Thursday, March 13, 2008


Does your home say "Welcome" when people come to visit? Is your family ready to have guests over for a meal? To stay the night? For friends who drop by last minute at dinner time? Are you prepared?

I found some wonderfully helpful Hosptality Tips recently at The Purple Cellar. Maybe some of these will prove helpful to some of y'all, too.

I would LOVE to learn from y'all about how your family handles showing hospitality. Does your family mostly have spend-the-night guests or meal time guests? Do you have guests over often? Do you always cook just enough for your family or do you cook extra just in case you have someone stop by? What are some helpful tips that y'all have learned over the years?

Please share, I have MUCH to learn in this area. Even though I enjoy having visitors, I still get nervous and would love to gather information from some of y'all that are pros when it comes to hospitality in your home.

UPDATE: I just found more hospitality tips over at Money Saving Mom!!!


Sarah R said...

This is something I would need a lot of help with! I really don't like it when people just *drop* in. I always want to make sure people don't stop by when I'm sorting dirty laundry in the hallway, or something like that. I would want a few minutes to freshen up the bathrooms, at least. (I have two boys, our bathrooms always look like a bomb went off, no matter how hard I try!)
Not only that, but I live in the South now, which means that people stop by whenever they want. It's common for Southern folk to just drop by, but us New Yorkers want you to make an appointment, please! :D

Cyndi Lewis said...

I have to say... I like to know when people are going to come over. It's part of my OCD. Unexpected throws me for a loop but I've learned to get better. I try to keep the house in a pretty good state of picked up. I always have plenty of food in the house but stretching an already in progress meal is not a skill I've achieved yet. None-the-less God calls us to hospitality so I keep that in mind and submit to Him with a willing spirit. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. I also remember God didn't call us to be Martha Stewart in every detail. A willing heart is all he asks for.

Tori Leslie said...

This is something on my "improve" list. I really don't have a problem welcoming folks but compared to Croatians I'm not at all hospitable. When we visit a Croat's home they shower us with food, coffee, all sorts of drinks and goodies. They really now how to make you feel welcome. I'm learning from them that it's defiantly better to give than receive.
I appreciate this post, it makes me thing and actually we have a guest we've never met coming over this evening, so I better go prepare!

Dianna said...

My husband and I just started leading a Cub Scout group, and they will come to our house every week. It's just perfect, because I am motivated to clean up and bake, but the house doesn't have to be pristine.

Jen said...

I went to a great workshop on hospitality when I was first married. It was eye opening and really set the tone for my style of home-keeping. Before children, the house was always tidy and I felt very comfortable opening the door to anyone. Now that we have a house-full, I've learned that while I really feel good about having people over to a completely clean house filled with delicious food to eat, the REAL treat for most people is being welcomed into a house the has the aroma of Christ. Even a messy house can be a real refuge for the world if Christ is the center of it. While I still try to keep the house clean and have some homeade goodies around, I trus the Lord that when the doorbell rings or a car appears in the driveway, I have been chosen to share Christ with that person at that time, dirty laundry and dishes or not:)
Also, a little tip I learned years ago is to always keep a 1 lb box of spaghetti, 2 jars of sauce and 2 loaves of frozen garlic bread on hand for an emergency dinner prep. It really does's not fancy, but it is food and good food at that!

Anonymous said...

What a great topic! This is something I've been wanting to learn more about too! Two books on my to-read list are: "Practicing Hospitality: The Joy of Serving Others" by Patricia A. Ennis & Lisa Tatlock and "Open Heart, Open Home: The Hospitable Way to Make Others Feel Welcome & Wanted" by Karen Burton Mains.

Thanks for your great posts!


Mrs. U said...

Mrs. R, it is true. Most Southerners are the type to just drop in. But you know what's interesting? I have received the best and warmest (and most memorable) hospitality from my Northern friends!!

Cyndi, I'm with you. I'm not very good at stretching meals, either. I probably need to pay attention to the meals I'm preparing my family and think of ways to make it stretch further should the need arise. Surely, if I think about it at each meal, then when the time does arise, I'll be better prepared. Well, hopefully so anyway!! :)

Tori! I would LOVE to hear more about the hospitality of Croatians!!! Maybe all of us should just board a plane and come visit you for a few weeks, you know, to really get a good perspective on it. Ahhhh! That would be WONDERFUL!!!!

Mrs. Mordecai, I must admit. I LOVE having visitors come over so that I am SURE to keep the house tidy!! It even helps my son to keep his bathroom clean!! LOL!!!

