Good Luck/Pot Luck

pot luck table

The holiday season is approaching and chances are you will receive an invitation to a holiday party or a pot luck dinner. Pot luck dinners can be fun and a great opportunity to polish your social skills but they can be challenging, even overwhelming for folks with ADHD. You want to make a good impression and contribute to the dinner but you may not know how to go about it so you end up turning down invitations that you would really like to accept.

If you are attending a holiday party or a pot luck dinner there is an expectation that you bring something that will add to everyones enjoyment.

Here are some suggestions:

• When you accept the invitation, respond early and make sure you make note of the date, time and location. Rather than asking, “What can I bring?” try saying,”Thanks so much for inviting me and hosting the party, I would love to bring __________. How many people are you expecting?

• Never, ever, offer to bring an appetizer or paper goods. These are things that are needed at the beginning of a meal and you may very well be late due to your time management deficits. You don’t want a crowd of people waiting around to eat or drink because there are no plates, forks or cups.

• If you are bringing a main course it’s best to bring something that you have made before. You don’t want to experiment when you have to share your food.

• Keep it simple. Bring something you like to cook and like to eat. Homemade food is great if you know how to cook but if you don’t bring some good takeout. A bucket of KFC is better than trying to serve something that looks like a failed science experiment.

• If you’re bringing something like melon or pineapple cut it up into bite size chunks before you arrive so it’s ready to serve. Your host or hostess doesn’t want to get stuck with the job of cutting up fruit, that’s your job.

• Wine, beer or non alcoholic drinks are also a good choice but liquids are heavy and you may not enjoy lugging it around. Keep in mind that beer and white wine need to be chilled so don’t show up with warm beer, wine or champagne.

• Your best bet? Bring dessert. You can buy it or bake it. In my experience you can’t go wrong with cookies, cupcakes or chocolate. All you have to do is put the dessert on a plate and serve it.

Kathy Sussell is an ADHD coach in Brooklyn, NY. She helps teens, college students and adults with ADHD with time management, planning and prioritizing, getting started with and finishing tasks, organizing paper and objects and improving social skills. She is the organizer of the ADHD Women’s Meetup Group that meets every month in downtown Brooklyn. For more information visit her or email Kathy at

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