Word to the Wise Wednesday – Being a Good Hostess to Overnight Guests

II Kings 4:10
Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.

Being hostess to overnight guests doesn’t really require that much because our guests only really need what the woman and her husband provided for Elisha in the passage above. Do you have a bed, table, and a light? Then you can have guests in your home just as this dear woman and her husband did for Elisha. What a blessing they must have been to him!

I was recently privileged to have my sister and brother-in-law here for an overnight stay. They were headed home from vacation and decided to stop in to break up their trip (and to see us, of course!). After they left I got to thinking about the fact that now that it’s summer, many homes will have overnight guests. It may be family passing through, or cousins coming to visit cousins for a week, or Mom and Dad visiting their children and grandchildren. I have been seeking wisdom on how to be a better hostess; to be prepared for company, to make my guests know that I’m truly thankful they stopped in, and to make them feel at home with us.

I’ve rounded up some tips and thought I’d share them with you. Maybe there’s a nugget that will enable you to make someone’s day really special because they stopped at your house!
  • Make sure the linens are clean and the room has been uncluttered.
  • If you don’t have an extra room for a guest room and are using one of your children’s rooms for your guests, make sure the children know not to bother the guests or go in there without your permission.

  • If you have a picture of you and your guest from a previous visit, frame it and place it in the room where they will be staying.

  • Place magazines on the bedside table that they might enjoy. A Bible and daily devotional book are also great things to have for your guests to pick up and read.

  • Be sure you have an alarm clock somewhere in the room.

  • A dish with a few nice chocolates is a nice touch, if you know they’d enjoy that treat.

  • You could also make up a basket of snacks if your guests are going to be staying a couple/few days. Crackers, bottles of water, fresh fruit, and granola bars or cookies are some suggestions.

  • Let you guests know where they can find towels and washcloths. Make them easily accessible.

  • Use an old overnight suitcase to display small bottles of lotions, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes, in case your guests have forgotten any of these items.

  • Make sure there’s a mirror in the room.
  • A chair is a nice accessory, and a lamp over it or beside it for reading.

  • A vase of fresh flowers on the dresser is a nice way to welcome your guests.

  • Have a light on in the room your guests will be staying in if they’re arriving after dark.

    As for any meals that you’ll be serving, make sure that you know if they have any dietary needs so you can cook accordingly. Here are a few things to make the meal special:

  • Try to prepare things ahead of time so you don’t spend all your time in the kitchen. Freeze muffins, cake layers and cookies. Prepare Ziploc bags with the dry ingredients for pancakes so all you have to do is add the liquid ingredients. If you’re having BLT’s for lunch, cook the bacon ahead of time and refrigerate it.
  • Have breakfast items available. Either set things out – Cereal, fresh fruit, muffins and a pitcher of milk, juice and coffee and let them serve themselves when they are ready for it. Or if you feel up to it, provide a hot breakfast of pancakes or egg strata.

  • Make the table attractive. It doesn’t have to be spectacular, just special. Flowers and pretty napkins are a great addition.

  • Have a guest book for your guests to sign before they leave. It will serve as a scrapbook of sorts of all the guests that have come to your home.

Perfection is not a goal for there are no perfect homes, perfect meals or perfect hostesses! Go for clean rooms, filling meals and welcoming hostess, and your guests will be glad they can return to your home again and again!

What has made you feel welcome when you’ve visited in someone’s home?

Happy hostessing,

2 thoughts on “Word to the Wise Wednesday – Being a Good Hostess to Overnight Guests

  1. and you are a wonderful hostess. You always make us feel like you are so glad we have come and the accommodations are always great along with any meals you prepare. You are the hostess with the mostest!


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