Jen, you said "Also, a little tip I learned years ago is to always keep a 1 lb box of spaghetti, 2 jars of sauce and 2 loaves of frozen garlic bread on hand for an emergency dinner prep. It really does's not fancy, but it is food and good food at that!" This is a FABULOUS tip and one that I am implementing RIGHT AWAY here in our home!!! Thank you SO much for sharing this!!!!

Leslie, I have the second book that you mentioned (and sadly haven't finished reading it yet- started it about 2 years ago!!!!!) and would love to know about the first one that you mentioned!!! Perhaps when you are done reading it, you could share a book review with us???

Thank you ALL, ladies!!! Now... pack your bags and let's fly to Tori's house!!!

Mrs. U

mommy24treasures said...

I way prefer knowing someone is coming. I am the type that wants evderything perfect, not a dish in the sink, the ocunters spotless, etc I often stress if people are suddenly coming and it is always when the kids have jsut made a big mess somewhere in the house.
I love having company out by our pool in the summer. I am less stressful about that. I love to serve different appetizers out there and try to always make people feel welcome.

Mrs. U said...

Mommy24treasures, I love the idea of serving lots of different appetizers. For some reason, appetizers seem much less stressful and more relaxed than a meal. GREAT idea!!

Mrs. U

The Adventures of Jing and Ying said...

We don't usually have people drop in unannounced, but both our parents lives out of town. When they stay over, I always make sure they have clean towels and sheets. Also shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc in the shower.

My MIL loves Coke and Krispy Kreme donuts so I make sure we have those in the house.

Julieann said...

I hope my home is always welcoming to my friends--I was always feeding my neighbor in my last home, but she is not so close now, but I always enjoy cooking for a large group:)


Mrs. K's Lemonade Stand said...

I wanted to say that my husband’s birthday is coming up this week and I am going to add your recipe for Cheddar Ranch Fries to my menu for his birthday! :) Thank you for sharing it and also for your blog, which I really like a lot! I added a link to it on my blog and hope you don’t mind?

Jthemilker said...

Parking is limited at our place so when we have guests they are USUALLY overnight guests. I keep the pantry stocked with LOTS of cereal and ALWAYS have pancake mix just in case. Tho our home is quite less than extravagant, I do light a candle in the guest room, obviously put on fresh linens, put out fresh towels, and there is a women's robe and a basket of goodies like scrubby sponges for the shower and trial size soaps, toothpaste, lotions, etc. for the pleasure of our guests.

Sarah R said...

I plan to steal the spaghetti idea. That is fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post!
I always have said that hospitality is a gift and something I need to learn more about!

Unknown said...

My home is located above our office and I occassionally have meetings here. Because of that fact our apartment has to be guest ready.
I recently hired a housekeeper to help me maintain my cleaning standard.

Jen said...

I was cleaning off a bookshelf today and found a copy of an Emilie Barnes book...she is FANTASTIC and I love reading her homekeeping and hospitality ideas. It's worth buying a used copy of anything she's written on e-bay etc.
A couple of other other little tips...if you don't have small children or your children are a bit older, keep a little basket of toys and crayons and what not for pint-sized guests. I think it puts visiting parents at ease when you offer their children something to play with. Also, if you have a guest room, keep a small basket in plain view loaded with extra toothbrushes, travel size lotions, soaps, shampoos, bottled water and maybe some fruit or granola bars. It helps guests avoid the awkwardness of asking for a snack or a toiletry item they may have forgotten. I also place a Bible and other deovtionals close by the bed to encourage spiritual growth:) Lastly, when we have guests, rather than treating them as guests, we always try to include them as family members. For example, if they offer to help with setting the table or prepping dinner or washing dishes etc., we include them purposely. It takes the tension out of the event and makes them feel at home.

Oh, one last thing (this is turning into a book!) we also keep a basket of washable slippers around so our guests can have warm feet without tracking up the house. Everyone always comments on those slippers and they LOVE choosing a pair to wear for their stay--whether it's an hour or a week:)

Anonymous said...

What a great topic! I love to entertain, but detest the preparation... I stress myself out in the details! (Sorta a Martha when I should be a Mary)
God bless!

Anonymous said...

I always try to be prepared because you never know when somebody will drop in, living close to lots of family and friends.

I try not to sort washing or leave things everywhere in obvious places because as I said, you never know! :)

Cleaning my house, no matter how much I hate doing it ;), is something I do regularly because of lots of guests and I keep the guest room clean for unexpected overnight guests.

I leave a cover over the mattress on the guest room bed but always put clean linen on every time I have a guest because you don't want to sleep on linen that has been there for ages! ;)

And finally :) I keep some little snacks in the fridge/freezer so I can make them quickly for guests. Even if people don't say they may be hungry so I make some anyway.

Apologies for the long post ;) And hope I could help.

Thank you, Jess Takaya


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