that I try to do when I have little gatherings is to use nice plates, even if it's Oreos and milk. When you use the nice plates, you automatically let people know that they're special and you put thought into the gathering. As I recently shared with someone "Our plates may be fancy, but we are not." I LOVE serving ordinary foods on fine china. I don't use the stuff often, but occasionally, I will pull it out for pizza delivery. It's just plates at the end of the day. But they're plates that say "This is outside the ordinary." But little gatherings are just as nice with paper plates. It's what you want to use. They aren't really the important part.
So you've got a menu, a guest or two, a place to sit. Now what? Well, you're going to have to push through that introvert hurdle and start a conversation, especially if you've invited a fellow introvert. I got lucky and added an extrovert to the family. She always does such a good job of breaking the ice and welcoming people and then because she's a tween, she disappears when the conversation is comfortable. I love that kid.
That's it. Little gatherings with just one or two people in your home for a snack or meal. Breaking bread together creates new bonds each time. It will probably be uncomfortable, especially if you've never done it before, but that will pass, probably while you're doing it. And you'll discover that once people become comfortable in your home, they'll enjoy themselves, too.
The key thing to remember is that you're asking someone to spend time with you. It doesn't matter the state of your home or the strength of your cooking skills. What matters is taking sometime to be with one another.
Little gatherings are great times to be yourself and to learn about other people. They can provide a little respite from the world. A little rest for the traveler. It doesn't have to be an every week or even every year kind of thing, but there will be people that you'll discover and you'll want to get to know them, so invite them over, have some cookies and milk.