Gathering friends, setting out the fine china, donning a blooming centerpiece, cleaning the house to spotlessness – everyone knows the traditions of entertaining. My family has long loved the concept of hosting a dinner or party, and gathering those you care about for food and fellowship.
There are plenty of secrets to Southern entertaining. However, there’s a new trend emerging in entertaining. It’s equally enjoyable and meaningful, and much less stressful. It’s the notion of scruffy entertaining or scruffy hospitality as some prefer to say.
Simply put, it’s embracing the notion that we open our homes to company as is. We disregard the notion that our homes must looked un-lived in before guests come over. Your home should be authentic to who you are. I’m notorious for cleaning the house before the exterminator comes, fluffing the couch pillows each time I get up from the couch, and routinely putting things back in “their place” at the end of the day. But that’s me. My best friends have homes with belongings piled in every corner, toys scattered about the floor for children, and refrigerators overflowing with leftovers. Their homes are perfect. Because that’s them.
It’s more about friendship and conversation. Memories and laughs. Entertaining can be as simple as gathering friends, grabbing a bottle of wine, reheating the leftovers or ordering Chinese takeout, wearing your gym clothes and watching Netflix together.
Serving meals from what you have. Ordering pizza. Pot luck with everyone bringing a dish. Use paper plates or plastic ones that can be tossed into the dishwasher. Paper towels as napkins. Mix and match. Use leftover cups, napkins, koozies from weddings, birthday parties, etc. Sit on the floor in the den. Flowers can be from the backyard or grocery store. Throw away tablecloths.
True friends are your friends regardless of what your house or lawn look like. Scruffy isn’t a bad word. It doesn’t mean you are messy and unkempt. You are comfortable being you. You are comfortable inviting family and friends over even if the dinner isn’t planned out.