Are you missing Fridays?

The past two Fridays have slipped by without me posting my usual "advice question"... so now that it's already Sunday I'm going to try and catch up. I'm going to ask two questions to make up for lost time.

What is your best hospitality tip? This could mean how you prepare for a company/party/dinner or a cleaning tip in preparation. It could also be a favorite recipe for appetizer or a fun theme you enjoy.

Do you have any special traditions as a family- one that would be up for sharing? It could be a special plate you use for special occasions, a morning wake-up song, etc.

I'm looking for ideas to become a better hostess as well as traditions to use in my family/home. I hope you had a great week-end. I sure did. We had Michelle and Jeff come visit. It was a great time!


Kate Van said…
Good question Jen, one thing the Lord helps me remember is that anyone I have into my home I want them to know something of God's love . . . so I try to pray ahead of time with Clay that we would be gracious, sensitive hosts.
Anonymous said…
At Christmas time us girls read The birds christmas carol. One of our favorite books it makes us teary-eyed everytime! Love you.
Jennifer said…
Em- that's one of my favorite books. Mike and I like to read it out loud on Christmas morning!

Anonymous said…
Katy Van has the best thought about praying.....but aside from that, meking things fun and stressfree for you will make your guests more comfortable. Having those great recipes and ingedients on hand make spur of the moment events know how easy Mexican is and fun.....a few paper colorful flowers and chips and salsa and a bit of salsa music.....the Napier Thang..

LOve you.......keep up the good work.....I always learn lots from your blog.
Ashleigh said…
I try to think about the company and their personalities before they come. What can I do to cater to different guests in a way that will make them feel most at ease and welcome.

For example, my mother-in-law is a planner, so she does better if I have things planned out. Meals. Ideas of what to do. A general schedule that can be adapted once they are here. In doing that, I think it helps her feel more at ease when they are here because there aren't unknowns. However, when my family comes they do better with spontaneity. So I don't do a lot of planning. Instead, we normally decide on what to do and eat together.

Also, if the guests are staying at a hotel, I make a basket of goodies for them. I was inspired by Bethany to do this. When we were in CA a couple summers ago and stayed in their area, she made one for us. What a blessing!

As far as traditions, we always sing "The Goodnight Song" to our girls. It's the closing song on "The Lawrence Welk Show," but with the lyrics changed. The girls love it. Some nights Olivia sings it to Ava and both girls know all the words.
AmyB said…
The idea that has helped me the most (in hospitality) is not to feel like having folks over has to be a big production. It doesn't have to be a large 5 course dinner, fancy dessert, etc. It can just be on the cheap and stress free... come over for coffee & chatting or popcorn and a game. Or, I'm making pancakes for dinner because it's been a crazy week and we have no groceries, would you like to join us? Learning that hospitality is about enjoying & building relationships, not about the "amazing" dinner I present. For me, that's a hard one to learn...I like to make things big because in my messed up mind, that makes them extra special. I don't feel like I'm doing enough if it's not a big ordeal. I'm trying to learn that "little" can be just as, or more meaningful than "big".
Anonymous said…
Whenever I'm doing any sort of hospitality, the thing I have to try to remember is that the people are coming to see me not whatever culinary delights I can produce, and I invited them over because I wanted to spend time with them, not in the kitchen stressing! That means that pretty much every time I rely on lots of chips and dips, and things like lasagne or enchildas and hot bread and salad that take very little work! Otherwise everything turns into a mad dash and I realise I never got to find out what was going on with the people I was so looking forward to hanging out with.

I have found that little things like dropping single raspberries or bluberries in sparkling water, serving juice or soda in champagne glasses, or lighting lots of candles and turning out all the lights, or investing in one or two fancy plates to put chocolates or cookies on can make a really simple meal seem a lot more sophisticated than it actually is, without spending lots of money or time, neither of which I have!
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