Last week, I wrote about sharing a meal with another family at a restaurant – you might call it a “family date” – which is a wonderful way to save yourself some work. But sometimes, it just doesn’t work for the other family to leave home. That’s why one of my other favorite ways to connect with people is to dine-in. You bring the food, they provide the place, you do all the work. It’s a great blessing to another family who feel house-bound.
When this works well
There are lots of reasons this family date might be a better approach. Maybe the family has a newborn and is more comfortable at home. Or their children have a firmer schedule and can’t deviate from it. Or someone might be injured/recovering from surgery and doesn’t move around very well. Whatever the reason, you can still bring some fun and joy into their home despite the restrictions. Of course, make very certain they feel up to the company. Make sure they know it’s not going to bring any extra work to them.
What to bring
I personally love to bring take-out to this kind of gathering. If someone feels housebound, it usually means there hasn’t been a lack of homecooked meals. They’ve either been cooking for themselves or they might have been the recipient of a meal train. Something about take-out makes it feel more like a treat and almost like getting out of the house. To minimize the impact on the family you’re visiting, make sure you bring lots of disposable plates and silverware. The last thing you want to do is leave the family with a mess to clean up when you leave. Family style meals are still great, no need to get orders in advance. Things like Chinese food or Italian are easy to share and usually a crowd pleaser!
Make it tradition!
We have friends who always seems to have a baby a few months after us. We’ve developed a fun tradition of treating each other to the most delicious Chinese food a few weeks after each baby arrives. We have a favorite restaurant and a favorite order. The family without the new baby, picks it up and arrives bearing dinner and the responsibility to clean up. It is literally the highlight of every new baby in my opinion. Celebrating with dear friends, in your sweatpants with your newborn in the Rock ‘n Play a few feet away. It’s so much fun! No pressure, no pretense.
As with anything, there can be challenges to this approach, specifically cost. But this doesn’t need to be a spendy. Pizza is a great low cost option, as is fast food burgers or tacos.
Have you ever brought take out to a friend in need? What did you take? Was there anything that worked really well or didn’t work well at all? I’d love to hear about it! Share a comment below!
I’m an old soul and I love traditional entertaining! I think it absolutely has a place in modern hospitality. I love planning large get togethers, with full sit down meals that include dessert. Getting the invites out weeks in advance. But, it’s also 2017 and I have two toddlers, so sometimes I have to throw out my grandmother’s rule book and find new ways to connect with people. I’m still the hostess, I’m arranging the avenue through which people are reconnecting, but it just doesn’t look like you’d think. This series focuses on thinking outside of the box when it comes to entertaining. Enjoy!