Enjoy casual meals with friends thanks to no hassle hosting

Having friends over for dinner can be stressful. You have to clean up the house, plan a fancy meal, and pick up dessert. You have to set the table with the fancy dishes and tablecloth. You will have guests for three to four hours and still have to clean up everything after they leave.


Let’s make hosting simpler, more frequent, and less formal with B.Y.O.D. — Bring Your Own Dinner.

Formal dinner hosting like this can be overwhelming, which may explain why it doesn’t happen more often. We have convinced ourselves it has to be some big fancy event.

Forget that! The point is to enjoy everyone’s company; dinner is merely icing on the cake. There is no reason this can’t be a casual, once a week event.

We came up with this while having dinner with friends. Someone mentioned how much work it is to host. Leftovers would be totally fine, except they feel obligated to make a nice meal for visitors. Then we all realized how ridiculous this is, and BYOD was born.

The next time we had dinner at their house, we brought our own food. There were no fancy dishes and background music. Instead, there were leftovers in Pyrex heated in the microwave.

It was wonderful! So laid back and low key.

We’ve had BYOD many times since, and I only wish we had figured it out sooner. It takes out all the stress of planning and facilitates informal fellowship with good friends.

It’s relaxing. There is no significant planning other than picking whose house and what time. Setup and cleanup are about the same as any other night. Cost is essentially free.

And you know what? We find the conversations are much better during BYOD events than during fancy hosted dinners, too.

Here’s to having friends over more often — without all the overhead.

Think of nearby friends you would like to have over for dinner more. Now get rid of all sense of obligation or formality, and just do it already!