I have this friend, Julie, who has been reminding me lately that life and entertaining is about building relationships, and not the event or perfection achieved while entertaining. That is a very difficult lesson for me to learn, because 1) I tend to believe you can have both and 2) Martha Stewart, through her magazines, literature and media has literally taught me everything I know.
Having said that, during this time of year, I place pressure on myself to host elegant holidays, set the perfect dining table, cook pinterest worthy and instagram ready meals. I thrive on a perfect presentation, and creating moments that others truly enjoy. It is a pressure I love. It gives me some kind of high when I accomplish my goals. I try to reach Martha Stewart levels of perfection, but the reality is I am no Martha Stewart and I definitely do not have her staff. Knowing this, I am going to make every effort to host an equally beautiful Thanksgiving, while cutting out some of the unnecessary burdens that come along with this holiday. This is my three point game plan to try and be in the moment this year.
Taking the stress out of any event begins with communication. I am currently obsessed with www.punchbowl.com. They have beautiful, free and non expensive invites for any celebration. The potluck feature, as well as the rsvp makes managing your party a breeze. This keeps you from chasing down responses, planning a menu and giving your guests the freedom to choose what they want to bring and share.
This year I am going to a friend's house and am responsible for the tables cape, but since I love to to cook I am bringing a few sides and a dessert. In order to enjoy my day, I am cooking all items the day before as well as making table preparations. I am hoping the day of I can set the table and enjoy making memories with friends and family.
I am going to use as many disposable products as I can. With a guest list of 40, this seems like the reasonable thing to do even though I love eating on my "pretty dishes" during the holidays. With many options available that are nicer than your typical paper plate, my challenge this year is to set an equally gorgeous table using majority disposable dinnerware. I will post pictures after and you can judge for yourself if I was successful.