10 Steps to Easy Entertaining

This weekend I had a few friends over for a BBQ/Boardgame night. Per my new year's resolution, I'm trying to have a mini get together once a month. Here are my favorite parts of easy, low stress entertaining:

  • Keep it simple. Celery and carrots with hummus. Fruit salad. Green salad. Steak. Bread and olive oil. Chips and salsa. A few choices of drinks like alcohol and soda. Even better when you have a friend who has a punch fountain (!!) and someone who knows how to use a grill :)
  • Air it out. Before everyone came over I cleaned, lit a candle, opened all the doors to get the air flowing. There's something super relaxing about having fresh air and a nice scented candle burning. I blew out the candle before everyone came over so I wouldn't forget about it when letting people in and out, and accidentally light the place on fire. Plus you never know who might be sensitive to scents or not.
  • Invite a few groups. Have your friends bring their friends. Growing up, I always had a fear of mixing my groups of friends because I worried they might not like each other. The result? Isolated groups of friends that don't know each other well. As I'm getting older, it seems much more fun having all my favorite people meet.
  • Offer an activity. In my opinion, having something to do rather than sit around and talk (which is equally wonderful, when everyone knows each other well,) can help break the ice. Offer up a multi-player game, host a movie night, a TV show marathon, etc. Bring people together to bond over a common activity, and the chit chat will happen more naturally. 
  • Provide options and comfort. Some people prefer tea to a beer, or need a blanket if the doors are open. Do a quick scan of the room and see what people might want or need. That being said...
  • Don't over do it. Ultimately, it's up to the people you invite to entertain themselves and socialize at their own pace.
  • Play music. Everyone has their own taste so I won't even try to go into this, but something about music playing feels relaxing and fun.
  • Prepare for clean up in advance. It might seem wasteful, but using paper plates and cups makes clean up easy and painless. Clean as you go without seeming like you're trying to rush people out and clean up at the end of the night will be much easier.
  • Leave a candle and matches in the bathroom and make sure there is enough toilet paper that's easily accessible. (Enough said!)
  • Have fun! Don't forget to have fun yourself, even when you are hosting.

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