Having folks over…does it cause you to worry and fret? Tremble in your flip flops? What is the secret to having folks over? Welcome, welcome and welcome. Giving the gift of welcome and hospitality. Do you wrap it up like a gift or toss something down. Do you add the extra ribbon that speaks to your guest, I planned for you, I wanted you here. Welcome?
Years of places and years of experiences from flops and trembling to not so much any more. Yep, sometimes I still do fret and worry.
Welcome is the most important thing I can do as the hostess, as the gift giver. Welcome! If you have not been welcomed how can you ever relax and well, feel welcome? Did I try to hard; did I do too much, too little. Does it have the look that says I want to impress or that I tried way too hard. Dos it strike just the right note? A welcome will strike the right note and say I wanted you here. I want to give you this gift.
Each week we meet with a very special group of people who are committed to learning to live and work together in a faith community. We float from house to house. We are learning to intertwine our lives with each other. And ministry happens over the table around ice cream in the living room, side by side. We depart from each other refreshed ready to do the dailies and minister when the opportunity is there. That looks different at different times in our lives. We are all committed to minister in His Name. A mom with babies and toddlers, a professional who is single, young couple, old couple, all of us.
My mom set the stage for welcome and having folks over. She and Daddy taught me with actions and almost no words. It was who we were.
Four practical things I have learned about serving meals and refreshments to a crowd or to a few.
One, never ever tryout a new recipe! Cultivate several go to easy peasy menus. Mine include a few casseroles, my own made up dishes and the traditional meat, starch, veggie, salad, bread ones. Will I ever forget the night I rescued my guests from a chocolate dish tossing it straight into the trash after I took a bite? It was just plain awful! It was a new reciepe. I chose it t be showy for the other officer wives, to impress. I say again, it was awful!
Two, must haves are white plates. Lots of them, stacks of them! Well, maybe not stacks depending. In our East Asia home, I had about 50 white plates. They were regularly used! And very often all of them were used! Our home was an open door, welcome to our home, have a meal kind of place. Lots of ministry took place over our table. My mom told me every home needs a set of white dishes! Even before marriage I had plain cream dishes and fancied them up or down with extras. Mom gave me a set of white. They match my Haviland white and blue china.
A whole set is nice in addition to some serving dishes. You need plates when you have people for a meal. Plain white plates are very affordable and easy to add on if you use other china. If your wedding china is cream, maybe cream plates are the way to go. Most folks don’t notice but when it all goes together, they notice even if they don’t have any idea why the table is so inviting. Personally, I rarely use paper plates. I do not have anything again them. I just don’t use them.
I have lots of dishes not just because I like them but because I need them!
Three, don’t let your pantry or freezer get empty too often. The day the cupboards are bare will be the day hospitality and welcome will be most needed.
Four, stop what you are doing and go welcome your guests! I’ll say that again. Stop what you are doing and go to your guests to welcome them into your home!
This particular night meeting included a few extra special guests so I served more. Love Princess made some cupcakes. i wasn’t here to check in and she is not yet that experienced. The cupcakes fell flat and did not cook properly. My oven is turning tempermental! Off to the Giant. Fresh fruit is alwasy a great option. Veggie sticks and sharp cheddar cubes.
As I was putting it up, my son and friends commented on how pretty it all looked. In my mind, I just piled the fruit on the square platter. A little effort goes a long way. A white platter or plate to showcase the color of summer fruit. What could be easier? THe cupcake tree was a bargain from TJ Maxx, on sale. So cute!
As much as I love to put the “beautiful” in setting buffet or table, it is all for nothing if there is not some welcome and caring and consideration in it for the guests and for the family members who usually are working along side you. Just like we love a gift given in a pretty wrap, so give the gift of welcome and hospitality to your guests in a pretty wrap too.
Blessings, Linda I am participating in Tablescape Thursdays over at http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/