We have lived in our neighbor for 3 years now. I love my house. I love the area we live in, however they are few families. We have 4 girls and I would love to say… go outside and play with neighbor kids. Not happening in our neighborhood. We had some new neighbors move in down the street about three months ago with a little girl my daughter’s age. We were so excited to have kids move into the neighborhood. We decided to invite them over for dinner to get to know them better, and this worked out perfect with the challenge from Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke.
Here are a few tips on inviting your neighbors over for dinner-
Tip #1- Be Open and Spontaneous!
You are cooking anyway right?? I know that over the years some nights I didn’t end up having a meal planned or prepared and friends or family called up and said hey, come over for dinner, we have plenty! I love those nights!
My husband is famous for this one! He would text me midmorning and say so and so is coming for dinner tonight or tomorrow night. I would frantically pull things together but it always worked out!
We asked our new neighbors on a Sunday night. We knew we had a pretty open week, so we were hoping any night that week would work. They said that Monday the very next day would work best for them! Yea!
Tip #2- You don’t have to plan a big extravagant meal!
Usually you would want to impress your quests with your cooking skills, but with the many quests I have had in my home over the years, it really isn’t about the food. It is about building the friendship.
For my dinner challenge, I had already planned My Weekly Menu and Baked Potato was on the schedule. That was easy enough for me to just add a few more potatoes the the oven.
Tip #3- Allow people to bring something!
For the longest time I wanted to provide the entire meal, and dessert. Don’t do this! I have learned that people are so generous and giving. They want to help you out as the hostess. They want to show their appreciation for the invitation. Let them bring something.
Our guests were texted the menu plan and we said to bring whatever you would like to add to it. They ended up bringing a delicious spinach salad.
Tip #4- Don’t be disappointed if something goes wrong with your meal or they don’t like it!
Remember… it is not about the food! I have had so many experiences where I would go to all this trouble and fix these big meals and they wouldn’t eat it, didn’t like it, or wasn’t hungry, etc. I have thrown many plates away with food that the kiddos haven’t even touched. It happens, and it is ok. The dinner is truly only to get to know them better.
Our new neighbors came around 5:30 p.m. for dinner. I had baked potatoes hot and ready. We served up dinner and sat down at the dining room table and enjoyed a nice dinner. We talked about where we were from, our jobs, our lives, etc. It was fun to get to know them better.
As I was sitting there I noticed our quest was not eating his potato. I looked closer and it was black! I asked him if his potato was bad?? He was kind and said that he didn’t notice. I noticed that it was black and apologized for it. I told him he could go and get another one. A bad potato?? I have never had that happen to me! He didn’t go and get another one.
I was embarrassed, but what could I do?? I had washed the potatoes and wrapped them in tinfoil and I did not notice this at all!
Don’t be disappointed. It is okay if something goes wrong or they don’t like your food.
Tip #5-Always have a dessert.
This is my favorite part of having guests over. I love being able to share a yummy treat with them. It closes out the meal. Even if they refuse it, have it available.
I made Rice Krispy Treats. Simple and kid approved.
The kids went out to play on the trampoline while we still talked and visited. Most dinner invitations will take about 1-2 hours.
We loved having our new neighbors over. We loved sharing time together.
This challenge has officially ended, but you could still have someone over for dinner, I am sure they would appreciate the invite!