Togetherness vs. Tastefulness: In Praise of Takeout


Happy new year – I hope your holidays were wonderful! Our holidays were fun, full and frantic, in fairly predictable fashion. We also feasted, and feasted, and feasted. The food at our hosts’ parties was amazing, and dining with them was, as it always is, a hallmark of the festivities.

Amidst all the holiday cheer and accoutrements, I had an idea. Because I have been lately chewing on the idea that the lives for all generations, and not just our children’s generation, should be full of fun, I wanted to organize a laser tag fiesta, followed by a party full of games after that.


Blasphemous to the season though, what I did not want to do was go through (either as host or attendee) the rigours of yet another holiday party, or the trappings of holiday party food.

So what’s a girl working with these odds in late December to do? She gathers allies. I called my sister and sister-in-law and told them what I wanted to do (have tons of fun with family), and what I didn’t want to do (stress ourselves out with more work, more cooking, and too much of everything). Happily, there was not much convincing to be done, and party planning was easy. I took care of the laser tag entertainment, and my sister-in-law offered her games-friendly house with minimal-fuss appetizers.

Then we ordered in.


Yup. We ordered Chinese food. It was higher-quality Chinese take-out since we were in an Asian-inspired pocket of Markham, but that’s not to say that I would have been above Ho-Lee Chow if that’s all there was. Because the point wasn’t to make food the main feature, but the fuel that enables a party to go on for hours. I love a good meal, and a good meal in someone’s home is a treasured love treat, but this labour of love has a time and place, and more work could not be found on anyone’s wishlist after all the Christmas revelry. We wanted to play.

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Thus equipped with our scruffy hospitality, and a focus on togetherness over tasetfulness, we played and played and played – laser tag, board games, mah jongg, video games, puzzles, even our own version of Name That Tune!  Our games party wouldn’t have happened if we had to make another elaborate meal, and letting that expectation go allowed us to have a fabulous games day and night. And for this, I am so smitten by and grateful for the takeout that made it possible.

I recently told my husband that if we had untold riches, my chosen indulgence might be a personal chef, someone to make divine and healthful food according to my daily whims. I adore/covet/think-about-too-much a well-prepared meal. But I love my family and friends more, and it seems wise not to let the one get in the way of the other.


2 thoughts

  1. Great idea and philosophy! Too much emphasis on the PERFECT meal takes away from the fun in the gathering. Well done, Carol!!

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