I've talked before about being a good hostess. Doing that Biblical thing called Hospitality. Welcoming others into your safe place (your home) and showing them love.
How it's easy and hard. You're opening up your sacred safe space. The place where you relax and unwind. You don't want anybody in there. But then to do so is such a blessing to that other person or persons. They know it too. You can see it by the smile on their faces (by the way if they're not smiling you might not want to open the door).
So what about being that smiling person? How do you feel when someone opens their door to you? Grateful? Anxious? In awe?
I think I have mentioned that of late we seem to have no end of dinner invitations. It's exhausting but super interesting. I'm loving the interaction but something took a while to dawn on me (and for that I'm greatly ashamed).
Making sure I was a Gracious Guest.
Sure I wiped my feet, even took off my shoes. I said thank you and please. Washed my hands before entering the kitchen and smiled a lot. But was there something more I could do?
Yes! I think so and so I set out to do it.
- If the household we are invited to is of another culture read up (or ask someone) on some basic things that might be nice to pay attention to. Such as removing shoes.
- Bring a gift for the hostess. It doesn't need to be big or extravagant. My favorite is a luxurious soap bar but that's a personal preference. A plant, some chocolate, or even a dessert to share (make sure it's enough for all the guests) is just as nice.
- Like I said, take your shoes off. This is one habit shared by many cultures so just be prepared to do it. We wear good socks and be prepared to take your shoes off. We now do this in our own home and it is a customary thing to do in many of the homes we entered. So when in doubt ask.
- Ask the hostess if you can help with anything. Set the table. Stir something on the stove. Pour the water. Even if the host says that they are fine, insist that you would like to help. Then if they say no thank you at least you have asked.
- Eat! Unless you have a food allergy arrive hungry and have a good appetite. Complement the food and be very thankful. Don't ask for things like you're at a restaurant. And if you normally eat butter on your bread but don't see any on the table then eat it without!
- Help clear the table and wash dishes. I know many people will shoo you out of their kitchen but again insist you would like to help. And just think of all the work she's done preparing for you. Many hands make light work. By the way ask before you put the fine china into the dish washer.
- Finally do thank your hosts profusely for a wonderful meal and for graciously opening their home to you.
Did I miss any? Leave me a comment below.