December, 2003 Contest: At the holidays do you prefer to entertain or be entertained?

Congratulations to our contest winner!
Renee Pruett of Houston, TX

I prefer to entertain while being entertained. I really can’t cook. I buy good foods and serve them, but I can’t prepare anything on my own. I do, however, love the friendly, comfortable times spent with friends and family with or without great food. The best part is the conversation, the mood, and the laughs.

I am frequently the guest of gracious hosts and hostesses. These folks open their homes to friends and make it seem effortless. I do my part by being a great guest. I bring a gift or flowers to the hostess and compliment the home and the food. I go out of my way to help in the kitchen or with serving, without taking over for the hostess. She did the work, and she should get the glory. I do try to make it easier for her. I pick up any wet glasses sitting on furniture. No one wants their fine furniture ruined and the hostess doesn’t want to seem obvious about it. I try to make sure that everyone is involved in conversation and a good time. If someone seems left out, I do something to help them feel included.

No matter how much fun I’m having, I do not overstay my welcome. If it’s late and no one seems to be moving, I’ll be the first to go, maybe to hurry others along. The hostess is tired and needs a little time to reflect on her successful party before hitting the pillow. I pick up a few things and take them to the kitchen before leaving. I tell the hostess what a wonderful time I had and thank her for opening her home.

I follow with a simple thank you note in the mail so she knows the party left good memories with the guests.

As I said, I’m not very good a entertaining in my own home, but I try to be a good guest when others entertain.