hospitality

Holiday Hospitality

Our houses get “decked out” at this time of year, don’t they?  What better time than the holidays to invite folks over?  If you need a couple reasons why it’s a great time to show hospitality, read on.

1. When you’ve gone to so much trouble to get everything sparkling and gleaming with decorations, you’ve already taken care of getting the house ready for guests!

2.  There are usually enough snacks and treats in our kitchens to fill the neighborhood – so go ahead – fill up the neighborhood!  Invite your neighbors over for a cup of coffee and treat! Invite them over for cheese and crackers and fresh fruit. Look what you have in abundance and share it! If you need a delicious and easy sweet popcorn, this Almond Toffee Popcorn is a favorite of mine.

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dessert · hospitality · Outside decor · spring · spring cleaning · Tablescapes

Happy Springtime & Ideas for Your Home

I’m so thankful it’s officially springtime! I’m devoting today’s post to all things spring – from tablescapes to cleaning lists, I’ve got some ideas to help you enjoy this season to the fullest!

Easter is right around the corner, so look below for some ideas for your table and your menu! But as you consider inviting guests over, read this post to be reminded of the best way to open your home in order to sweetly share the Gospel.

If you want to set a spring-y table, here are five different centerpieces you could easily create.

Wintertime makes your outdoor areas a mess and less than inviting! You’ll find ideas to refresh your porches for spring here.

Lighter meals and fresh ingredients are perfect for spring suppers. This Salmon Salad is amazing and perfect for springtime!

If you need some Spring cleaning lists to get you motivated on cleaning winter out of your house, check out this post that is full of great plans!

The result will be something delicious and beautiful, and you won’t be exhausted!

Finally, my all-time favorite Spring/Easter Cake is this Coconut Cake with Lemon filling. It’s a family tradition that we all anticipate!

Refresh your home with a Happy Spring!

hospitality · Hostess Goals · Thanksgiving

Hosting the Holidays With Joy, Part 2

I love to have guests in our home and my guest book is reflective of that, but I also know that it takes a lot of planning, work and preparation. It’s my desire today to complete the list I started earlier this week and give you some tips about how you can have guests in your home this holiday season and do it with joy, rather than fear or dread.

  • Reason #5 why we dread hosting is that we don’t feel like our home is good enough or big enough.
    I can remember days when we lived in our ranch style home and didn’t have a big enough kitchen to host my whole family – I believe we had 14! What to do? We set up tables in our humble basement. It certainly wasn’t fancy, but we managed! I even had to use the church oven because at the time, my oven was so small the turkey didn’t fit inside! But all that isn’t what I remember! I remember that we had so much fun! At the end of the day we all piled into our church van and went to Bristol Speedway to see the Christmas lights! I think if we don’t make a big deal about being squashed together, our guests won’t either.
    If you don’t feel your house is “nice” enough, do what you can to make it fit for company –
    ~Clean the spaces you’ll be using. Make the bathroom shine. Unclutter all counters. Dust. Vacuum. Sweep off the front porch. Make sure the kitchen sink and stove are clean and ready for use.
    ~Don’t apologize for your house! If you start pointing out all its flaws and problems, you’re not going to make your guests feel welcome. Use what you have, make the most of it and be thankful. It’s God’s provision for you. Use it for His glory.
    ~Focus on your time together – not on the beauty (or lack thereof) of your home. Turn on a playlist of instrumental music for background beauty. Light the candles. Set the tables and turn your interest to your guests. That’s what they’ll remember.
  • Reason #6 why we fear hosting is not knowing what to do before or during the meal. Perhaps you fear “small talk” and not knowing what to say. Those gaps in conversation can feel awkward. Or if little ones are tearing through the house you feel your blood pressure rising.
    ~Planning ahead for children is your best option. Have a little box of things they can play with in a secluded spot. If it’s a pretty day, offer outdoor activities – balls or jump ropes to play with. If they’re older, you could set out coloring books, board games or puzzles.
    ~Share blessings. Why not plan on going around the table or the room and having everyone share three things for which they’re the most thankful? Again, focus on your guests instead of worrying you won’t know what to say. Ask them questions about their lives – “How did you spend Thanksgiving when you were a child?” “What family traditions did you family do on the holidays?” “What you favorite memory of Thanksgiving?”
  • Reason #7 – Fearing how to keep everyone entertained.
    ~Plan for some board games or group games for the time your guests hang around after the meal. Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese Pizza is a hilarious game that will loosen everyone up!
Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza Card Game

~Maybe everyone could work on a huge puzzle together. Set it up on a game table and let guests work on it throughout the day.
~Have a simple craft the children can work on. There are so many ideas on Pinterest!
~While the guys watch the football game, have the ladies work on crafting a simple Christmas ornament together.
~Don’t miss the opportunity to turn everyone’s hearts upwards to the Lord. Read Psalm 100 together. Stop and give thanks in prayer to the Giver of every good gift! Perhaps you could also sing a song together. Dear friends of ours always close our fellowship at their table by singing while our host plays the guitar. What a blessing that time always is!

I pray that these suggestions have been helpful. If you have other needs or questions, please feel free to leave a comment, or email me using the address on my contact information page.

Here is a detailed post about how you can be a gracious guest, and also tips on hosting. You’ll find hostess gift ideas that will be a small way to say, “Thanks for inviting us!”

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Here’s a favorite Cranberry Streusel Muffin you should consider for Thanksgiving morning breakfast!