Week 50: Dot.org | Everything Planned
I used to entertain quite a bit when I was part of a couple and "coupley" dinners were popular, back in the days when most of my friends did not have kids yet and everyone had endless time to cook lavish meals and sit in each other's living rooms or kitchen for hours. It's not that I did not get invited any more, but it IS a fact that you become a socially awkward add-one once single (again) and I can count dinner invitations in the past 10 years (outside my regular bookclub meetings, where we take turns hosting) literally with the fingers of one hand. Not that I have been throwing dinner parties myself chez moi, don't get me wrong. As I love cooking and fussing over guests at least as much as being invited myself, I decided to create some new traditions, one of them being an annual "ladies' advent gathering" where an ever-growing circle of friends meets for cookies and gossip. Every year, I send out invitations waaay in advance to make sure invitees are not tied up in other pre-Christmassy obligations and start thinking of what to serve (there's not just Christmas cookies) and how to festively decorate my flat weeks before. I sometimes think being a party-planner is my true vocation as I am nowhere as meticulous when it comes to anything (office-) work-related. I am not one of those hostesses who are hot and flustered when you arrive, but like to have everything in place long before the first person rings the doorbell. It gives me immense satisfaction to have everything going according to plan and me being able to enjoy it as much as my guests.
I have also mastered the art of "stress-free Christmas" by buying/making most of the few presents I exchange these days weeks before and ordering customised cars equally early. I am also done writing and sending them and what with all the baking done for this season, I can sit back and relax and give myself a high five that I don't have to throw myself into the crowds of people buying last-minute presents. Needless to say, working 24 hours a week definitely contributes to this chill factor: another reason to love that part-time thang!