Food, glorious food.
Whenever I talk to people about why they have a hard time inviting people over, notably, someone always mentions food.
Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?
– I don’t know what to serve.
– I’m not a good cook.
– What if they don’t like what I make?
– How will I ever have it all ready at the same time?
– It’s just too much work.
Right here is when we need to stop ourselves. Shut off those negative voices. Shut down the doubt and fear. Inviting people over isn’t about serving the perfect thing or impressing anyone with our culinary skills. It’s about opening up our lives to love others.
Of course, we want our guests to feel welcome and food plays a role in that, but my first word of encouragement comes in the form of a great, big K.I.S.S.
Have you ever heard that acronym? In 1960, the U.S. Navy began using it as a design principle: “Keep it simple, stupid.” They wanted to stress the importance that systems work best if kept incredibly simple by avoiding unnecessary complexities. There have been many other variations of this acronym created over the years, and since I’ve attempted to eradicate the word “stupid” from our home, I landed on my own version:
Keep it simple and sweet (or salty)!
This is what I want every single one of you to remember as you invite others into your home: K.I.S.S.
When we over think, over plan, and over stress about opening our door to others, we overwhelm ourselves and often sabotage our intended baby steps before we take them.
The secret to K.I.S.S. is to start small. Be spontaneous. Invite one friend over for coffee and offer delicious store-bought coffee cake. If you have time to make your favorite homemade recipe, that’s wonderful, but don’t let that dictate whether you extend an invitation.
In my book, Open Door Living: Easy Ways to Share the Gift of Hospitality, I share many easy options where I’ve implemented the K.I.S.S. concept. Here are a few simple suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:
– Pizza Party — everyone loves pizza!
– Invite your friends or neighbors to a root beer float party.
– Send a group text invitation for a “Popsicle and Pop-in” time with the kids.
– Host a “Build Your Own ________ Bar” meal. Be creative! You can have a build your own ice cream bar, baked potato bar, burrito bar, or pizza bar. For a fancier occasion, try a bruschetta bar or mashed potato bar (served up in martini glasses for a dramatic flair). These work well for large groups, and everyone can bring a topping, which means minimal work and cost for the host.
Recently, I chatted with Becky Keife about these ideas and more. Take a listen:
Opening your door doesn’t require you to be a gourmet chef or have the resources to throw an elaborate celebration. All that’s required is a willingness to say yes to inviting others into your life. What is one simple step you can take this week to open your door to a friend or neighbor? Use one of my suggestions above or dream up an idea that fits your family and personal flair. Just remember to keep it simple and sweet!
What fun to think who we could bless this week with a commitment to K.I.S.S.!
This was an excerpt from the new book Open-Door Living: Easy Ways to Share the Gift of Hospitality. This book is full of easy, practical how-to tips for living an open-door life. From food and recipes, to cleaning and creating conversation, it’s all in here!
For an even deeper look into this brand new gift book, sign up for this five-day email series from Jen and (in)courage! We will send you five days of content just like this, including several free printables. Whether you’re a seasoned host looking for renewed inspiration or a nervous newbie not sure where to begin, this email series will give you fabulous, practical ideas anyone can implement! And the best part? We can do it together. Sign up below for the series, then leave a comment that you’re ready to “open your door” to your friends and family. We’ll be here with you.
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