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Hosting vs. Being A Guest: What’s Your Holiday Preference?

By Danielle Sullivan |

holidays, hosting holidays, thanksgiving dinner, family dinner holidays, hosting vs being a guest

Wine makes everything better, whether hosting or just showing up.

With Thanksgiving just three weeks away, most parents have already made their dinner plans. Many moms I know are attending family functions, and others are hosting.

Some of my friends declare they will never host and are fully content with making their one special holiday dish or dessert to bring to the party and then go home when they choose. They would never host a holiday, they say.

Then there are others who typically host. I fall into that category. Ever since we bought our house, we tend to host the holiday functions. Even before when we were still living in our apartment, we hosted a lot.

I don’t know what it is about hosting that I like the most, but I enjoy when people come over and have fun in our home. It has become more important since we have lost family members in recent years. I remember having them over for special events, and specific stories that happened, remembering the particular room in our home where they occurred.

The year before my uncle passed away, we had a crowded Thanksgiving in our little apartment with my parents, my uncle and my mother-in-law. My uncle proceeded to tell a story about how he saw a TV show where they taught you how to sharpen a knife with a plate. He demonstrated the whole technique and repeatedly told us all how fascinating it was. So much so, in fact, he had to tell the stories a few times throughout the day whenever someone new arrived.

By the end of the night, I jokingly asked him at the table “tell me again, how do you sharpen a knife with a plate?” and he started the story again until he realized I was fooling around and then it was a joke that day that we kept up. It was silly, and not even that funny really but it remains a special memory I have. When I think of it, I clearly recall how our modest, black dining room table was filled to the rim with dishes, and we gathered as many chairs as possible around it. It was intimate and despite being in a crowded space, despite the lack of a beautiful home or a perfect picture setting, it was a memory I would not trade for the world.

And isn’t that what the holidays are about, families coming together and getting through the inconveniences that sometimes comes along with having families together all at once, and creating memories?

In the end, it doesn’t matter what you eat, serve or have, if you host or not, or if anything is perfect. It only matters that you are together, making more memories each year.

Are you hosting this year? Or do you prefer to be a guest?

Image: Stockxchng

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About Danielle Sullivan


Danielle Sullivan

Danielle Sullivan writes for Babble Pets. She is also an award-winning parenting writer, who authors a monthly column for NY Parenting and ASPCA Parents blog. You can read more of her work at her blog,Some Puppy To Love. Read bio and latest posts → Read Danielle's latest posts →

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4 thoughts on “Hosting vs. Being A Guest: What’s Your Holiday Preference?

  1. Joanne says:

    Guest. I don’t do well with stress. I never have a good time if I host.

  2. bubbleblower says:

    I would totally rather be the guest, but I ALWAYS get stuck cooking and doing dishes no matter what because my mom needs help. It’s totally stressfull either way really-I am just happy to eat the food when all is said and done. A few glasses of wine sounds like the way to go here, thanks for that idea! Happy Thanksgiving all.

  3. SKnight says:

    I kinda do both. Holidays are always at my mom’s but she leans on me a lot to help get things ready, to help cook and to serve so I co-host but not at my home. My dad always does the dishes which is nice because when all is said and done I feel like I have been standing all day. I really liike how it has worked out that my family has Thanksgiving on Friday so we can spend time with our inlaws and not have to run around and then both of my sister in laws families do Christmas on Christmas Eve so we get to have Christmas evening as a whole family and then we go to my in laws the day after Christmas. It’s great to have my whole family together twice a year and not have to worry about missing eachother because of other obligations.

  4. Linda, t.o.o. says:

    As an adult with kids of my own, I’ve learned that I prefer to spend all holidays at home with just my immediate family and no one else. All our family lives in another state and holidays are the worst time to travel with kids. I mostly want to be left alone. One exception is Hanukkah because it’s difficult to generate 8 night’s worth of excitment.

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