Beauty Around the Table: People!
One of my favorite nights of the year is New Year’s Eve. It’s when a group of our friends come together and we eat and talk for 5 hours! I’ve decided a long time ago, it’s not really the table setting or the meal that I would cook on this night that will make it successful.
No, it’s the people.
Looking back to my Change it Around Party from past years, each year gets better and better. Maybe my husband and I are getting “entertaining down to a science,” but I believe our “talk” is what it’s really about. We’re not afraid to walk the talk and go deep with another.
We mix it up every year with our guest list. Tradition is good but it can also limit creativity. So we “mix it up” and invite some new couples each year. I like to think of this night as rotating through our “awesome friends Rolodex.”
Change can be important and good. It can revive and refresh. It’s sometimes risky, but it can be powerful. The goal for this dinner party every year is to change the seating for every course. That way everyone gets to sit by someone new.
My girlfriends are great – they get in and help me in between courses, because this type of party takes planning and time.
– After each course, ask your guests to grab their drinking glasses and step aside (into the living room)
– Ask a designated person to move the place cards to the new seating schedule
– Ask another friend to put down clean silverware and fresh napkins
– Turn the music up loudly and make it a fun, festive time for all
The in-between time is important because your guests can run to the restroom, or sit and mingle more with one another. Then everyone is seated back in a new arrangement. Usually it’s about a 10-minute break.
Conversation is the key to a successful evening. Having questions to ask the guests involves everyone and creates a lot of laughter and intimacy. We are social people who sometimes need to be encouraged by one another in a safe environment.
NYE is a night of cherishing good friends. It’s a time to say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new. God is always involved in our talk, and we start the night off with a meaningful prayer. I love how when midnight hits, hugs and kisses take place, and not just from spouse to spouse. We all know that God has blessed us immensely, and even in tough times our strength is found in Him, but also bolstered very much by the people who surround us.
This may be a year of change for many, but change is an opportunity to grow and to mature. All relationships can be improved. It may take effort as a single person or as a married couple to put more into people this year. To forge new relationships or to even rebuild old ones.
We’re imperfect people living in an imperfect world. We need each other and 2010 is a great year to start living and giving of ourselves more.
Do you have any relationship goals for 2010?
(View how I set the table, here.)
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I look forward to reading your blog daily! Your NYE party sounds like so much fun and what a great idea. I think I will share it with our friends and try to do this next year. Thank you for sharing your ideas and always putting the important things in perspective.
We don’t change places during dinner, but we take a few minutes to clear the table and then change places for dessert or just set desserts on the server and let friends help themselves to coffee and a variety of fruit, cheeses and desserts and make themselves comfy in the living room and family room. The goal is to spend more time with friends this year.
What a great idea to change around the seating arrangements! Your approach to entertaining is inspiring to me. We have been making an effort to invite someone new over for dinner on Friday evenings, both to open our home and teach our children about hospitality. It has been very rewarding!
I always love reading your posts and your idea of switching places during the dinner on NYE is super! I so enjoy meeting and getting to know new friends. Your idea allows others that opportunity even if they feel shy. I do plan to do more entertaining this year!
A wonderful reminder of what has already been resonating in my heart in recent days.
It’s all about people. It’s all about relationships.
A renewed focus of mine! Thanks for this encouragement to keep it so!!
What a great post and idea for a wonderful dinner party. I am hoping to grow closer with the ladies in my bible study and encourage them as they encourage me, nothing like having some wonderful friendships with my sisters in Christ!
Thanks for the inspiration!
What a wonderful tradition! And what a wonderful way to connect with dear friends at a time when so many people are longing and searching for meaningful connections.
When we built out new home, my hubby and I both felt that we were being called to share our home with a lot more people. We have made great strides this past year in opening our home to friends and family. (I credit you with some of that because you’ve helped me relax a bit.)
This year, we’re going to try and go even further and use our home to make new friendships and strengthen old ones.
Happy New Year, my friend!
Great post. You are so helpful to the rest of us who are not reluctant entertainers but terrified entertainers. I see what you write and think…I can do this. Now I just need to do it:-)
Happy New Year!
Great post. I DO need to mix it up a bit when it comes to the guest list. I guess the word that describes my goals for 2010 is discipline…in all areas of my life. :)
What a fabulous way to spend New Years Eve! We have been forunate to host a couple of dinners for the evening and have always enjoyed the bonds that are strengthened because of them.
As for 2010 relationship goals? I think mine are to step out of the box a little more. It seems that we always have the same people over (mainly because we have children the same age), but I would really like to venture out of the circle more and entertain for the adults occasionally.
Happy New Year!
I love this post and the last one on “spur of the moment”… it got me to thinking my desire to grow in hospitatality has almost gotten me into trouble.
I want to do ALL of this… and I do the inviting part sort of “spur of the moment” like… and it might not work for the guests (right then) so they want a raincheck – which is great! but then my trouble is to follow through with the follow through, if you know what I mean. I feel like I owe so many people a meal or another invitation.
Help?! What is a good way to not get ahead of myself? Also, I just want to clarify that “spur of the moment” does work better for me – preparing wise. Otherwise I stress to much, and I’ve commented about that recently, too.
What a very cool idea. Now the question is what excuse can I use to do that this year! LOL.
Hugs to you.