Leave it to my mother’s influence to bring me out of a Juliet Rome (baby season) sabbatical. We hosted a small, pre-Thanksgiving gathering, and she arrived with a family favorite dip. Oh, I said, I hadn’t planned on appetizers and don’t have crackers. Puzzling this, not really believing it, Are you sure?

I agree with Andy, It’s the most wonderful time of the year, with the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you to be of good cheer.

And that brings my holiday and everyday plan-loving mind skip-skittering around the pantry shelves and into drawers and back over a 2019 list saved in the notes of my iPhone:

  • Real wax, flameless, rechargeable candles
  • AA batteries
  • Cocktail napkins
  • Pretty paper guest towels and foaming hand soap for the powder room
  • Salted, roasted cashews
  • Manchego and more
  • Beverages and lovely aperitifs

Now add:

  • Baby gate
  • Toys
  • Books
  • Sippy cups
  • Munchkin snack catchers
  • Goldfish crackers (which we could have produced to accompany the Jarlsberg had Beau Bear not visited recently)

And, at the top of Henny Penny’s list, not inexpensive and very funny from the mouth of a tiny tot:

  • Topo Chico mineral water. Fancy water, please, she entreats.

In this hap-happiest season of all, we’re all making lists for when friends come to call. And in that spirit I tip my stocking cap to my parents, who in their career banking years insisted on one cardinal standard: “Treat every person walking through our doors like an invited guest.”

To make one feel invited, one must be ready. I’m making my list and checking it twice. Thanks, mom and dad.

About Laurie

Laurie Carney is a strategist, writer, editor and account executive in her professional life. She is at home with her husband Jeffrey, also a strategist and creative director/writer, and silly rescue Poshie, Bonnie (aka Golden Bear). She has four beautiful children now that her son and daughter are happily married and five small grands playing starring roles.
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