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How to Revive the Art of Storytelling

I have always loved a good story. My favorite question in the world asks, “Did you hear the one about…?” Southerners have been visiting with each other and telling tales since before fans were blowing over blocks of ice to keep us cool in the summer. We enjoy visiting at weddings, funerals, football games, in our driveways and sometimes with strangers in the grocery line. But none of those visits are as dear to our hearts as time spent in our living rooms and kitchens. It was with that in mind that Jay and I planned a slow-talker, slow-cooker gathering shortly after Christmas. Our gathering would offer a lesson in how to revive the art of storytelling.

How to Revive the Art of Storytelling

I grew up next door to a practical joker who loved tricking us into trusting him before he would pull the proverbial rug out from under us. Then he would tell the stories of those pranks in such a way that made you happy to be part of it. He had the gift of storytelling. Our party was a way to visit with some new and old friends. We were our own entertainment and everyone seemed glad to be part of the story. The thank-you notes I received afterward said things like, “what a great night,” and “the revival of storytelling may have started at your house last night.” Here is how to throw your own “Slow-Talker, Slow-Cooker Gathering.”

Revive the Art of Storytelling

How to Revive the Art of Storytelling

  1. Make your guest list. Include those who love to share a joke or have at one time or another said to you, “A funny thing happened on the way to work the other day…”
  2. Extend invitations with the instructions to bring a favorite slow cooker recipe and a story to share with the group.
  3. Plan the décor and recipes.
  4. Determine the story you will share and plan to be the first storyteller to put your guests at ease.
  5. Shop for ingredients and décor.
  6. Set up your buffet with a power strip to plug in slow cookers. Have extra serving pieces in place for condiments, a platter for spoons, ladles or forks, and flowers in your color choice. Preparing a Crockpot Buffet Table
  7. Set up a bar, dessert table and create a music playlist for atmosphere.Bar Set-up
  8. As everyone mingles and prepares their plates, begin sharing your stories.

Buffet Table

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” ~ Philip Pullman

Buffet Table

Stories were told about how some couples met, how a mother willed her son to be born on the 4th of July so she could name him after a U. S. president (he was born just after midnight on the 5th); there was a story about an eerie night in a bed and breakfast, a visit from a guardian angel and how a pilgrim costume was used to discipline a child.

One of my guests stopped me in the kitchen and said, “This is one of the most fun nights I’ve had in a long time.” We shared home-cooked recipes, a cocktail and a story. Simple plan. Loads of fun.

Storyteller Gathering

“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”  ~ Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings

The Gift of Laughter

“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.” ~ Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

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Kim Burdette

Kim Burdette


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    February 1, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Looks like great fun. As usual, everything looked beautiful. I have a friend who used to have a storytelling party every fall on her porch. It was always interesting and entertaining.

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    January 29, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    So sorry I missed the fun Kim! Looks like you thought of everything!

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    Leslie Anne Tarabella.com

    January 27, 2016 at 3:10 am

    It was indeed a fun and unique night and I was so lucky to be included! Thanks for the wonderful memories. You are truly a great hostess!

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