Tuesday, July 15, 2008

An old "proverb"...

"Procrastination is a crime, it only leads to sorrow. I can stop at any time, I think I will tomorrow." I had to memorize this for my eight grade history class. I wasn't singled out, although I'm guilty of procrastination, but our entire class had to know this by the end of the year or we simply failed in spite of our projects and papers.

Each week I'm going to try and stick with a "theme". I think this will help me from becoming too overzealous and hopefully if you want to learn more about a subject, we'll go into detail about each one weekly.

Being prepared has never come easily for me. I'm always setting my clocks ahead so that I have a few extra minutes to prepare(although knowing about that, I take advantage). I remember planning a baby shower where several people had offered to help me and I had "graciously" (I thought) turned them down, thinking I could do it all by myself. The day of the shower arrived and I was feverishly dipping chocolate strawberries and mixing lemonade as guests arrived instead of greeting them. Now you might be asking yourselves why go to that much trouble? The answer is that, as a hostess, you want to show the guest of honor that you care enough about them to put effort into what you've done for them. My biggest mistakes were not planning ahead and not accepting help.

Any successful party, whether there are 4 or 400 people in attendance, must have some key elements; and it may surprise you to find out what they are:

  1. Guests who are amiable
  2. A menu that is well planned and suited to your guests' tastes
  3. An attractive table- everything in perfect condition; linens pressed, silverware polished, glassware sparkling
  4. Food that is well prepared
  5. A gracious and cordial hostess and host who are welcoming and at the same time enjoy their guests
Fifteen minutes is the accepted length of time that a hostess need delay her dinner for the late guest. To wait any longer is rude to your other guests. If you are that late guest, it's necessary to go to the hostess/host and apologize (briefly) for being late. If you are the hostess, you can say something polite like: "I'm sorry you had such a bad drive, but I was sure you didn't want us to delay dinner"...always with a warm smile. If the guest misses dinner entirely, it's kind of the hostess to keep a plate wrapped in the fridge.

It's nice to greet your guests and socialize with them in your living or family room, so you may invite them to be there at 7pm but indicate that dinner will be served at 7:30pm.

There are many online resources that have timelines available for dinner parties, holidays, and other special occasions to help you get organized and be prepared: Dinner party timeline

When in doubt for any of these things, I think the golden rule applies: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and truly think about how you would feel if those "things" were done or said to you, and you will never fail.

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