In Southern Living’s Facebook group, There’s No Excuse for Bad Manners, Valerie Fraser Luesse shared a story about a very special “covered dish” that a kind-hearted woman brought to her grandmother’s funeral—and you’ll definitely want to borrow the idea.
“When my grandmother passed many years ago, her home healthcare nurse introduced our family to one of the best ‘covered dishes’ ever: a big cooler filled with iced-down Cokes, bottled water, etc.,” Luesse wrote. “We just left it on the porch so friends and family could help themselves as they came and went—no ice trays, cups, and so forth required.”
This idea is perfect for many reasons. First of all, when a family is grieving they aren’t necessarily thinking about party-planning details like whether to buy paper cups or bring out the good glasses. While neighbors, church friends, and the extended family may step in to help during mourning, if the family doesn’t have to think about cups or ice or thirsty guests or any of the niceties of hosting, it can ease their mind and let them focus on their loved ones.
Since a cooler full of bottled drinks bypasses the need for any glasses at all, anyone helping out the family can focus on putting coasters on the table and emptying the recycling bin, instead. Of course, not everyone can bring a cooler full of Cokes, so here are a few other ideas for covered dishes to share.
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The idea of sharing a cooler stocked with drinks isn’t limited to funerals, of course. Reader Valerie Visich said that she puts out a cooler of drinks in the summer and over the holidays. “I leave a cooler of drinks with a basket of snacks for our delivery men and women (usps, fed ex, Amazon, ups, etc.),” she wrote on Facebook. “It has a cute note thanking them for working in the heat or during the busy stressful holidays making my life easier!” We’re guessing that you might want to borrow that idea, too.