Stressful Entertaining Around the Holidays and How to Avoid It

Overboard. I tend to go overboard when I entertain. I cook multiple dishes and some I may never have tried before.

On New Year’s Day years ago, the menu was egg fried rice, chow mein noodles, General Tso’s chicken and beef teriyaki.   I brought a lot of the ingredients to my sister in law’s house and started preparing.  I had never cooked any of these recipes.

It was a bit crazy to cook four separate meals that required cooking at the same time but we made it work.  My husband was a big help at the end of cooking.  When I was finishing up other aspects of the meal he helped with the chicken.  The result was tasty but didn’t taste like a Chinese restaurant take-out.  It must have been okay though since people went for seconds. 

I learned a lot.  When I am cooking I’m focused.  It’s not until I feel comfortable with all aspects of the meal that I am chatty and more relaxed.  It made me think: ‘What impression am I giving to not engage in conversation while I’m cooking?’  ‘Does it bother people?’   So I should either cook something I’m more familiar with if I’m cooking while guests are there, or cook simpler meals.  If the meals were prepared before guests arrived it wouldn’t have mattered, but today I noticed I was less sociable while cooking. I decided it was not the impression I wanted to give.  So in the future I should plan differently if I am to be more hospitable. 

Love should not just come from the food but radiate from you while you cook it as well.  So can cooking a complicated meal lead to less hospitality?   For me, yes.

May your home always be a welcome place filled with God’s love.

Questions to Ponder:

  1. Do I get quiet when I’m focused on preparing a meal, table, or ambience for my guests, causing me to neglect my guests?
  2. Do I make my guests feel welcome and relaxed by what I say and my body language?
  3. How do I or can I create a warm atmosphere for my guests while I am cooking?
  4. If I am not projecting the image I want what steps could I take to ensure I am calm and relaxed to welcome my guests with a warm and joyous heart?

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