Happy Hosting!

Our last few book group gatherings have been rather fancy.  They have been wonderful and I think everyone has had a good time and appreciated the effort that went into them.  However, I also want to make sure that no one assumes that something that elaborate is required.  So here is some clarification.

This doesn't all have to be done by the hostess; ask for help if you want or need it.  People are willing to help
This is the bare minimum (details follow): 

  • Guests need to know about it.
  • When they show up they need
    • a place to sit
    • something to nibble and sip
    • a discussion to participate in. 

How do you go about those things?  It's up to you! Feel free to go fancy.  Be serene with simple.  No matter what you decide, if the stress of hosting outweighs the fun, simplify, ask for help or pass it off.  We don't ever want anyone to get so stressed out that the end result for them is more stress than it was worth.  In the dark days of this group I had some experiences like that and wouldn't wish it on anyone. 

Some specifics
  • Something to Nibble:  When I host I have a rule of something sweet, something savory/salty and something chocolate.  I think it's a pretty good rule if you make the chocolate optional.  The savory is the minimum accommodation for those, like moi, who don't have sense or time enough to eat dinner first.  The sweet and chocolate because that's what we all look forward to. 
     The work load can go anywhere from pitch-in/pot-luck style (let me know to announce it that way in the reminder email), or you can just ask a few people to help you out, or you can plan to do it all.  Whoever makes the food, it doesn't have to be fancy or themed either, but it can be if someone is up for it. 
     If you aren't hosting and you want to bring something I think all would appreciate it.  A head's up to the hostess is a good idea if you get a chance.
  • Something to Sip:  We usually have water.  Often there are other options as well, but often not.  Either way is fine. 
  • The Opportunity to Discuss the Book:  Up to you.  (UPDATED) 
    You are free to delegate or work together with someone (like the one who suggested the book if it's not you).  The hostess (or the person they delegate to) needs to have some specific questions or ideas that they want to discuss.  These can usually be found pretty easily on-line.  Please include them in the reminder email (or send them to me and I'll include them in the reminder email) or as a blog post or comment.  We've done this a few times in the past and it usually leads to better discussions at book group.  The discussion leader, with the help of everyone else, also has the job of insuring that everyone who wants to share gets a chance to.   
  • Extras:  Up to you.  If you have music, decorations, etc. feel free.  If you don't have decorations, music and such, you're fine, don't worry.
  • Advertisement: Make sure I know what information to send in the reminder email (and that I send the email). Everyone should know already when our regular meeting time is.  If you don't see an email go out or want to request that people bring food and such send me an email that I can pass on to the group.  Please include specific parking instructions if need be.
 If you have any questions, post here or email me.  --Mary Anne

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