Do: Tell Guests, "Bring Nothing!"
It's fun to have people over, but stress & perfectionism can quickly extinguish the joys that come with hosting. If regularly having people into your home is something you value, it's important to find ways to make it as easy as possible. Here's something to try:
We all know that when we invite someone over for dinner, etiquette requires them to ask, "What can I bring?"
I like to reply, "Bring nothing, just yourselves."
They usually respond, "Please, let me contribute something to the meal."
My answer is always the same: "I've got everything covered. How about this: you bring nothing, and the next time you have me over, I won't bring anything."
Why I do this: I love having people over, but I don't love cooking and my kitchen skills are mediocre. When my guest brings a dish to contribute to the meal, I feel added pressure (put on by myself) to present a Michelin Star dinner. Having my guest bring nothing gives them the night off, and makes me confident & relaxed about serving a simple meal. Each party gets an evening to rest and receive, and that's life-giving for everyone.
This is how I'm playing my part in creating a new-wave entertaining culture, one dinner guest at a time. Next up in culture reform: bridal and baby showers.
"Bring Nothing" is for small gatherings. I'm all about delegation for large gatherings.