Friday, October 18, 2013

How to Be a Hostess with the Mostest

I have a sister and a few friends that I believe really know what it means to be a hostess. I think this may well be a lost art. When I was young, it seemed like our family regularly got invited to homes or invited other families to our home for dinner or dessert or after church on a Sunday night just to fellowship together. As a child and up into my teen years, I thought it was normal. I always enjoyed it and it seemed like everyone else did, as well. The older I have gotten, the more I realize that is no longer the norm. People have an isolation mentality - never invite anyone over and never get invited over. I can't quite put my finger on why, but I have a couple of speculations. 1)We're too busy and just value the little bit of time we do get with our family. 2)We aren't that interested in building relationships with people either for reasons I just mentioned or we just don't care. 3)We aren't comfortable with the size/look of our house enough to want to open our home to would-be friends. Or maybe it's another reason entirely. I know I want to be a better hostess and it's something I want my girls to learn early in life so that they, too, will be good hostesses when they grow up.

Here are a few tips to becoming the hostess you want to be!
  1. I heard my mother recently say, "Never let the size of your house be the reason you don't have people over." - Truer words have never been spoken. I think that may be one reason I've not had people over as much as I should have. My house doesn't have a whole lot of space, but I realized earlier this summer that it's able to hold more people than I thought when we had about 25-30 college kids/leaders over. The size doesn't really matter to anyone else. It's just a big deal to us because we want everyone to be comfortable and have plenty of space, etc. But, think about it - you're not asking them to move in. You're just having people over to enjoy some food and fellowship together for a few hours. The important thing is that you're opening your home to friends and making memories with them. I have so many fond memories of going to lots of people's homes for dinner as a child. I want my kids to have those same memories. And if you're not being invited, start inviting people to your house! Be THAT friend.
  2. It doesn't have to cost a fortune. You can keep it cheap while feeding a crowd. There are lots of things you can do and still stay in your budget. I don't think it's tacky to invite a group of people over and ask them to contribute a small part of the meal. If you're having hamburgers/hot dogs, provide the main parts of the meal and ask your friends to bring sides and dessert. Most friends will offer to bring something anyway. Or plan ahead and come up with a low-cost meal {read about that here} and you'll be able to afford the whole meal. {Think chili, nacho bar, taco bar, etc.}
  3. People appreciate and notice the small details. My sister is amazing at this. Her special meals/events are full of small details that don't break the bank. Whether it's just little accents here and there for a little girls party or Easter dinner, she's always making it extra special with little details. Little details say, "I care about you. I'm so happy to have you here." They are very welcoming and help people feel at home. I have another friend who's very good at this, too, but she doesn't have a blog. I know that I always notice and appreciate that little bit of time and effort they put into it. I want to be more like them. I want friends to feel very welcome and feel like the special guest that they are when they come into my house.
  4. Just invite people over. Plan it. Get it on the calendar. Make it your goal to invite at least one family or couple over for dinner or dessert within the next month. Then, make it happen. You'll have fun doing it. Get into the habit of hospitality and who knows? Maybe you'll start a new trend.
Do you have people over often? Have you been invited over lately? Who are you going to invite to your house soon? If you've been reading my 31 Days series, you know I have a lot of things I'm trying to work on because I want to be a better manager of my home. Being hospitable may be at the top of my list. It's another gift I want to pass down to my girls.

This is part of my 31 Days of Home Economics series. You can find the whole series at the tab above {Home Economics}.

Thank you for coming by to visit with me. I'm sharing this with a few of these friends. Y'all come back now, ya hear?
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  1. Very good points! I love this--and not because you mentioned me :) thanks for the kind words- reminds me that I need to do more of this, too!

  2. This was a great read! We do entertain but not as much as we should....Thanks for the reminder :)

    1. Thank you for visiting! Hope you'll come back soon! This series has been a good challenge to me as I revisit the key elements of home economics. Who I want to be and the goals I need to set to get there. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Ever since we retired we have been entertaining a lot. We invite people over for coffee, for lunch, and for dinner parties. Sometimes just one couple, sometimes 2 or 3 couples -- it's always fun and I've learned to streamline. But I always make a point of making them feel welcome and to have little extra touches to show I've planned for them (and that includes in the powder room too. :)

  4. I like #3. Love is in the details and people appreciate them. : ) Great post.

    1. Thanks! I'm still working on becoming the hostess I want to be. A little bit of love goes a long way. :)


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