One of the nicest things I ever heard was from a friend, who is a coffee producer. When I asked him “What makes a great cup of coffee?” this was his answer: “The truth is, a cup of coffee is delicious when it is shared with great company.” I knew he wasn’t being facetious, it came from his heart (also, I was serving crappy coffee at the time, so thank God that is how he felt).
Do you feel that way too? I mean, in the end, it doesn’t really matter what you do, where you go, or what food is served, what matters is your company. So, if your company is what truly matters, how can you make guests feel that you value their time with you?
1.Appreciate instead of survive
My American friends are getting ready for Thanksgiving, while our holiday has long passed. I don’t actually mind it because it gives us a bigger break from the traditional large meal that is Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I remember very clearly when my mother would work tirelessly in the kitchen for days on end before a holiday. I know she did it with all the love in her heart for us. But you know what? It was damn hard, and she and my father never rested. I hope and pray they had moments in these holidays where they knew how much we appreciated the dedication to a delicious family meal and beautifully decorated home, and we, of course, told them.
I have noticed that each year, our meals have been changing. One friend might be vegetarian, one might be on a special diet, kids might be picky eaters and only like a certain food… It’s hard to limit the favourite dishes, but prepping in advance and getting help, mixed with simpler meals can allow any host to enjoy the moment that much more.
2.Bring out the good stuff
If you are of the generation of hope chests and big families, you may very well have silverware to your name, along with good china, precious tea sets, and so on. Do you use them? I don’t. Well, that is not entirely true. I use some pieces, and others are on display in my traditional dining room hutch. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I have out, but these items were not meant to be shown off like a painting on a wall. They were meant to be used regularly. A wonderful woman that I admire has spread the word online to “use your good stuff.” She’s right! What are we waiting for? My Dad used to make jokes that if the Pope were to show up, we’d be ready.
Granted, we don’t all have time to polish silverware daily, but there are times when pulling out beautiful pieces are worth it. Even if they scratch, even if they break. At least we used them!
3.Add an easy extra touch
To make the décor themed and special, adding some extra pieces from Hallmark is something I try to do regularly. For the Thanksgiving season, Hallmark sent me some lovely napkins and placemats. They are simple, pretty and thoughtful all in one. I took out some special cutlery and plates and voila! A beautiful setting for any special meal. Hallmark has such sweet décor ideas that will bring joy to your table.
3.Celebrate more than the holiday
Making an effort for a special moment even if it’s simply a Tuesday, can bring delight to your family. Last week, I was chatting with a friend we hadn’t seen for a while. And normally, a weekend get-together works well for us, but we were both swamped with family activities. So, we decided to have a dinner together at our place on a weekday. It was so great to see everyone and it truly gave me a boost in good vibes for the rest of the week. That’s what friends do.
Rushing through any moment makes appreciating it really difficult. Have the chance both for you and your guests to talk and have fun. Thanks to our kids, we can be playful and have fun with ease. We have a load of family games we can play at any gathering and it makes everyone loosen up and enjoy the moment. Our favourites for big gatherings right now are Pictionary and Mad Gab.
And while we’re on this subject, sit back after the get-together, alone. I started doing this, even if it is just for five minutes. It gives me a moment to reflect on just how lucky we are to have people in our lives that we can celebrate with. Our time is our biggest gift to any one person. And I am grateful for the time I have with others.
Hallmark Canada is spreading the greatness of get-togethers with a giveaway. One lucky reader will receive two placemats and a package of napkins for their next get-together. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form and be sure to answer the question “what do you do to make your get-togethers great?”. I know you are filled with great ideas too!
This giveaway is open to Canadian residents only and he deadline to enter is December 3rd, 11:59pm.
Good luck to everyone!
Disclosure: I was gifted Hallmark products to facilitate this post. All opinions are honest and my own.
I take the time to try and make it special. I use decor, but also make sure it’s a comfortable atmosphere. Plus good food and good company help too!
I find good music and a laid-back atmosphere helps everyone loosen up and really enoy themselves.
To make my get-togethers great I like to bring out the extra special dishes and create a soothing atmosphere with candles.
I make my get together’s great by bringing out the nicer dishes and table decorations
Making sure that everything is planned ahead and have dishes my guests enjoy. We try to keep it liquor free as that is where the problems start.
Having great company and great food make a get together great! I also love decorating the house!
I DO A BYO DISH THAT WAY EVERYONE GETS SOMETHING THEY LOVE AND WE ALL GET TO TRY SOMETHING NEW
I make sure there is lots and lots of good and drinks to go around, and a second place set up for people to sneak away to when they need a little break from the crowd.
I cook my most popular dishes and ensure I have a variety of drinks
I try to keep our get togethers simple so that I actually have time to spend with my guests, instead of being in the kitchen the whole time.
I try to prepare ahead of time so I have more time with my guests. I also build a music playlist that I think everyone would enjoy.
I use my special occasion dishes, soft music in the background and decorate the table with flowers
I always use our “nice” dishes for company and plan out a great menu and prep a lot ahead of time so I can enjoy the get together.
I like to use nice dish sets and cute decor
Making sure that everything is planned ahead of time