“Here’s to us. Who better?”

“Here’s to us. Who better?”

“Here’s to us. Who better?” I laugh/cry when I type that statement as I remember my deceased Grandma Lynch utter those words at every single Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and special family gathering that included a toast. It became such a tradition that all she had to say was, “Here’s to us” and everyone would yell “Who better?” As we laughed and clank glasses, our grandma would then turn toward the new boyfriend of one of her many granddaughters, who by the way had just met the entire clan, and with a Betty White mischievous look in her eye tell the fellow a joke so dirty he would spit his wine out. That’s my family. I miss my Grandma along with other family members near and dear to my heart. I know you do as well, because that’s life. The funny, strange, sentimental and much-loved or hated traditions that occur at our family gatherings are sacred, personal and what make our families uniquely our own.

We Know You

If you are reading this, you like to entertain at your home, and you like to do a great job. You know it’s not only about a moist turkey, a good red and a trendy appetizer. That’s an amateur host’s ideal holiday gathering. You’ve thought about that welcoming feeling that your family and friends sense when they enter your home. You’ve built that fire, placed a cinnamon candle in the foyer and arranged beautiful flowers in strategic places. You offer a featured cocktail before sending your guests to the bar to fend for themselves. You have a craft ready for the littles and a special table just for them. You know exactly what songs are playing in the background because you made the playlist. You’ve prepped everything you possibly can including bar garnishes (at midnight two nights ago) and before anyone entered your home, your dishwasher and garbage bin were empty and ready for the onslaught. You’re exhausted yet energetic, mind-racing yet in the moment, happy yet sentimental.  You are an awesome host and people love to come to your home. Well done.

But Why?

Yes, you hostess-with-the-mostest make it look easy, but it’s not. But you love it, so you do it. Have you ever thought about what you are getting out of this entertaining extravaganza exercise other than a 3-day clean-up and an Uber charge for the friend of a cousin that was sprung on you and had too much to drink? First, that satisfied feeling when everyone has left, and you sit in the kitchen with your glass of red wine and pat yourself on the back. Second, you’ve filled in something that you needed and didn’t realize. Maybe your job is boring, you’re tired of changing diapers, you’ve been watching too much television, or the house has felt empty – now that feeling went out with the ten bags of trash. Third, and most important, you are paying it forward. In your lovely, unique, talented, funky, warm, generous and crazy family, it’s your generation’s turn to keep the train moving down the track. At one point you were in the caboose and now you are on the engine team. Welcome to the front of the gravy train.

Napkin Knots wishes you all a wonderful Fall and Holiday Season filled with thrilling Halloween memories, grateful Thanksgiving gatherings, festive Hanukkah and Christmas celebrations, welcoming new members to your family, remembering the ones that aren’t with you, continuing family traditions and adding new ones of your own.

Here’s to us hostesses, who better?

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