Tuesday, February 27, 2007

House Guests

I just love having company and practicing hospitality. For me, it is a way to show others God's love. Our homes are generally very private places. We do not invite just anyone into them, but when we do, we should take care that our guests feel welcome.

I love to serve good food for my guests. I always inquire as to their dislikes and any food allergies that they may have. Most of the time, people are afraid to speak up because they do not want to be burdensome. As the hostess, I would much rather prepare a meal that I know my guests can enjoy than to work all day and have someone not be able to partake in it.

Here are some tips if you are intimidated by the very thought of inviting someone into your home:

1. Don't fuss. Make your guests feel welcome and at home. Do not put on a show. Be who you are and ENJOY your company.

2. Most people are thrilled to sit and relax in a calm atmosphere. Do not feel like you must *entertain* your guests. Good conversation goes a long way. This is particularly true if you are hosting guests overnight. They may be tired, and wish for some *downtime* rather than going from activity to activity.

3. If your guests offer to help in the kitchen, with the dishes, etc., let them. Fellowship can be sweet as we work together.

4. Food does not have to be *fancy* or expensive to be enjoyed. Stick to your budget, and to your tried and true recipes. Make something that you have confidence in. Don't forget to ask your guests about dislikes and allergies.

5. Make it special! Does this seem to go against tips one and four? Well, being yourself and sticking to your budget are definite on the *do* list, but that does not mean that we shouldn't show are guests that we are thrilled to have them in our homes. Don't be sloppy. Do the best with what you have does not mean to not put forth any effort.

6. Keep a journal. This doesn't have to be anything formal. It can be as simple or elaborate as you like. You may wish to write down who came, for what occasion, what was served, etc. I keep a guest book. We always ask our guests to sign it at the end of their visit. I have done this for about 6 years now. I wish that I had started it when we were first married. It's great fun to look back through our book and see how long it has been since we have entertained, who was over last, etc.

Tonight, we are hosting some very dear friends along with their five children. They will be joining us for supper, and then spending the night. We are a stop on their moving trip from one state to another. I am looking forward to giving them a place to be refreshed after the hustle and bustle of packing, etc.

Dinner for 14! I am keeping it simple, but satisfying. After consulting with my friend, I learned that her children can be picky eaters. I also know that her husband was/is a vegetarian. My crew loves meat, and will eat anything put in front of them. I'm serving hot dogs, salad, and homemade soups; potato, and chicken noodle. Autumn made chocolate chip cookies for dessert. That ought to cover everyone.

Recommended reading: Edith Schaeffer's The Hidden Art of Homemaking

1 comment:

Barbara said...

You are someone after my own heart. We have offered hospitality in our home since 1973. At times we had average 60 people a year stay with us. Anything from 1 night to 3 weeks as well as having people live with us. Some "hairy" times but most a blessing. I agree with all your advice. Blessin gs. Barbara