Entertaining During the Holidays? 4 Hacks to Make it Hassle-Free


by Penelope Carlevato @teatimepen in Leading Hearts Magazine

As the holiday season gets closer and the decorations begin to find their way around our homes, our thoughts go to having family and friend get-togethers and dinners. For some, it is exciting and fun, but for many, the idea of opening our homes, decorating, and making larger meals brings fear and dread.

Why the big differences? All of us have personality traits in combinations and are variable and adjustable and can be brought into balance when we are faced with making decisions on how we will use our gifts.

While there are many different types of personality inventory tests with different names, we will be looking at four basic personality types: Socializer, Organizer, Stabilizer, and Mobilizer. (Make sure you read the book Linked by Linda Gilden and Linda Goldfarb).

So, how do the four distinct personalities react to our gifts of hospitality?

The “Fun” Socializer is always ready to have a party. She doesn’t need a lot of planning time. She can get a group of friends together quickly; the more, the merrier. She is social, spontaneous, enthusiastic, high-energy and can entertain two or 20 with the same joy. Last minute is no problem for this person. However, this person can get off track quickly, and may even forget to serve one of the main dishes.

On the Menu: grilled brats, Costco potato salad, and make-your-own sundaes

The “Planned and Orderly” Organizer does nothing last minute. Everything has to be just right. If she has six chairs, then six guests. The menu is well thought out, and a checklist is essential to make sure there are enough dishes, enough time to set the table, cook the food and stay in control of the entire party. It’s not easy for the organizer to be social for an extended period of time, so the event will be much shorter than a dinner given by a Socializer. She likes small groups and quiet music and expects everyone invited to attend.

Planned and orderly is the motto.

On the Menu: grilled steak and baked potatoes with all the toppings

The “Predictable and Quick” Mobilizer is always in control. Nothing is left to chance, and hospitality is by the book. The guest list is well thought out with a particular focus on who will be invited — no surprises. The menu will be well planned but able to be completed quickly. No going back and forth on what to serve, and will probably be something made in the past, most likely a family favorite. The event will be orderly and precise, but still practical and sensitive to others — no frills.

On the Menu: lasagna, green salad, garlic toast.

The “Nice and Easy” Stabilizer is easy going and will invite at random without really overthinking about when or what to serve. The attendees will not be controversial or opinionated. The party will be warm, relational and comfortable. Once the invitation is sent, the menu will be changed several times before settling on the right one. The food will be simple, made ahead, easy to serve and not too spicy or exotic. The host is a good listener, not too talkative and likes quiet and soothing music. It will be an enjoyable event, and everyone will leave refreshed.

On the Menu: Crock-Pot® macaroni and cheese

Since we are all wonderfully complex and made by our loving Creator, it’s incredible that God has also given us the flexibility to live and work with others. As we gain insight on our personality types, we can ask the Lord to keep our minds centered on who is around our tables and not on what is on the table.

CrockPot® Macaroni and Cheese

16 ounces elbow macaroni noodles

¼ cup butter, cubed

12 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese (grated) or a combination of your favorite cheeses.

4 ounces of Velveeta cheese, cubed

1 12-oz can evaporated milk

2 ½ cups milk

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon paprika

½ lb. bacon, cooked crisply

Spray the inside of the Crock-Pot® with cooking spray. Place the noodles into the bottom of the Crock-Pot® and top with the cubed butter. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the pasta and butter.

Wisk the evaporated milk, milk, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, mustard, and paprika into a large mixing bowl. Pour the milk mixture on top of the macaroni and butter and stir well to combine all ingredients.

Cover the Crock-Pot® and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours, stirring after one hour. The cooking time will depend on your Crock-Pot®. Check after an hour and continue cooking until fully cooked and all milk mixture is absorbed. Check often last 30 minutes. Top with ½ pound of crisply cooked bacon. Serve as a side dish or main entrée and enjoy. Servings per recipe: 8

Find great recipes like this in Penelope’s book:

The Art of Afternoon Tea: From the Era of Downton Abbey
and the Titanic.
Available autographed from PenelopeCarlevato.com

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