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How often do you entertain at home?

MissStepcut

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I'm snuggled in on the couch, watching my love sweat sliced eggplant for our 14 person dinner party tonight. We do this once or twice a month, for anywhere from 4 to 12 guests.

How often do you have people over for dinner? Have you entertained more or less often over time?
 

Miss Sparkly

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MissStepcut|1317426165|3030152 said:
I'm snuggled in on the couch, watching my love sweat sliced eggplant for our 14 person dinner party tonight. We do this once or twice a month, for anywhere from 4 to 12 guests.

How often do you have people over for dinner? Have you entertained more or less often over time?
Never and no. Personally, I'm not a fan of letting other people into my home and always meet at a restaurant for meals with others. The last thing I want is for somebody to judge me because of what I like in style or to make a rude comment about my choices. It happened once in the past which is why nobody is allowed in anymore.
 

kenny

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Almost never, and even that is too often.
 

yennyfire

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We've done it fairly often. Of course, entertaining takes on a new meaning when you're talking about another couple or two and about 8-10 children! We've scaled back a bit lately b/c I find that people rarely reciprocate. I'm not expecting tit for tat or anything like that, but when I've had people over 3 and 4 times and never been to their home (they suggest meeting out at a family friendly restaurant), I start to get irritated. This doesn't happen with most of my close friends (which is why they're close friends), whom I love to have over. I don't feel the need to clean up the house or do anything fancy...we'll do paper plates for the kids, grill burgers and offer store bought cupcakes for dessert. It's less about the food than the company for us. When we were all married without kids, we did a rotating supper club where we took turns hosting dinners that we pulled out of Gourmet, etc. It was so much fun...I hope that as the kids get older, we can start that up again.
 

lyra

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I'm a never and no too. If we had a house where we could entertain comfortably, it would be almost never. :bigsmile:
 

Haven

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I love entertaining at home, and we do it quite a bit.

We host a fall harvest party every year that I call Apple Fest. (This year's is on Sunday!) It's really more of a big party with anywhere from 30 to 40 people (kids and adults) and it's very laid back. A big, crazy, mess, but laid back.
We host either Thanksgiving or Passover every year. That's a sit-down meal with anywhere from 15 to 20 people. Passover is SO HARD, so I'm really excited to be doing Thanksgiving this year. They're my two favorite holidays, but Passover is a PITA, I'll say it.
If we're home for it, we host a 4th of July party. It's our anniversary, so we really like having the party for it.
We've had a New Year's party a couple times the last few years, and we probably will again this year.
I just got DH to agree to a Halloween party for this year.
We have our families over for Sunday night dinners two to four times a month. Those are smaller, anywhere from three to eight guests.
I host my book club at home once a month. That's anywhere from six to eight people.
We have friends over just because maybe once a month or every six weeks. These are usually smaller, and I wouldn't call them dinner parties. I cook, but it's nothing fancy shmancy.

When we were house hunting it was important to me to find a home that would be good for entertaining. Ours is perfect, and I love creating good memories with our friends and family in it.
 

junebug17

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We've never been big at-home entertainers. I'm a pretty introverted person, and it's just kind of draining and stressful for me - I just don't really enjoy it (and dh isn't into it either). We have family over for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, and that's enough for me.

Occasionally we'll go out to eat with a group of friends, and I find that much more enjoyable.
 

kenny

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junebug17|1317431736|3030242 said:
I'm a pretty introverted person, and it's just kind of draining and stressful for me - I just don't really enjoy it (and dh isn't into it either).
+1

I once heard something that deeply resonated for me.
Extroverts are people who's batteries are charged by being around people and drained by being alone, while introverts are people who's batteries are drained by being around people and charged by being alone.

I suspect introverts may place more importance on their home environment, and hosting guests feels a bit of an invasion of their space.

It is really wonderful to feel free to not entertain.
When I was younger I felt I had to.
 

Haven

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I'm a huge introvert. I just like to entertain, as well. Apparently, you can be both an introvert and an entertainer. :cheeky:
 

yennyfire

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Haven, you aren't kidding about Passover. It's my fav holiday too, but definitely a lot of work. I also love Thanksgiving and will be hosting that this year as well as Hanukkah.
 

Haven

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yennyfire|1317433806|3030264 said:
Haven, you aren't kidding about Passover. It's my fav holiday too, but definitely a lot of work. I also love Thanksgiving and will be hosting that this year as well as Hanukkah.
GAH! Chanukah! I can't host it. I hosted it once and my house smelled like oil for weeks. Maybe even months. NEVER AGAIN!

