When it’s time for our guests to leave, my husband has a standing statement that he never forgets to say as our guests walk out of our front door, and it’s said in a joking manner: Come back when you can’t stay as long!

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Everyone knows that Paul is kidding, but there is truth to that statement. The night starts out young and exciting. Good food and conversation are shared and many times encouragement and advice are given. We people are really made with the need to connect, to form intimacy, and to bond to one another. But then the night comes to an end. It gets late. We get tired. And it’s time for everyone to go home. That’s where we tease our guests and say, “Come back when you can’t stay as long!”

As our guests leave our home and as we shut the door, say good night to our kids, maybe do a few dishes, and turn out the lights, many times Paul and I will then lay in bed and talk about the night. Reminisce, reflect, and talk about the funny things that happened, or maybe the not-so-funny, if a entree didn’t turn out, or when the kids were little if they acted up, or maybe even if the conversation went bad. The night takes on a whole new meaning of its own.

Every entertaining experience is different. Some we learn from, some we’re challenged by, and some will remain in our hearts forever.

Entertaining and practicing hospitality are not to be taken lightly. In our home, we consider reaching out to others and making them feel welcome to be a high calling. I wish more people were willing to put aside their fears and just try it. There’s one more day left in my 31 Days series to Stress-Free Entertaining.

Tomorrow I’ll wrap it up with Day 31, but today I’d love to hear your thoughts on if you reflect or think about your entertaining experiences?

I also want to thank everyone for their comments, personal emails, and thoughts and stories shared. YOU are the reason why RE exists.

(Remember my new book, The Reluctant Entertainer, is now available at all book stores and on Kindle, and I go much deeper there in many of these 31-Day subjects. Don’t forget to visit the other bloggers: Chatting at the Sky, Nesting Place, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, My First Kitchen, Life With My 3 Boybarians, Remodeling This Life, The Inspired Room)