In a world full of social media, texts, tweets, and video chats, the classic dinner party is almost a thing of the past. But when Joseph and I got married and moved into our one-bedroom apartment, we couldn't wait to invite friends over for dinner. Call us old fashioned, but both of us love cooking together, spending time with friends, and deep conversations.
We wanted to combine all our interests and host dinner parties. What better way to live out the New Evangelization? Even Jesus made sure to grab a meal of fish with his disciples after He rose from the dead.
Our dinner parties have continued to improve as we host them, and what started out with inviting friends over after evening Mass has become a planned-out list of people. Now, we know who we want to invite over for an evening of good friends, fellowship, and food.
Don't be scared away from hosting a dinner party because they sound hard to plan and too formal for your taste. Dinner parties don't have to be themed, super extravagant or perfect. Instead, look at a dinner party as an opportunity to build up community and fellowship with friends. Let your dinner party reflect the joy and spirit of your family!
Here are the three ingredients you need to throw a great dinner party.
When Joseph and I planned our wedding reception, we thought of it as one giant dinner party. We cooked all the food ourselves during the days before the wedding, and with the help of friends, set up the party the night before our big day. At the reception that night, we looked around the room and saw our friends and family eating, laughing and meeting new people. Think of a dinner party as a gift to your friends. You can pick out food that you know that they'll enjoy and put love into preparing it for them. Then you get to celebrate your friendship (and delicious food!) together.
If you scroll through the notes I write on my phone, you'd find one called 'dinner party guests.' Joseph and I have a list of people we'd like to invite over to our apartment for dinner, and the list continues to grow as we meet new people and settle into our lives in a new city. We meet people at work, church, small groups and bible studies and can't wait to enjoy a meal with them.
Your dinner party guests could be siblings, cousins, friends from college, or friends you've made at church. Invite your neighbors! Invite your parish priests - after all, someone has to bless the food! Your guest list could be made up of a group of friends who all know each other, or you could use your dinner party to introduce all of your friends to each other. As Christians, we aren't made to be alone - we're made for community!
A great thing about dinner parties at your home or apartment is that you don't have to scoot out of the restaurant as soon as the meal is finished. Instead, you can mingle with friends and have conversations without feeling guilty for staying and chatting after the check comes to the table.
Dinner parties are great places to delve into heart-to-heart conversations with friends. You can ask about a spiritual book someone is reading, or how their spiritual life is doing.
Don't be afraid to host a dinner party! When you sit back and see the beauty of a good meal, great conversation and fun with friends, it's a reminder of what the beauty of Heaven will be like - one giant dinner party around the Father's table. And a taste of Heaven definitley makes all the cooking and cleaning worth it.