I know people who own electric fryers just so they can make latkes out in the yard or garage. That would be the only way I could host Chanukah again. How do you get that smell out?
 

yennyfire

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Electric fryer in the garage all the way. I can't stand the smell of oil and I don't really care for brisket either, but since my Mom, sister and I rotate, I only have to do it every three years! Thank goodness!
 

Laila619

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We don't at all, unless you count the in-laws coming over for pizza every once in a while.

I don't know how to cook very well!
 

yssie

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kenny|1317431970|3030247 said:
junebug17|1317431736|3030242 said:
I'm a pretty introverted person, and it's just kind of draining and stressful for me - I just don't really enjoy it (and dh isn't into it either).
+1

I once heard something that deeply resonated for me.
Extroverts are people who's batteries are charged by being around people and drained by being alone, while introverts are people who's batteries are drained by being around people and charged by being alone.

Then I am definitely an introvert. Even with people I know well, more than two or three at a time has me plotting my getaway, and I'm completely exhausted after a few hours.

I am also something of a perfectionist, and left to my own devices would probably waste the morning of my event rearranging napkins with nervous energy... I do see my house as my safe haven, and I really don't like unknowns in my safe haven.

I've got much better over the years though, especially about attending out-of-home celebrations. I've found that if I just take a deep breath and dive in I can relax much more than if I try to ease my way in one conversation at a time, so...
 

Amys Bling

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having people over is stressful for me as I like to have the house *perfect*- as in clean to a T, everything organized perfectly- and decorations and furniture just so (for instance, we are just starting to redo our kitchen - I despise it currently- and tomorrow we are purchasing a new dinning room set I love--- oh and we are not spoiled the original dining room set we have for the past 3 years is a 20 yr old hand me down and the kitchen it terrible!!) So now that I will be much happier with our furniture and kitchen I will be happier to entertain.


I think being satisfied with the condition of your house and such is key in how you feel about having people invited into your personal space.
 

lyra

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Amys Bling|1317437057|3030305 said:
I think being satisfied with the condition of your house and such is key in how you feel about having people invited into your personal space.
This is 99% of the reason I don't entertain. We've had a couple of entertaining friendly homes, but this one is the total opposite. Plus it's always under renovation, the furniture isn't right, etc. We have no family where we live and that is another big part.
 

artdecogirl

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I used to not like to entertain, we would host the occasional holiday or childrens party but otherwise no, it stressed me out, I would worry about how clean my house was or my towels matching and I was always too busy for it. Then 3 years ago my brother died unexpectedly and I had not seen him for almost a year and a half. We lived 25 miles apart, we were not estranged, I liked my brother but we were just "too busy" I missed christmas that year had to work, they went on holiday over thanksgiving, we just did not meet up. We had talked on the phone a few times but neither of us made the effort. At the funeral I heard over and over as we sat there talking about old times with cousins and friends "why don't we get together more often" So that year and every year after that we have had 2 large parties for fall and easter we invite everyone and we have a blast. I have found that when you are visiting and having a great time catching up no one cares if your towels match, I make sure the dirty underwear is off the floor and we try to time it with seasonal cleaning but do not stress like I used too and now love entertaining. The idea of extrovert / introvert is interesting because like Haven I feel I am a introvert, love my space and am just fine being alone for days but I also revel in these parties, walking around I can see my tween nieces talking to dhs 70 year old uncle about Justin Bieber or watch my triathalete cousin kick my husbands butt in the gunny sack race and then see a 10 yr old nephew pass them both up and last year his 90 some year old grandmother came and sat in the den talking to our totally goth 17 year old nephew forever, these moments are priceless and I feel very blessed to have the means to facilitate them. I have a new goal this fall, when we were first married we had a group of friends that we used to go to each others houses about once a month and play cards, board games and have a few beverages. We used to have so much fun, then we had kids/ got too busy and let it go to the wayside. my goal is to revive game night, I can't drink like I used too but maybe I will be a better card player :naughty:
 

Sha

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I'm an introvert and love having people over (I'm really into family and home)- but not too many - I find that draining. A small circle of family and friends is just perfect. We usually entertain every couple of months or so - usually for a special occasion like our DD"'s birthday or a holiday brunch. I always love it and wish I could do it more often...but it's a lot of work too. I could never have a big party for that reason - and big children's parties are a definite no-no. Too much potential for damage and too many people to keep entertained. But I admire those moms who do that.

