I get this question a lot. The conversation pretty much goes something like this:
Invited Friend: “So, what are you selling at this party?”
IF: “Then why are you having it? I mean, what is the occasion?”
Me: “No occasion, just my way of thanking people who have been a friend to me.”
IF: “Why have I never heard of anything like this before? Where did you learn about this? Where were you living in at the time? Probably down South, right?”
It’s a fair question- how did this tradition begin? Best I can figure is it was born in Michigan out of a desire and need. As a football family we tend to move quite a bit and every single time we must make new friends and navigate a new world. With my husband embedded in the football world/office from the moment we arrive, I am left to “handle” everything else. The Friendship Brunch gave me that perfect chance to thank the gals who befriended me; said a simple “hello” to the “new girl;” let me borrow sugar or an egg in a pinch; shared the names of the best babysitters, hairstylists and doctors in town or guided me as to which teachers to request and included me in the longstanding neighborhood playgroup. These are just a few of the kind-hearted women that make up a guest list chock full of amazing people from all parts of my daily life.
This tradition has ebbed and flowed over time. Some years I abandoned the Brunch. Not because I didn’t meet wonderful friends that year, but because I was simply too busy keeping my own head above water. One year I decided each guest could bring a friend, because some friends just felt more comfortable that way—the more the merrier. Those that bring a friend along may walk in as a stranger but always leave as my new friend! I’ve also added an optional grab bag gift. Guests may bring a $5.00 gift and take one as they leave. Oh, and there is now “The Guest Chalkboard” signed by each attendee. It hangs on my bathroom wall, sort of like happy graffiti that I get to take with me when I move.
The sole purpose of the Friendship Brunch is to show how thankful I am to the people who helped make my family's transition to a new world smoother. Everything I do is so they fully comprehend just how much their kindness is appreciated and matters. When they leave my home there should be not a single doubt how grateful I am they stepped out of their very own comfortable world to comfort me.
Since I was raised to show people I care by feeding them, I make all the food myself. So, yes I prepare for days. My dear home even gets a deep cleaning because, afterall, it is only fair that she looks her personal best, too. All the while I am prepping and cleaning, I reminisce. I harken back to past Brunches in other football lands. I think of the wonderful ladies who I had the utmost pleasure of meeting and then calling my friend. These friends may not walk through my front door but always have a place in my heart-always!
My reward for all this fuss is watching my home literally fill with the best of the best. I spend my time hugging each old and new friend as they arrive. I mingle and “matchmake.” I love watching my worlds collide. Seeing a neighbor chatting with a football friend thrills me. I’m not surprised anymore when a gym friend realizes she was in kindergarten with my sweet next-door neighbor! For me it’s just like watching really good quality ingredients I’ve picked up at many different shoppes come together and make a delicious pot of soup. I highly suggest you give a Friendship Brunch a go, it will not disappoint!
Moral: Choose your friends carefully for they determine the flavor and richness of your life.
your brunch friend,
A little thing I do: The recipes I use are often from friends who cannot be present. So when I label the food I place their name on it—and now they are kind of present too! And as promised, here are this year’s two of the top requested recipes.