“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.” – Oscar Wilde
We all have different ways we show and appreciate that we love and are loved by our partners, family, and friends. The importance of understanding how people experience relationships is so vital that Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages, wrote a book which outlines the five different ways people express and experience love.
Without going into any detail, one of these five love languages is the act of giving gifts. These gifts do not need to be expensive or lavish. In fact, small gifts such as love hearts are a simple but effective token of our appreciation for our family and friends.
Additionally, a sense of community and belonging are vital to our mental and physical health and well-being. Moreover, it is essential to nurture and take care of our familial relationships as well as our friendships. This, therefore, begs the question of how do we express our love and appreciation to our family and friends?
Reasons to host a dinner party for family and friends
One of the most important ways to build relationships is to share a meal together. Cody C. Delistraty in his article titled The Importance of Eating Together notes that by eating alone, we can alienate our family and friends. The dinner table acts as a way to draw people together, to foster a sense of community amongst people. Also, the article goes on to explain that in many global countries mealtimes are sacrosanct and meals should never be rushed.
Furthermore, Alice Julier describes in her book Eating Together that sharing a meal can fundamentally change people’s viewpoints: It decreases “people’s perceptions of inequality, and diners tend to view those of different races, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds as more equal than they would in other social scenarios.”
Tips for hosting a family gathering
As mentioned above, the most important part of organising a gathering of family and friends is the occasion not the extravagance of the food. To help you plan a simple but successful event, here are a few tips to help you:
Accept offers of help
It is not necessary to plan and organise everything yourself. There is an ancient proverb that states “many hands make light work;” therefore, when people offer to help you with the meal preparation and the after-dinner clean-up, accept their help and enjoy the occasion along with all of your guests.
Plan a simple meal
This article has stressed several times that the most important part of sharing a meal together is not about how fantastic the food is, it is about the sense of community that is fostered by eating together. Therefore, offer several simple dishes that cater for all tastes including vegetarian dishes, salads, pasta dishes, as well as a few meat dishes.
Oscar Wilde, in his quotation mentioned above, stated the importance of keeping love in your heart. Embracing your family and friends will cultivate a sense of belonging, and it will give you the ability to cope with the toughest of challenges that life will throw at you.