The Creamer Dinners

A few years ago, it occurred to me that I had said the same phrase several times without taking action on it: “We should get together sometime.” Mostly this came up in the theater where I met folks in a show, got to know them, and then didn’t spend time with them again until I worked with them on another show and would once again hear myself saying, “We should get together sometime.”

As much fun as theater is, you don’t get a lot of time to talk and I was hungry for a good conversation with many folks I had met.

And I got to thinking about other friends and family I saw often but always in big groups. Big groups are fun but aren’t always great for conversation.

To remedy this, I decided to host a series of dinners with no more than four guests per dinner. My husband and I brainstormed a list of potential invitees and wrote each group on a small slip of paper. We decided to host one dinner a month. And at the end of each dinner, that group would pull a slip to let us know who the next group would be.

We needed something to put the slips of paper in and I got an image of my grandmother’s antique creamer. My grandmother loved collecting antique glass and when she passed, my sister and I each got a few pieces from her collection. My wonderful matching sugar and creamer set had seen little use – up until that moment when the creamer became the holder of potential stories.

Hosting the Creamer Dinner Series got us in the habit of regularly inviting small groups over which we continue to this day.

A few things I loved about this:

  1. I don’t like to waste time, and if say I’m going to do something, I like to do it. Now when I want to hear a good story from someone, I ask them to dinner rather than think, “Someday.”
  2. Setting up a series of dinners comes with its own deadlines. And nothing works better than a deadline to make something happen.
  3. By coming up with a whole creamer full of folks we wanted to have over, we didn’t have to stop and think each time we wanted to have a dinner – we just pulled the next name from the dish.
  4. And the bonus: Every time we have people over to dinner, we ultra clean and declutter the house which is lovely.

So who would you like to have over to dinner? Got a creamer?

Check out this gorgeous sunset Bill Maxwell shot this week. Summer approaches!

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