So you are having friends into your home? GREAT! I can help. My husband and I LOVE to entertain and have friends into our home, both old and new. Just last night we hosted a dinner with 8 other couples from our church so I literally JUST experienced what I am about to share.
- Go to Pinterest for ideas on THEMES. If you are going to entertain in your home then be prepared to ENTERTAIN your guest. Everyone wants an EXPERIENCE and coming to your home for dinner is NO different. Party favors are a must and though matchy match is kind of outdated, coordination is key. From the table decor to your plates, napkins and cups…remember presentation is EVERYTHING.
- Clean your house. It must be immaculate. If you have thicker carpet, you are in luck. Make sure that when you sweep, perfectly straight lines are clearly visible; NO feet marks please. This will make your guest feel incredibly honored as they walk into your home knowing that their feet are the first to grace your newly swept carpet. Also as you are sweeping, pull furniture out and sweep behind AND under. Why is this important? Remember how your mother used to tell you, “Make sure you put new underwear on in case you are in an accident?” The premise is the same. When your guest are welcomed into your home, you need to be prepared in the event they look under your couch in search of hidden fur balls.
- If you have children, you need to remove ALL traces of their existence. Remember that your guest are coming to your home to be entertained. You must minimize all obstacles that could jeopardize that mission from being accomplished. If hiding your children away in your downstairs den with a bag of Cheetos, some Benadryl with an incredibly engaging movie series is NOT an option, remember the 15th Century proverb that said, “Children should be seen but not heard.” It’s an oldie but a goodie and still rings true in this home as it should yours. If they are not quiet, remember that the Bible says “He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.” Proverbs 13:24. That’s scriptural.
- Fix a gourmet meal. The more money and time you spend preparing, the better. The main objective in mastering the art of hospitality is to WOW your guest. You want to be THE house that everyone gets invited to so go over the top and then go over the top some more. In this case, MORE is NEVER ENOUGH. Whatever expectation you THINK your guest have, you most likely are only luke-warm and probably not even close to what could totally ignite their taste buds on fire so go bigger so not to disappoint.
- Last but not least and this is THE most important so listen up and pay close attention. Whatever is happening in your home prior to guest arriving, like whatever is REALLY happening, you best HIDE it. Just had a fight with your husband? Wipe those tears off your face and go reapply your makeup. Put your game face on. Smile BIG and smile PRETTY. Your life IS perfect. You have perfectly unheard of children and a house that Martha Steward would be proud of. When asked how you are doing, the answer is ALWAYS, “I am great!” Everything is great. Your marriage. Your kids. Your job. You talk about the vacation you are planning and how many burpees you did the other day at the gym and what Gina down the street wore to the bus stop. People DO NOT want to know how you are really doing because they do not want you to ask them how THEY are doing. They want to know that you bought milk today and that you spent 28 hours preparing their meal so girdle up and talk the talk. Pleasantries are most important to leave your guest with lingering good feels hours after leaving your home.
Over the years these, these are some helpful tips we have found that keep friends and family returning to our home and if you believe any of that to be true then I have some books to lend you on how not to live life too seriously. Thing is, at some point in my life and to some degree, I HAVE tried these things as a recovering people pleaser.
*I HAVE tried to create an experience instead of BEING someone TO experience.
*I HAVE tried to present a house that was completely unrepresentative of our everyday life having everyday people living in it, not only exhausting myself but the relationships in my home while doing so.
* I HAVE growled my kids for being themselves in their own home. I HAVE lectured about what to DO and NOT DO when guest arrive and have secretly looked at their presence as being inconvenient to my entertaining which broke their spirits and my heart in the process.
*I HAVE tried to impress with my culinary skills or overcompensate for my lack of them.
*I HAVE faked it in hopes to eventually make it. Yes, I have been GREAT!
At the end of the day, mastering the art of hospitality is more about YOU and YOUR GUEST, the people IN your home and AROUND your table then ANYTHING else. Your front door is being opened for a relationship so don’t just open the door to your home but open the door to your heart. It may sound fluffy but it’s true. If your guest show up to a fully present YOU, a YOU that is excited to sit with them, engaged in being present WITH them, it’s enough.
It’s more than.
Cheers to being hospitable!
ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION:
What stresses you about having people into your home and why?
Do you find it hard to sit down and engage in conversation that goes deeper than regular, everyday surface living?
When you are invited into someone’s home, what excites you about going?