Relax, enjoy your friends and family – Happy Holidays!
Lately, I have been working hard – evenings, weekends, getting up early in the morning. The harder that I seem to work the larger the work has become and I feel like things fall through the cracks, especially at work. I have been known to be tired and/or grumpy. I’m also a teeny, weeny bit of a perfectionist. The result is that sometimes I feel like the more work that I do the less I seem to get done. Then it hit me: Life is what happens between sleeping and work. And having a life results in a great sleep and doing great work.
This doesn’t just apply to your job, but also at home. I always try to have hot appetizers ready the moment the guests walk in the door, dinner prepping and everything ready to go. I also strive to produce “the perfect meal.” Last Saturday, we invited our good friends C and G and their two lovely children over for dinner. What I had forgotten was that we were supposed to be attending a Christmas concert that my son was in that very afternoon. Not much time to prep.
The Christmas concert was excellent and raised money for a great charity called Out of the Cold which raises money to support homeless programs. When we got home it was 3:30 and I still had to pick up a few things. Needless to say, when my guests arrived I was still browning the meat for the stew, the appetizers weren’t made and I hadn’t started the kids meal. You know what? My guests didn’t seem to care. They helped with dinner. We had appetizers by 6:00. Kids dinner by 7:00 and the adult dinner at 9ish. We had great conversations, lots of laughs, good food and wine and horsing around with the kids afterwards. It was a great evening!
Coincidently, just after I wrote this, I read an article in the New York Times with a similar theme written by a fellow Canadian, Corey Spintz. Although “In the End, it’s not about the Food” advocates prepping in advance (I’m sure that Corey would have cringed at the disorder my guests arrived to J), the key message is that when you invite guests over spend your time with them, treat them like family and make them feel special.
So, the next time you think that you have to get everything ready and perfect before your guests arrive, remember they’ll probably have just as much fun if everything is not perfect. You, however will probably be more relaxed. Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy your guests – Sham Style!
Written on my Microsoft Surface RT with purple backlit keyboard
Picture care of Microsoft Word Clip Art.