It was the first meal I was hosting at my new home. We had moved two weeks before and things were still a little messy. Boxes still needing to be unpacked, renovation projects still in progress, but I was embracing life and the mess and wanting to open the doors to the outside world! This year I’ve been learning to allow people into the mess of my life and this seemed like a literal way I could practice this new-to-me concept.
In my head, of course it was going to be perfect. We would all laugh and enjoy the dinner, talk about the projects we’ve accomplished and the ideas we have for future ones. I’d be channeling my inner Joanna Gaines and Shauna Niequist with spectacular home renovations and table settings.
Of course, none of this happened and all of it happened.
The day did not start out well. I ran to the store to pick up some last-minute items, and that’s when things started to go awry. This was the first time I’d been in this grocery store and it was set up differently than the one I usually shop. I always have a route I take through the store to get all my groceries; today was more like a frantic zigzag. Plus, all three of my produce bags broke when I was checking out. Yay!
I decided to be ambitious and cook my first turkey for this dinner! It’s the holiday season, they’re on sale, I’d been reading some posts on how to cook them; I figured, why not?! I’d prepped my sides the night before so all I had to do was cook the turkey in my mom’s roaster and throw the sides in the oven. First problem: I couldn’t find the turkey giblets. So I called my mom! She helped me over the phone and gave me a few more tips on how to use the roaster! Crisis averted!
Next, two of my guests were supposed to come an hour early to help set up but both of them ran into various issues and ended up being an hour late to dinner! The other guests were also an hour late to dinner! So, nothing went as planned but by the time dinner happened we all sat happily around the table, laughing at my toddler gobble up potatoes, green beans, and turkey, and marveling at how much fun it all was, even with everything that went wrong!
Usually when things go wrong, especially at the beginning of the day, I try hard to fight against an entirely ruined day. The days are too precious to have a whole one ruined. Throughout this day, I kept reminding myself that the true purpose of it was to enjoy time with my friends and family, enjoy our new home, and have some fun cooking.
A relaxed attitude helped those around me relax and enjoy the time together, too. I could have been upset with everyone for being late, or upset with myself for not getting the house more ready before our guests came, or waiting until my house was perfect to have anyone over, but I would have missed an incredible night! I’m so glad I jumped in and let everyone else into my mess, too!
This holiday season, I encourage you to throw out the perfect picture you have in mind and focus on enjoying the moments as they come. The memories and relationships that are built are far more important than the perfect table setting, decor, or entree.