Back in the mid 90s I spent nearly seven months in Australia. Those were good times.
One of the best lessons I learned is how easy a get-together can be. Granted, most of the people knew their neighbors - that's completely unthinkable in many American suburbs - and they'd simply call over the fence, "Wanna have a barbie?" No one cared what the house looked like or what was in the fridge. The neighbors would bring over a few beers, maybe a bottle of wine (which I appreciated, never having learned to like beer) and something for the grill.
It's a lesson I've taken to heart. Most of us have too much to do. Most of us do not have a tidy house. But most of us do not see our friends often enough.
Which matters more? A clean house or your friends? What you eat or that you eat with people you love?
We try to have friends over often. This does not always work. But I will say the more spontaneous the invitation, the better time we have.