If you’re blessed enough to be a guest in someone’s home for Thanksgiving tomorrow, let me remind you of a few things that will make your hostess sorry to see you leave!
- Take a thoughtful Hostess gift – even if you’re going to your mom’s! It doesn’t have to be expensive – just thoughtful. Here are some ideas:
- Tea Towel – A Christmas one she can use right away would be nice!
- A Bag of coffee, Tea or Hot Chocolate – Find something they’d love. Maybe include a couple pretty mugs (unless the already have 1,000,000,000,000)
- Homemade cookies or muffins on a pretty platter they can keep.
- Homemade bread wrapped on a cutting board they can keep.
- Delicious smelling candle – Those 3-wick candles are wonderful!
- Box of chocolates
- Guest book
- Holiday magazines, slipper socks and packages of hot chocolate so she can relax after the crowd has gone home!
- Offer to help and then stick around and do it. Don’t say, “Let me know if I can do anything and then leave the room. Offer to:
- Wash up any dishes in the sink
- Fill glasses with ice
- Pour beverages
- Cut the pies
- Keep your children in tow. In other words, keep them from destroying your host’s home. Bring things for them to play with while the meal is being prepared and keep them out of the hostess’s way. Teach them to respect the property of the host. We recently had little ones in our home (2 and 4) and you hardly knew they were in the house. They played with toys, chatted, obeyed their parents, and were a joy to entertain!
- If you’re staying overnight, remove the sheets from the bed the morning you leave and fold them and stack them on the washer. Remake the bed without the sheets and leave the room tidy. Place wet towels and washcloths on the washer, too.
- Let the hostess rise in the morning and have a few minutes to get things together for breakfast. It’s nice to get the coffee going and breakfast laid out before guests are staring at you! =)
- Don’t stay longer than you’d arranged. Leaving promptly is as gracious as arriving promptly.
Now if you’re going to be the hostess, here are a few reminders that will keep your guests wanting to return:
- Have something your guests can snack on before the meal is ready. Crackers and cheese, a veggie tray or chips and salsa would be great.
- Be prompt with the mealtime. If you invite your guests for dinner at 1:00 don’t be peeling the potatoes then. The gravy should be ready to pour at 1:00. There’s nothing worse than wondering when the meal is going to be ready.
- Think ahead about who will be there. If little ones are coming, make it as easy on the parents as you can.
- Have a place for the children to sit so they’ll be comfortable and won’t have the parents worrying that they’re going to destroy your white covered dining room chairs.
- Put away anything you don’t want broken.
- Have a little stash of toys you can bring out for the children to play with.
- Set a table just for the children. Include crayons and coloring place mats and fun treats.
- Provide snacks in the room for overnight guests. Packages of crackers, granola bars and water bottles are sufficient. Pieces of fruit would be nice, too.
- Provide your Internet password for overnight guests.
- Let them know exactly where the towels and washcloths are. Keep your pretty “untouchable” towels stashed away. Nothing like standing at the sink with drippy hands wondering which towel to use!
- Have breakfast foods prepared and frozen. The night before, put breakfast foods out so your guests can help themselves. Set out coffee cups and creamers, too.
- Make your home inviting by playing soft music and lighting candles.
- Be interested in your guests. Ask them questions and listen with caring ears. Have prayer together before they leave.
I’ve had the blessing of having VERY gracious guests, and I’ve also been the recipient of VERY gracious hostesses. Let’s each put our best foot forward and strive to be a blessing – no matter if we’re on the giving or receiving end of the Thanksgiving Day celebration!
Happy Thanksgiving to each of you!!!
With a grateful heart,