One Life Kitchen

Simple Ways to Show Hospitaltiy

Hospitality … to some that is a very exhausting word and yet to others it is exhilarating word. Hospitality for some is an instinct. It is almost like a natural born gift and yet for others it takes a serious amount of effort.

One might suggest that being hospitable has to do with your personality. However, just because someone is an extrovert and loves being around others, doesn’t necessarily imply they love hosting people. In the same way an introvert may find joy in hosting others. 

Hospitality isn't just about hosting a social engagement. It represents a reflection of love as it involves serving. It extends to being a space that welcomes gatherings. Having the opportunity to show hospitality to someone is a gift that will long be remembered. As the late Maya Angelou said, “people will never forget how you made them feel.” With that in mind I want to share some simple hospitable tips that will make any guest feel welcome in your presence.

  • Clean Space– The first thing you should do is make sure the gathering space is clean. Your whole house doesn’t need to be on show but the rooms you plan on being in, should be clutter-free and clean. 
  • Welcome your Guest – Don’t shout out “come on in” Welcome them at the door. Show them where to put their purse or coat. Lead them into the room you’re gathering. Introduce them to others.
  • Turn off TV and Electronics – Focus on your guest!
  • Music - Put some background music on preferably something without lyrics such as jazz.
  • Scent - A candle, essential oils and the fireplace are extensions of a welcoming vibe. Light that candle and start that diffuser ahead of time so the aroma is the air when your guests arrive.
  • Lighting – Hosting during the day? Open your shades and let the natural light from the outdoors come through. A bright room is a welcoming room. Hosting in the evening? Set a calmer mood by closing the shades and dimming the lights.
  • Table Setting – Have your table set in a way that represents a special dinner. How do you do this? Tablecloths and Napkins, Nice Plates/Glassware, Chargers, candles, floral center piece and place cards. 
  • Drinks – Whether it is planned guest or just a friend stopping by, always offer your guests a drink within minutes of arrival.  I have a fridge exclusively intended for beverages. That way I always have something on hand to even offer the impromptu guest. The inventory of a good beverage fridge includes everything from Pellegrino’s, bottled water, to regular and diet sodas, juice boxes for little ones and of course beer and wine. 
  • Food - Food is the main component that brings people together. You don’t have to be a chef to be a good hostess. To assure a nice dinner, plan out your meal in advance. Avoid dinner mishaps by confirming any dietary restrictions of any guest prior to planning the dinner menu. Further, don’t attempt to try out a new recipe. It’s best to make a dish that you are familiar with and have already received rave reviews on. Keep some basic hostess type foods in your pantry for those impromptu, non-dinner gatherings. While you may have been a surprised visitor, it still would be polite to offer something small to eat should their stay continue past 30 minutes. I like to keep on hand a stash of crackers and a wedge of cheese so that I can make a quick basic cheese board for that unexpected visitor. I am also very guilty of having on hand break and bake chocolate chip cookies. Quick and easy to pop in the oven and who can resist a warm cookie while chatting?

Hospitality should not be stressful. There are no set requirements to qualify for being a good hostess other than having the heart of serving others. The showstopper of a home vibe and the skill of being an incredible cook is nothing, if you lack the heart of joyfully serving your guests. My wish for you is this, that you may experience the joy that comes in serving others and when your guests leave your gatherings, may they know they were nourished in their body and soul through your hospitality

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