Summertime gatherings are often bittersweet. Sweeter if you are a guest, bitter due to the excessive pressure if you are the host.
Pinterest influences and social media pictures can surely drive your success as a host. The pressure of having the perfect Instagram-worthy party takes over as the sole purpose for your get-together.
Wouldn’t you agree that the best aspect of the pandemic was the pressure of not having to host extravagant events – or even small dinner parties? On the flip side, not having social gatherings to host was hard, too.
But why does it need to be stressful?
Your mental health and well-being should remain number one always and not take a back seat to the pressures of hosting. Worrying about the guest list, food, décor, what you are wearing, and what the appropriate budget to pull it all off is a drain on your summer fun. So here are five tips that will make you the master host this summer:
- You are the HOST. Say that out loud. “I am the host!” Own the statement in its entirety. Before you even set the date, ask yourself if you really want to host it. If yes, move on to tips 2-5. If no, then stop! Enjoy being a guest and remove the unnecessary pressure you are imposing on yourself when you host a gathering.
- Set your budget. Seems silly and well-nigh impossible but it needs to be done before moving on. Things get “out of control” when budgets are not in place. If you decide you are hosting a summer BBQ in your backyard for a few close friends, then set a budget and stick with it.
- Pick a date that works best for YOU, and then for most of your guests. Notice I said “most of your guests” rather than your favorite guests. While I hope everyone is a favorite, I would hate to see you spend time and energy on people whose company you do not enjoy. But in a world of busy schedules trying to find one date that fits all is going to be hard, so do not add that pressure. Choose two or three and send a poll to the guests and let the majority dictate the date, and you can start planning accordingly.
- Order out! Yep, an option we do not often see in South Asian homes. We are always under pressure to cook every single item from scratch and in quantity to please and feed our guests. If you have the bandwidth and desire, then great, but outsourcing your food and getting it catered does not make you a weak host. Personally, I think it is a win and adds to the simplicity – if you can swing it, especially when hosting events with more than six people.
- Pick your guests based on who you would want to be stuck on an island with. Yep, I said it. Life is too short to spend time with people merely out of obligation. If you would not be stuck with them on an island, then why have them over at your house? Having guests you do not want adds to the stress and anxiety of hosting.
So there you go! That’s hosting made easy! Do it only if you want it, set a reasonable budget and a date that works for most people, call people you want around you, and enjoy the pleasure of delicious, catered food.
Hosting should be a joy, with gentle stresses, not laden with anxiety. If you see that happening, then zoom in on the pain points and correct them! But the hostess with the mostest is the one who planned a carefree gathering on her terms.
If you’re planning some summer parties, then be sure to check out The Best Grill and BBQ Safety Tips for the Summer