Hospitality for Introverts, Busy Bees, & People Pleasers
Hospitality for Introverts, Busy Bees, & People Pleasers
Hospitality? Me? Anything but that! Please don’t make me!
Maybe you’re thinking one of these excuses to get out of it.
I’m an introvert
I’m too busy
I don’t have time to plan it all
I don’t like being in big groups of people
I like going to bed early
I’m not a good enough cook
It’s too complicated to work around everyone’s schedules and tastes
STOP MAKING EXCUSES
Just stop with the excuses already!
Hospitality is about making other people feel welcome and included. It’s not about providing fancy food, decorations, or gift bags. I promise you that people will have a great time without those things!
But if you keep making excuses, the only thing people will really hear from you is that you don’t think it’s worth it to make room for them in your life and your home.
And I don’t know about you (though I have a sneaking suspicion), but I don’t want to communicate that message to my people.
If everyone let all the “buts” keep them from inviting people into their right-now lives and their right-now homes, nobody would ever host anything, and we’d all live our lives independently of one another. Wouldn’t that be terribly lonely and boring?!
We were created to live in community, and that means living real life together. It means not having to have your house spic-and-span before you open the door or send the invite. It means pulling food out of the back of your freezer and just hoping it’s not too freezer-burned. It means letting guests get their own water refills from the tap. It means being okay with the laundry room mess or the dirty dishes in the sink or the towering pile of unopened mail on the dining room table— or all three at once.
Let’s stop making excuses and let’s start letting people meet us right where we’re at— because that’s the best way to let others know it’s okay for them to be right where they are and still come to the table, too!
MAKE IT SIMPLE
I love Pinterest. I love crafting. I love themed dinner parties and trying new recipes and making everything pretty. But I know it’s easy for that to get out of control.
Own your own preferences and skills. If you don’t want to spend all your time, energy, and money to create an elaborate themed party, then don’t do it. Give yourself permission to keep things simple.
If you want to have a theme, feel free to keep that simple, too! You don’t have to go all out with printed napkins, designer plates, fancy favors, or a strict agenda. You can have a loose theme that works with what you already have (that’s my favorite way to do it).
You can reuse things you have in your home, repurposing them for new uses and getting creative. For instance, you can borrow items from other rooms or from friends and family. I have borrowed my mom’s charger plates on multiple occasions instead of buying my own for only a couple times a year or less of use. I print out new sayings and quotes to fill gold or wooden frames that I use for just about everything. When I want to make signs for the food, I use craft paper I already have or little chalkboards that can be reused.
I stick with basic colors instead of fancy prints or themes for the decor because it’s easier to follow through on. You can grab napkins and plates in various colors that are significantly cheaper than themed ones (like jungle animals or characters for showers or parties). I also often opt for digital invitations to save time, effort, and money, so that’s something you can consider, too!
Nobody’s going to care if your pancakes aren’t shaped like hearts for Valentine’s Day or like Christmas trees or stockings or if you don’t have edible place cards with seasonal candy for every guest. They just appreciate you opening up your home and making them food in the first place!
Bonus, this also helps those of us who feel too busy to host because it takes less time, and if we’re focusing on the truly important things (spending time with our people), we can rest assured that everyone will have a great time!
LET OTHERS HELP
Nobody expects you to pull everything off by yourself— except maybe you. When people offer to help, they genuinely mean it, so let them help you!
It’s tempting to try to do it all yourself as a favor to others or to be able to say you did it yourself (I’m guilty of doing both). But it’s also a much more stressful, expensive, and time-consuming approach.
Plus, if you do everything yourself, you’re the only person responsible for filling drinks, replenishing food, clearing plates, washing dishes, and more. Not only is that a lot of work, but it will keep you busy the whole evening, keeping you away from the very people you invited over.
Your people want to spend time with you; they don’t want you stuck in the kitchen the whole time.
The easiest solution is to let others help you!
You can have others contribute dishes like sides, bread, dessert, or drinks.
You can let others help you serve the food or put the finishing touches on it when they arrive so you can spend time with them and get the food done.
You can allow others to help you clear the table and wash the dishes or put away the leftovers. We tag-team the process at my grandma’s house every holiday, and it’s a good time to catch up with family and find a way to lend a helping hand!
You might feel weird or guilty thinking about asking people to bring food or help wash dishes for your party, thinking you should be able to handle all of those details yourself. But remember that your people want to support you and spend time with you, and letting them help is the easiest way to accomplish both!
How can you simplify your approach to hospitality this year, whether you’re an introvert, a busy bee, or a people pleaser? Let me know in the comments!