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Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

The way my husband structures his day is different from how I organize mine, but there is one thing we both do. We start with a morning routine. I make coffee, read the news while eating my breakfast, and then dive into an hour of bible study. Once I finish, I pull out my journal and plan my day. About 2 years ago I discovered an organizational method that resonated with me.

Remember as children, during holidays, we would spend what seemed like hours creating homemade craft projects for our parents? It might be a paper Christmas snowflake sprinkled with glitter or a cutout heart for Valentine’s Day. We would address it: To: Mom or To: Dad. We would sign our name, and this become the gift we gave our parents. The act of giving is how we should view all letters, especially a thank you note. We may not be cutting out cute hearts, but when we take time to put pen to paper and share a little of ourselves with someone else, we are giving a part of our heart to another.  

People give to make you feel loved and remembered. Sometimes gifts are given out of obligation, but mostly they are presented to honor a special relationship or occasion. No matter the reason, we need to know how to show our appreciation. Here are my 7 tips to become a gracious gift receiver.  

Table manners seem to be the area in which I receive most of my 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 handling an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction.

I recently bumped into a friend at the store, and as we began talking, she expressed how she struggles with the holidays. When January rolls around, she feels like she somehow “missed out.” I understand this feeling because I, too, have often felt this way. Life was so busy with the preparation of celebration, that I missed the joy that awaited each of us this time of year.

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like 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.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


WHAT????

Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force 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.”

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.

Throughout history we have seen God place people in power that made us say, “What is He thinking?” Yet God clearly reminds us in Isaiah that the way He thinks is far beyond what we can sometimes understand. In a child’s eyes, a parent giving her yucky medicine when she already feels poorly can seem cruel. “Why would Mommy make me take this?” The child lives in her “here and now” moment of life, yet the parent sees the big picture. The mother knows what is best for the child, even when the child does not understand. 

Our 4-part series on living as Christians in a political world was written in response to questions I have been receiving on knowing how to separate truth from lies, when to engage in our political system, and the most effective way to stay informed. In Part 1 we learned the biblical formula for seeking truth. In Part 2 we discussed the importance of knowing your foundation. In this post, Part 3, I will provide you with 7 practical tips I use to find truth in our news driven world. 

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Top 7 Tips to Be the Perfect Guest


Navigate A Party Checklist
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When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like 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 creating the guest list. What group of friends go well together? Do the different generations get along? What personality types will enjoy interacting with each other? When an invitation is extended it is expected the guests will elevate the atmosphere of the event and be joyful participants in the celebration. When a guest shows up late or stands in a corner and does not mingle, this causes undo stress for the hostess. Listed below are a few expectations a guest should fulfill.


RSVP

We have already talked in detail in a previous blog the importance of letting your hostess know if you will be attending her party. Within 24-48 hours of receiving your invitation, RSVP (French phrase for “please respond”) to your hostess and either accept or decline her invitation.


Bring A Gift

Arrive with a hostess gift in hand.


Be On Time

If the party invitation says 7p.m., do not show up at 7:30p.m. The acceptable time to arrive is from the exact start of the party to approximately 15 minutes after the time stated on the invitation. Why does this matter? Your hostess has invited you to be a part of the atmosphere she has created. She is counting on your presence to help make the evening a success. If it is a sit-down dinner, and you are late, then she must hold the meal not only for you, but for everyone else. This can cause the food to become cold and guests to become “hangry.”

The one exception on arrival time is if you are attending an Open House. The hostess has clearly stated on the invitation that this is a come and go party. You may arrive at any time during the parameters stated by your hostess. Keep in mind it is polite to stay, at minimum, an hour. So, if the invitation says Open House from 7-10p.m., arrive no later than 9p.m. One other important point…never be early! Most hostesses are putting the final touches on their party up to the very last minute. If you show up even 5 minutes early, it will likely place a burden on her. If you are more comfortable arriving early to ensure you are on time, then park around the corner and wait in your car. The bottom line is, just be on time.


Offer A Helping Hand

If you see your hostess excuse herself to work in the kitchen, offer to help. Tell her you would love to butter the rolls and put them in the oven. Or offer to pour beverages into the glasses. After the meal, help your hostess clear the table. If she refuses your aid, do not ask again. She may have a routine she likes carried out a certain way, and although your intentions are good, your assistance may cause more chaos. Offer a helping hand, but if you receive a “no” then sit down and enjoy the party. What she may want most from you is the peace of knowing you are helping entertain her other guests.


Socialize

As mentioned, a hostess has expectations of her guests. They were invited to her home because she wanted to shower hospitality on them, but they were also hand-picked because she knew they would get along well with the other people in attendance. As a guest we have the obligation to help “carry” the party. This is not a time to be shy. Walk up to different groups and introduce yourself.


When I attend a party, I like to find the person in a room that is standing by themselves. I usually make them the first person I approach. One, I know they appreciate it, and two, I know this helps my hostess. If you are attending a sit-down dinner, most will begin with cocktails that last about 30-45 minutes before the hostess will call you to the table. If small talk is an area where you struggle, click the link for a blog on small talk conversation starters.


Do Not Overindulge On Hors d’oeuvres:

You want to enjoy your dinner, and your hostess does not have an endless supply of food. You want to make sure the other guests get to enjoy the delicacies, too. A good rule of thumb is to take one of each type of hors d’oeuvre that is being passed. You will not go hungry! The server will be back again soon, and you may help yourself to more at that time. If the hors d’oeuvres are on a buffet, then take no more than two of each as you pass through the line. You may go back for seconds once everyone has had an opportunity to get their food. Most hostesses plan for 5 individual hors d’oeuvres for each guest, so if you go much over this, you are depleting her supply of food and keeping other guests from partaking.


Fun tidbit: Hors d’oeuvre is a French word meaning “outside the meal.” It is generally small enough to consume in one bite and is served from a stationary table or passed by the catering staff. It is served during cocktails before a dinner party. Appetizers are different from hors d’oeuvres. Appetizers are what is served before the main entrée at a dinner table.


Participate!

You were invited to be a lively part of the evening. Do not be a dud and sit on the couch in the corner or exclude yourself from participating in the evening’s activities, even if it is not your favorite thing to do. If, after dinner, a game of charades takes place, participate. If the host wants to show you the car he is working on in the garage, show interest. Be a good sport and “go along” (within reason 😊).


Bottom line, we have an obligation to be gracious guests in the homes we have been invited into. I have hosted several Murder Mystery dinner parties over the years, and my guests have always gone above and beyond to dress in costume.

It is great fun when we can all laugh with each other as we move into our character roles throughout the evening. One time, though, I had a couple ignore the request for costumes and show up in street clothes. They were the last to arrive and it dampened the mood for everyone else attending. I did not know this couple as well as I knew the other guests and their response to me was, “We just don’t really get into dressing up.” This is a great example where the guests should have declined the invitation. Remember my earlier comments. There is nothing wrong with saying no to an invitation you have received. The hostess has gone to a great deal of effort to put together a wonderful evening, and if you are not prepared to fully participate, it is better for you, and the hostess, to decline the invitation. There is no shame or guilt in this! When we are a guest, we have a responsibility to be a welcome addition to the party. This is the best gift you can give back to your hostess!


Together with you,

Lisa Lou

Get rid of the noise in your life. Join Lisa Lou and receive commonsense, faith-based advice for the modern woman.

© 2020 Lisa Lou by Kaio

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