Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Plain and Simple

I'm putting it all out there today.  My daughters have asked me several times to do a series on entertaining and since I know so many sweet girls just starting out and since I am starting up a hospitality ministry in our church, I think now might be the time.  

I think a lot of people are intimidated by the thought of having people over.  Nobody sees your flaws and the flaws of your home like you do.  Sometimes we are afraid we just don't measure up, our things aren't as nice as other people's, everything is so imperfect.
I am here to tell you, that is no reason not to ask people over.  As bloggers we tend to fancy things up for that Pinterest pin.  I happen to be one of those people who has rarely seen a set of dishes I didn't covet.  I have at least 6 sets to mix and match, and I love to set a nice table.  I like pretty things, and what guests don't realize is that with my skin flinty ways I get those things dirt cheap.

But some of the best times of friendship and fun I have had, have been when the table was piled with paper plates, cups and napkins and the food consisted of  chips, dip and whatever someone wanted to share for the potluck.  The food is not the focus. The people are.
What you see here is my table. My grandmother's table first, and now mine, still scarred from crafts from when the girls were little, (and my own crafts have made a few marks!).  I never cared if it got scratched or marred because their fun and creativity was more important.  I usually throw a yard sale tablecloth over it when folks come over. I have plans to refinish it some day, but I'm ok with it not being picture perfect for now.

When we invite people over for dinner or any other time, I want to focus on getting to know them.  People are more important than dishes, perfect table settings or perfect menus.  I'm not afraid to let people see my scratched table or the holes that my vintage table cloth may have.  We all just enjoy being together and getting to know each other on a deeper level. 

As picnic and party season approaches, I encourage you to open your homes and your hearts to people you love and those you would like to know better. Don't worry about the worn rug, the scratches on the table, don't even worry about what you will serve, make it pot luck if you have to. Just do it.  The friendships that will deepen and the joy you will gain are so worth it.


  1. Thank you.....for admitting that paper products are OK for entertaining! I love a pretty table, too, but....the people are the most important element in entertaining. I LOVE the well-worn table....lots of love!

  2. I love this post! Although I show gatherings at our home that have a pretty set table, I couldn't agree with you more. The key is to enjoy the people. These days? I choose either: a home cooked meal with a simple setting, OR: Bought food with a "nicer" table setting. Having friends over or family is the most important thing, don't wait until you think your {house, dining room, clothes, entertaining skills, cooking} whatever is perfect!

  3. Nice post. It is about the people and having them feel loved in your home!

  4. Go with this theme Kathy! You really are a rock star at entertaining ... just think of that wedding you did.

    I am terrible about obsessing about the smallest things in my house that someone will never notice. You are right - they don't see things that you see. Just have fun and your guests will too. :)

  5. Amen, Kathy! We practice hospitality here, too, and I have learned that people love to be invited! They don't care if things are perfect (actually they can feel quite intimidated if it is perfect)!

    I love dishes too, and you're right about finding them inexpensively and to mix and match!

  6. Beautifully said!! People are the most important part - and it is true - you remember the smiles, the warmth of conversation and just time spent together. Thank you for the reminder :)!

  7. Waiting until everything is perfect before inviting people over is pure futility. Nothing is ever perfect and we might as well accept that. Good post!

  8. You are right on all counts, Kathy, and this is something wonderful to teach your girls. I love to set a pretty table and make guests feel special, but there is a time and place for that. If I can do a lot ahead of time I will. But I really fuss over good food and that takes time. This past Easter I was so intent on actually sitting down with my family in the living room enjoying nibbles and drinks that I never remembered to take pictures of my table (and it was simple but pretty)!!!

    And I no longer fuss with the whole house. I keep the bathrooms neat and clean but I no longer declutter and go mad with bedrooms, etc.

    We grow, mature and learn!! Great post, Kathy!


  9. Kathy - Such a heartfelt and so true post...I need to take your kind words to heart and put them into practice and not get so bogged down in all the striving for perfection. Thanks for the reminder!

  10. I used to obsess, but now, I am more taken with the idea of friends and enjoying my time with them. A really nice paper plate makes me happy and they work just fine!! Great post! :)

  11. Yup. I have avoided many opportunities for fellowship for all the reasons that you mention. And I have a very similar farm table with the scratches and everything. I have only recently started using it sans table cloth. I rather like the "patina." One blogger (Cheryl at Thinking about Home), calls hospitality an opportunity "to bless and not impress." I still haven't gotten the hang of it and, if I am honest, never may. Looking forward to reading what you will share in your hospitality series.

  12. I am not a paper girl, and never have been. Its not something I use, even when camping we use dishes. Pulling out dishes is not a big deal for me, and don't care what or how others entertain, just don't want to feel bad how I do. Pulling out real dishes is not a arduous task. People are the focal point of our entertaining no matter what I use for dish-ware. But I also don't accept how others want to entertain too! PS..I don't drink wine without a glass wine glass, it makes me feel special!

  13. Wel, as you may know, I LUV pretty paper plates...solo cups in lime green and turquoise and adorable paper napkins. It's all in a persons point of view...and what they are used to. It took a long time for me to be comfortable with, I absolutely love it all.
    I seldom get out dishes any more...when we have our home fellowship, we all use paper...and with our large family, we use paper all the time..who wants to wash dishes when you can just throw them away and settle down with the family to play games....xoxo

  14. Somehow this post sneaked by me! I am happy that you've shared that paper and plastic are fine for entertaining. Focusing on the people - and time shared together - is so much more important than attempts to impress by what we own. Thank you for this post.


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