Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Large Family Hospitality
This weekend we had loads of fun with 75 people at our home. Yes, I said 75!
We enjoy hosting gathering like these. There is much satisfaction after a successful event. We have been blessed with a big yard that we are able to accomodate many people and a charming little church across the street that blesses us with tables, chairs and ample parking space for our visitors.
It took a long time to learn what true hospitality was. Thankfully I had many wonderful role models who were quite gifted in this area. I sat quietly by, watched and took notes.
Since I already did a post on hospitality and not wanting to replicate that post again, I will share here practical aspects of hospitality.
1. Plan a week ahead if possible. Stretching out errands through the week saves a tired mama from being a tired hostess. Deep clean your home throughout the week so you are not doing it at midnight the night before everyone comes over.
2. Ask the Lord to bless the time you prepare for gatherings whether small or large. Ask that your home would be peaceful, that He would be glorified, and that your family could be an example to others. Ask for opportunities to bless your guests and/or minister to them.
3. Don't get too fussy. Sometimes when I am in a home I can sense this and it can be hard to feel comfortable. Don't try to make things too perfect.
4. Do make people feel at home. Serve them a drink, tell them to make themselves feel at home. Add special touches---a small gift, candles, soft music in the back ground. I really enjoy that part. If someone is cold give them a throw to curl up on your couch with.
5. Train your children to welcome guests, serve them, prepare foods, share toys, etc.
6. Plan foods that can be prepared ahead of time and put in the fridge until time to serve if you are cooking. I like 'Taste of Home' magazines, their recipes never fail me. Ordering out is okay too if that's what's called for--you don't have to wow your guests with a gourmet or four course meal. It is the fellowship that counts and relaxed atmosphere.
7.I like when people feel at home at our house, they are welcome to serve themselves, go in our fridge, etc. One time I was at someones home and they were very uncomfortable to have anyone in their kitchen, but they spent most of their time in there washing dishes while guests were there and yelling out conversation from the sink (the kitchen was not open concept either)!
I recently purchased a book called "Cooking With Four Ingredients"---great ideas--quick and simple, yet tasty. I plan to use many of these recipes for the future. Don't forget your crockpot can be your best friend especially when hosting lunches after church on Sunday. Find recipes and keep a menu plan of recipes (I keep mine in a binder) that are winners so you can refer to them without wasting alot of time thinking about what to make.
This last event was big, so I had called a friend to come help me set up. She was more than willing and when she arrived promptly announced with a smile--"Just bark out orders and I'll be more than happy to do them!" I was blessed by my sister who served me and others that day.
Anyone else have ideas or stories they'd like to share, please post we'd love to hear from you...