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Some dinner parties require a more formal protocol. For example, a military dinner will have strict guidelines as to where personnel will sit. If you are hosting a client dinner, you might also prefer a more formal arrangement. Even in a casual setting, you can choose to follow protocol to honor a special guest. The below description is based on a social party (vs. business), a rectangular table, and includes both men and women:

When hosting a dinner party, where you place your guests around the table is a crucial element for the success of your event. You presumably put thought into who you invited to the gathering. Do not stop there. The placement of each person around the table is something that should not be thrown together at the last minute.

I love entertaining friends and family in my home, especially during the holidays. But I must admit, it can be a bit overwhelming hosting a dinner party in the stage of life with little ones running around. The cooperation I receive from my toddlers is a significant factor in how efficient I am on a daily basis. Add in hosting a party, and it can be overwhelming. If you find yourself wanting to gather friends for a festive evening, here are my tried-and-true tips for entertaining with young children:

Planning a party can be fun, but do you know the best way to ensure everything runs smoothly? Have a rehearsal for your party. Yes, you heard correctly. You have spent a great deal of time planning your theme, creating your guestlist, and delivering your invitations. Now is the time to do a mock rehearsal which will allow you to create an action list of outstanding items around your home that might need attention. It also helps solidify any last-minute details.

These thirteen tips will get your through any dinner party. Here is a quick refresher. 

1. Leave The Cocktail Glass Behind:

If you are attending a dinner party, there may be cocktails offered before the meal begins. When the hostess signals it is time to head to the dining room, leave your drink behind. Why? The dining table has been pre-set with the glasses you will need and adding another to your place setting will only clutter the minimal real estate in front of you. Your palate is another reason to leave the cocktail behind. Many hostesses go to great lengths to pare wine with the food being served. Once seated at the table it is time to switch to wine or water.

You just received an invitation to a party, and the attire says: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture. What??? Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for a party, make it clear. We do not want our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

Table manners are the area in which I receive the most questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in managing an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction. Even if you are unsure, most people do not care.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food, drinks, a clean bathroom, and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest. When a hostess plans a party, a great deal of time is spent deciding who she will invite. What group of friends go well together?

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party looking scared, so unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screamed, “I wish I was anywhere but here!”

You are invited!!! There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP. Follow the six steps below and the hostess will be singing your praises!

  • Missy Roe

Losing My Cool


Last night I thought I might lose my cool in a bad way! It was late afternoon and I brought the kids inside after a sweaty romp in the yard. We headed up to the big bathtub in my room, which is located directly next to my husband's home office. The 6-year-old wanted a shower, the 4-year-old asked for a bath. And even though the Baby Boy (he is 2) had a bath earlier that day, of course, he wanted to get in the tub, too!

The problem arose when Baby Boy wanted the full-sized pool noodle in the tub with him that he had carried inside. When I said no, it was a complete melt-down with screams so loud, and such stamina, my husband started frantically texting me. He was in the middle of a Zoom meeting where he was a panelist, and he could hear all the commotion through the wall. What had I done?!?!

I tried taking Baby Boy out of the bath to play with the noodle, but that did not help. I carried him around to sooth him. We looked out the windows. Screams continued. Finally, admitting defeat, I put him back in the bath with noodle in hand. The screaming stopped for about 20 seconds. Then he walloped his sister on the head with it! She started screaming, then he started screaming, then the child in the shower starts yelling for them to shut up! It was a complete and utter disaster zone! And the texts from my husband kept coming!

I know I am not alone in these types of situations. We all have days where our patience is tried, and our faith is tested. I do not always respond in the way I hope to. But I try to think of how much grace and love God shows me, and in turn try to show it to my children. That evening I kept hearing Matthew 5:9 in my head. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.” That verse probably came to mind because peace was the only thing that seemed to matter at that moment! But in so many situations, I have a choice to try to be a peacemaker or choose another behavior that is far less compassionate.

Most of the time I lean on Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.”

And on those days when the challenges from the children seem to be at every turn, I think about the end game. This is just a day in the lives of my children who will grow up and hopefully become servants of the Most-High King...and I need to model that. Those days take me to Hebrews 12:1-2. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.”

I am lucky that later that night, my husband and I were able to have a good laugh about all the madness! It was apparent, once again, that I am not perfect. I sometimes want to throw a tantrum. My children are God’s children, but I am also His child. And at that moment in the bathroom, I wanted to join the chaos of screaming and yell, “Just save me, Jesus!” That is alright. God understands, because it is He who gave me one of the titles I hold most dear: Mom.


Missy Roe