Reluctant.

The definition is fascinating: Lack of enthusiasm; unwillingness or lack of enthusiasm.

Or offering resistance or opposing.

Reluctant is having reservations about doing something you were asked to do.

Tie that definition together with entertaining, and I think that describes a lot of people. Reluctant Entertainers.

Not willing to take the extra step, go the extra mile, put our fears aside, stop worrying about silly things – and open WIDE our front doors to hospitality.

Dealing with the “P” word straight on. Perfectionism. Realizing that it will haunt and stifle God-given gifts of love and friendship.

Am I a reluctant entertainer? At times, yes.

I think even the most seasoned hostess deals with feelings of “reservation” from time to time.

Did I invite the right group of people? Can I pull it off? Even when serving the food, I’m wondering if my guests will like it? Is the music okay? The list goes on and on.

I’m sure many of you can relate. It never stops … wondering and worrying.

Some people are so reluctant, they STOP at the thought of entertaining.

This week, once again, I’m pushing past my fears and am hosting another dinner party in my home. (Don’t these colors remind you of the the 70s? They were my mother’s entertaining colors!)

Why am I a little bit less reluctant this time, with such a large group, than I was at this party? (I wrote about dinner party barriers, here.)

Because I just hosted the same size group 2 months ago, and am also giving myself many pep talks. It’s good to focus on the right things, when entertaining.

Those “right things” I hope will help you today, if you struggle with being a reluctant entertainer, especially with the holidays ahead and possible entertaining moments that could bring your family and acquaintances joy, if you’re willing to put your reluctance aside.

Are you a reluctant entertainer?

1. Entertaining is like a muscle. The more you “do it,” the easier it becomes.

2. It gives your courage to know you’ve already pulled off one dinner party (it doesn’t matter the size, it could be 4 people or 14 people), so that you can do it again.

3. The more familiar you are with something, like a hosting routine, the easier it becomes.

4. Think about what made your last event successful and do those things again! Take the steps to organize and plan and prepare so you will enjoy yourself.

5. Remind yourself of the good memories, the looks on your guests’ faces, or the comments that they made, comments of pure enjoyment, because YOU put love and effort into bringing them all together.

6. Embrace your imperfections. Set the bar hight, but give yourself permission to mess up, fix what you need to, and move on, without beating yourself up over things that don’t happen perfectly.

7. “Fun is expensive, but happiness is free.” Live by this concept, that joy comes from within, and your focus will change from the “dinner party details” to the people coming to your home. Be joyful and learn to embrace the moment and not focus on the things that are not perfect (things that the guests won’t even know).

8. Put your expectations aside. You have a wrong understanding of “hospitality” if you have to set a standard where you’re trying to impress because you think your guests expect it. Guests rarely have the same expectations that you do.

I’m excited to show you more about what’s ahead this week. (By the way, I planted these beautiful Flowering Cabbage (Pigeon White) this week. They last through the winter months and right now they were only $1.49 each at our local Grange! Can’t beat that for filling the pots for Fall/Winter!)

Entertaining in Oregon during the Autumn season …. swoon! The best!

Reluctance aside, it’s happening, and it’s good.

And I’m going to enjoy every moment of being with my wonderful guests.

Do you struggle with being a reluctant entertainer? What aspects would you like more help with?

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