I’m sorry, you’re coming over when?
We’ve all had the call when a friend or family member announces they’re coming over with the whole gang. Right now. What do you do? Is the house clean enough? Do I have any food to put out? What about drinks? Entertainment? Do they have kids? How am I going to occupy the kids?
All these questions flash through your mind as you inwardly panic, doing your best to stay calm on the outside. Or—maybe you’re not calm on the outside either. You might be running around trying to figure out what to do and getting things in order.
There are also those times where you would really like to have people over then and there, but you’re just not ready to entertain at a moments notice. You feel it takes a couple of days, or a least a days notice before you can have people over. While this might be ideal, it’s not always possible. You will find that you don’t really need that much time preparing for guests and that guests are there to spend time with you—not for a big bash.
Tips for a moments notice entertaining
It doesn’t have to be perfect.
You have limited time to prepare. Your guests know this. They’re not expecting a glamorous dinner party. Do what you can for your guests with what you have. Don’t stress out about it!
Always keep a few goodies on hand.
I always like to keep some easy finger foods on hand in case there are unexpected guests or you want to have people over spontaneously. This will take a lot of stress off your shoulders, knowing that you have something to give your guests to nibble on. Some great items are: olives, marinated artichokes, nuts, specialty pickles, salsas, and dips. If you have fruit in your fridge bring that out too! It looks lovely to have a bowl of berries on your dining table for your guests to eat. You can even break out some frozen hamburger patties and a quick salad if you’re thinking about dinner. Remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy!
Keep special decorations in a specific storage spot and only bring them out when people come over.
Quickly add a special touch with a handful of decorations. Light candles, pull out a table liner, clip a few flowers from your garden—or if you don’t have fresh flowers, consider making some paper flowers and keeping them in the box for future guests. I just found out about these and love them!
Ask them to bring something.
This depends on the guest and the situation, but if you’re close to the person and it’s just a fun get together, ask them to bring something on their way over such as drinks. It gives you a little more time to prepare and helps you out with what you have to supply.
Consider moving towards a more minimalist home.
One of the best decisions I’ve made to make my life simpler was moving towards a more minimalistic home. It’s not quite there yet, but even the few steps I’ve taken has cut my cleaning and stress level in half. Fewer possessions mean more freedom is not a lie. While I can’t purge everything in one weekend, I started with the areas people see. The downstairs area is easily put back together at a moments notice.
Add a fun vibe to your get together. Don’t be grumpy that you had entertained your guests and definitely don’t let them pick up on that. Put on some good music and get in a happy mood, it’s contagious and helps liven up a room.
Bring out some games.
Games are an easy way to give people something to do and to make them laugh. There are a ton of games available nowadays other than Monopoly and Clue. I’ve put together a list of games for the various group personalities. Grab one or two and keep them on hand to pull out easily.
Remember, they’re here for you and your company. Enjoy yourself and cherish the friends and family that you have. It’s always nice to have an open door and great relationships.
Throwing a party can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. The ultimate goal is to have fun with your friends and family. Follow some of these steps and when you have to entertain at a moments notice will become a lot easier. You might even find yourself asking people to come over more often!
What entertaining tips do you have? Do you enjoy having people over spontaneously? Let me know in the comments or send me a tweet @apronwarrior
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