We recently had an open house ourselves, and we were really surprised at how stress-free the whole event turned out to be. Normally, we're rushing around, trying to get everything finished just as guests are arriving, and then we watch anxiously for reactions as plates are passed around the table.
With the open house, we felt none of this pressure. We invited guests to stop by starting at a certain time and set out a buffet table with food and drinks. We prepared a number of dishes in advance, so there was no last-minute scrambling this time. We even managed to make a few simple hot dishes throughout the course of the open house as the energy ebbed and flowed.
An open house definitely has a more casual and laid-back tone, and we think it's a good choice if you're not quite up to a full-on dinner party!
Related: Southern Tradition: The Sip n' See