Do you like getting together with friends but feel intimidated by having them over? While I love looking forward to more elaborate events planned ahead of time, it’s also fun to be spontaneous with impromptu gatherings. I love to plan dinners and parties, whether they are at my house or someone else’s. I used to think that having people over took a lot of time and planning, but now I also like the freedom of getting something together just a day or two before. These days entertaining is about recharging and relaxing from a busy week, which lets me focus on having fun with other people instead of stressing about food or lots of preparation.
Here are some easy ways to host an impromptu gathering:
Turn it up!
Turn up the music and the lights. Turn on a favorite music channel, and turn on your extra lights. Turn on lamps, and light some fun candles. This adds extra energy to your gathering in a matter of seconds.
Make it a potluck, and ask people to bring their favorite dishes.
When in doubt of what to serve yourself, pick up something the store or your favorite restaurant, cook a recipe that you’re super comfortable with, or throw something on the grill. Also, go with something cheesy for a side dish and a chocolate dessert. These are crowd pleasers every time. Emphasize easy and fun over fancy.
Keep it simple.
Tidy up the bathrooms, make the beds, wipe down the kitchen, and go for it. My kids will have their toys out when other kids come over in a matter of minutes anyway. I ask my boys to tidy up their own rooms, which keeps them busy while I get food ready. If you have lots of time to clean, that’s great. Sometimes I have time to deep clean, and other times I just need to spot clean if a group is coming over unexpectedly. My friends are coming over to visit and have fun, not to see how clean my house is (or isn’t).
Take it outside.
If the weather is nice, encourage people to sit outside and spread out the party. If you have a fire pit, ask a friend to bring over the ingredients for s’mores and dessert is covered! If you want something else for the kids, put some sidewalk chalk and bubbles outside.
Be a guest at your own get together.
Set all the food and drinks out so people can help themselves, then mix and mingle as you like. Your guests will be more relaxed when they see you having a good time too. When I can get together with friends with simple, low maintenance planning, its all about a relaxing, fun night together. And if having people over still feels like too much, just meet them at your favorite restaurant!