Where I live there's not much of an 'entertaining culture', unfortunately, probably because many people don't think they have entertainment-friendly homes). I really wish there was. We hardly get invited to anyone's homes, and I'm always excited in the rare times that we do get an invite. I really wish my family and friends would drop by a little bit more often too. :(
 

Haven

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artdecogirl--I'm so sorry for your loss.

I didn't realize it until I read your post, but I think one of the reasons I entertain so much is that I always wished we were closer with my extended family growing up. Now that I married into DH's large family, I relish in being able to get everyone together as often as possible. I never had that, and I love seeing my niece and nephew interacting with their first cousins. I plan to carry on the traditions I've already started (Sunday will be our 4th annual Apple Fest, for example) and begin new ones so our future children can grow up with a real sense of family. My family was so small, and we still didn't get together often. My dad's parents used to talk about their Cousins Club, a big group of cousins that got together weekly (!) when they were younger, and here I am an adult and I don't even know those people.

Your post really touched me. Thank you for sharing your story.
 

Hera

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I used to entertain all of the time when I had an ocean view property. Now, that I'm in the suburbs, I don't entertain much anymore. Truthfully, I have tired of the debauchery of drinking and don't like the raucous of game day type events. I want to have small, intimate gatherings with girlfriends, tea and dessert. Unfortunately, I don't have too many friends that I live by and I would feel weird asking friends to do that when it seems so much a part of a bygone era.

I also agree that it relates to introvert/extrovert issues. I am good in small gatherings and can last really good for about 4 hours and then my battery is exhausted. I rate like an 80% introvert so I'm an extreme.
 

artdecogirl

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Thank you Haven, I remember last year reading about your apple fest and thinking our fall parties sound much the same, a little crazy and lots of fun! I am jealous of those like you and MissStepcut that have the energy to do it so often, I am relatively lazy and have been known to have a bowl of cereal for supper for lack of ambition and while I will have people over for a frozen pizza I think cereal is pushing it. I hope I did not sound too much a downer or preachy. I really just wanted anybody wishing they could do more entertaining and were holding back for whatever reason to not waste time waiting until your house is just right or your dishes match or whatever because that never really happens. Call someone up that you care about or want to know better and invite them over, lifes too short and regrets are a b.... Soooo how about tomorrow night 7pm my house we'll be serving capn crunch with skim, any takers?
 

Laila619

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Artdecogirl, aww, I'm so sorry for the loss of your brother. That's sad. :blackeye: Reminds us that life is short.
 

April20

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We entertain a lot. At least several times a month. In the pastbfew months, we have been really focusing on simplifying when we entertain. We don't need to provide elaborate meals. A simple rustic pasta or quesadillas or whatever is fine. If someone has a problem with it, we won't invite them again.

We're having company tonight. We're doing homemade hummus, some sliced smoked beef, cheese and bread. Wine. That's it. Simple. I don't have the kitchen tools right now, or the kitchen setup, to do more.
 

MissStepcut

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To re-enforce what others have said, it doesn't really matter what your house is like if the company is good. We live in a tiny studio apartment, and had to serve our guests on 4 different tables. Two people ended up sitting on the floor. Everyone had fun, had good food, had a few drinks and no one complained about the fact that the sink in the bathroom had toothpaste residue.
 

monarch64

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I LOVE to entertain!!! SO does as well. Like Haven, we host an annual party in the fall...we call ours a Pumpkin Carving Party and ask our guests to bring a pumpkin to carve and (if they desire) beverages of their choice. We provide homemade chili, hot apple cider, and non alcoholic beverages/water. Typically I prepare some desserts and inevitably people bring side dishes and/or desserts on their own, which is great! We've experienced such success at past parties that I asked my Mom, who is GREAT at paper crafts, to make actual invitations this year. They turned out so beautifully, I met her for lunch today and she really outdid herself--each one is different and soooo cute.

Other than our annual/expected party, we like to entertain 1-3 times a month. We belong to a "movie night" group, and SO has political aspirations and will be running for local office soon...we hobnob with different crowds and like to socialize/host whenever we are able. It's fun! We do not yet have children and have pretty flexible schedules, so that makes it easier for us than the average dual income household, I'd say. That won't last for long, I'm sure, so we are taking advantage now. I LOVE having people over! Sometimes on Friday nights when we get home from work, we find ourselves sitting on the patio going through our phone/address lists texting or calling everyone we know to come over and play a game of bean bag toss or Yahtzee! We love our alone time together, Monday through Thursday, and make a point of eating dinner together on Mondays and Thursdays especially, but come the weekend we're ready to be SOCIAL!

