Has the Art of Hosting Truly Been Lost?

hosting

Today it seems everyone is in a rush. Rush to get to work, rush to get home from work, rush to cook dinner, rush get the kids to bed, rush through the kid’s birthday parties, rush to get through the holidays.

Phew, I am exhausted thinking of it all.

With two little girls under the age of four, I am in this boat too. I am lucky if I can get a cohesive dinner on our table by 6:30. I mean, the InstaPot has even been created where (I am sure) an entire Thanksgiving meal can be cooked in 2 hours.

Why are we in such a rush? What has happened to hosting? Whatever happened to taking it slow? Being able to let things sit, simmer, long after-dinner conversations, after-dinner wine, after-dinner coffee, moving to the living room and just taking our time with the planning and the preparation? Goodness, my mom hardly sits anymore. It takes me serious energy to sit down and relax. I know with social media and Pinterest and all that is out there today, we put so much on our plates, that occasionally, we let the ball drop. So why not nurture what we’re truly good at…or teach ourselves what we long to excel at?

I appreciate technology and things done quickly, but to me, cooking and party planning shouldn’t be one of them. This is where our time is well spent. I have been to many a birthday party and my heart sinks a little when I see the whole party rushed and a giant cake from Costco (trust me I love Costco…have you seen those giant cheese wedges?? Those are up my alley for a party.) Or how about the holidays…Thanksgiving dinner…how many recipes can now be found for making ahead (or store bought? *wince*) Same with Christmas and Easter. It is like we are trying to do as little as possible these days. But why? I understand if it is truly not enjoyed, or if one feels it is just not their gift (which one could learn!), but why is it all rushed? Why do we take shortcuts so often these days?

I love hosting parties…you name it I want to host it, plan it, cook for it, prep for it, decorate for it, and open the doors to all invited to enjoy it. Am I perfect at it? Heck no! Nevertheless, it fills my cup to give and make food for others. I love the romance of it all. I love creating a to-do list, I love the grocery shopping…looking at each ingredient and picking out the perfect apple or the perfect onion. Then I get home, pour a glass of wine, turn on some Frank Sinatra Pandora, and I take the pieces of the puzzle and (attempt to) create a beautiful, unified recipe that will (hopefully) make people happy.

I love to create décor that goes with the season, intricate, attractive and lovely items that when put together create a fresh look in our home. I love pushing myself to make my daughters’ birthday parties different, enjoyable, homemade, and distinctive. Why do I go through all of this? 1) It brings me joy. 2) My daughters’ birthdays happen once a year…I can bake, cook, clean, decorate to the umpteenth degree for them because they deserve it. 3) The holidays are once a year… and what joy it brings to truly cook alongside your loved ones. If you rush through all these highly anticipated moments then where is the fellowship, the funny kitchen moments, the traditions?

This holiday season I encourage you all to slow down. Truly enjoy the pieces that make up your Thanksgiving, your Christmas Eve, your Christmas Day, your New Year’s Eve, and your New Year’s Day. And your child’s birthday, your birthday, your anniversary and every small celebration in between. Allow the grocery trip to be enjoyable, allow the food to simmer, enjoy the kitchen chats and tastes.

Let’s bring out the nice china we keep stashed away 364 days of the year, let’s serve the nice wine that is collecting dust in the corner, let’s truly enjoy the entirety of the process and the day. Let’s rejuvenate hosting and bring it back to fruition.

 

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