From the book Just Open The Door

Whenever I talk to people about why they have a hard time inviting people over, notably, someone always mentions food.

Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?
  • I don’t know what to serve.
  • I’m not a good cook.
  • What if they don’t like what I make?
  • How will I ever have it all ready at the same time?
  • It’s just too much work. 
Right here is when we need to stop ourselves. Shut off those negative voices. Shut down the doubt and fear.

Inviting people over isn’t about serving the perfect thing or impressing anyone with our culinary skills. It’s about opening up our lives to love others.

Of course, we want our guests to feel welcome and food plays a role in that, but my first word of encouragement comes in the form of a great, big kiss.


Have you ever heard that acronym? In 1960, the U.S. Navy began using it as a design principle: “Keep it simple, stupid.”  They wanted to stress the importance that systems work best if kept incredibly simple by avoiding unnecessary complexities. This is what I want every single one of you to remember as you invite others into your home.


When we over think, over plan, and over stress about opening our door to others, we overwhelm ourselves and often sabotage our intended baby steps before we take them.


There have been many variations of this acronym created over the years and since I’ve attempted to eradicate the word “stupid” from our home, I’m going to land on my own version:

Keep ISimple and Sweet (or Salty!)

The secret to K.I.S.S. is to start small. Be spontaneous. Invite one friend over for coffee and offer delicious store bought coffee cake. If you have time to make your favorite homemade recipe, that’s wonderful, but don’t let that dictate whether you extend an invitation.

In my book, Just Open the Door, I share many easy options where I’ve implemented the K.I.S.S. concept. Here are a few simple suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:
  • Invite your friends or neighbors to a root beer float party.
  • Send a group text invitation for a “Popsicle and Pop-in” time with the kids.
  • Snow day? Gather the neighbors together for a hot chocolate party.
  • Host a “Build Your Own ________ Bar” meal. Be creative! You can have a build your own ice cream bar, baked potato bar, burrito bar, or pizza bar. For a fancier occasion, try a bruschetta bar or mashed potato bar (served up in martini glasses for a dramatic flair). These work well for large groups, and everyone can bring a topping, which means minimal work and cost for the host.
  • Never underestimate the power of the grill. One of our most memorable nights came from an email blast I sent out with twenty-four-hours’ notice. I didn’t think many would attend since it was July 3rd, but surprisingly, many friends were available. We threw chicken and hot dogs on the grill, and everyone brought a side or dessert to share.
  • Pizza Party -- everyone loves pizza! For more details on throwing an easy, memorable pizza party, click here to download my Pizza Party printable! 
Opening your door doesn’t require you to be a gourmet chef or have the resources to throw an elaborate celebration. All that’s required is a willingness to say “yes” to inviting others into your life.

What is one simple step you can take this week to open your door to a friend or neighbor? Use one of my suggestions above or dream up an idea that fits your family and personal flare. Just remember to Keep ISimple and Sweet!

What fun to think who we could bless this week with a commitment to K.I.S.S.!



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