I love that we have a fun household. I grew up in a huge home in an isolated, rural area and no one ever came around. :(( Now, I love having guests and thrive on that kind of energy. I'd have a party every day if we could afford to!

ETA: Re. simplifying entertaining: we are operating with a bare bones kitchen, and I don't do anything "fancy" or elaborate. The most intensive thing I've ever done was purchase some prosciutto and fry it a bit before serving it with melon and mozzarella on toothpicks for our first party in this house. After that, I was like, 'I'm sticking to what we normally eat' and have done so ever since. My home is very (intentionally) casual, comfy, and lived-in without being cluttered. I want my guests to feel like they can come in and feel welcome to kick off their shoes, grab whatever they'd like from the bar/fridge, and mingle with everyone. We always have a great mix of interesting folks and if we did anything pretentious it would just eff up the vibe.
 

Gypsy

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We entertain about once a month. Usually just another couple or two. I don't enjoy big dinner parties because all I'm doing is serving and washing dishes and not talking to my guests.

I'm also introverted and my house is very much my safe haven. We don't have acquaintances over to our house, we have friends only over and if you are invited to my house I want to spend time with you.

My parents did dinner parties twice a month and it drove me up the wall. Too much "so how are you? I haven't seen you in ages...." Meh, if you come to my house I have to LIKE you enough to keep up with you.

Honestly a lot of times it's just more fun to go out. You get to spend time talking and someone else does all the scrubbing and serving. And if I don't know you well, I'm much more comfortable meeting you out than having you in my very personal space.

I wouldn't throw a big party without a caterer and a maid service before and after. I've done it many times in the past without and NEVER AGAIN. Not even for holidays. The maid comes and cleans. The caterer drops off the food, augmented by a few things I've put together. The maid comes and cleans again. That's pretty much what needs to happen for me to have a big party.
 

Amys Bling

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MissStepcut|1317452494|3030424 said:
To re-enforce what others have said, it doesn't really matter what your house is like if the company is good. We live in a tiny studio apartment, and had to serve our guests on 4 different tables. Two people ended up sitting on the floor. Everyone had fun, had good food, had a few drinks and no one complained about the fact that the sink in the bathroom had toothpaste residue.

I agree, and when we do host - anywhere from small dinner parties to 30 person late night parties- everyone has a great time and no one notices the things we feel are "unfinished". But I think we as hosts, would enjoy entertaining more if we felt our home was finished the way we wanted.
 

diamondringlover

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When I was younger I used to like to have people over, we never had big parties, but I loved hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas at my house, usually around 12-18 people, but as I have gotten older its just too much work....I still do it once in awhile, but my sister loves having it at her house and I like letting her :wink2:
 

yennyfire

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artdecogirl, I am sorry for your loss. There's nothing like an experience such as that to remind you of what's important in life.

Haven, we must be twins, or at least our families are. I could have written your last post about your family being small, but your parents generation having a cousins club. My Dad has something like 40 first cousins (both of his parents were one of 8 kids). I only have 6 first cousins and we don't see each other all that often.

It's funny, I'm definitely an introvert and I tend to be a perfectionist too, but having friends over doesn't stress me out. Maybe this is a commentary on how I feel about my friends? Now, when I've had to host large "events" (such as my son's bris) and invite my boss, co-workers, my parents friends, etc. I was stressed out like nobody's business. I remember being up at midnight after nursing my son so that I could iron tableclothes. It was insane and wasn't what I should have been doing 8 days post a birth where I ended up with a large # of stitches. Lesson learned the hard way!
 

zoebartlett

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We don't have people over too often. I like the idea of hosting smaller dinner parties, but it would stress me out to have several people over at once. My husband's not into small talk and he's an introvert, so I'm sure he's sort of relieved that we don't host many parties. I'd love to have friends come over more but a) we have cats and most of my friends are allergic and b) not too many of them live nearby.

My parents live 35-40 minutes away and they come over fairly often, especially in the summer when they want to hang out at our pool. My husband's parents, siblings, nieces & nephews live almost an hour away. They haven't been here since we moved in over a year ago. I leave him to invite his family over and well, he just doesn't do it. I feel bad about that but it's easier for us to travel to see his family and we don't mind.
 
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