Friday, January 24, 2014

Practicing Hospitality

So this year I am focusing on frugality, simplicity while practicing hospitality.  Now that can seem like an oxymoron but I hope to learn this year how to be hospitable without robbing our savings and not going nuts in the process.  I have a couple of books I've read in the past and will start reading again this year. 
Some of the ways to make hospitality easier is to have a notebook with various ideas, menus, info from previous attempts.  The purpose is to have all of this information in one place, easy to find and put into practice.  Another thing I think that will make practicing hospitality easier for me is to keep my home in a tidier state on an ongoing basis.  How many of us would love to have someone over but we panic at the thought of someone seeing our home.  I'm not talking about being Martha Stewart ready but still keeping my home tidy, picked up ready to receive guests at a moments notice. That will take work for me as I tend to be lazy.  And the food.................oh goodness.  Once again I'm not talking about being a sous chef but having some easy recipes and most important the ingredients for those recipes on hand at all times.  That will take some effort at the grocery store and may cost a bit more at first but I believe that this will even out in the long run. It can be as simple as some cans of soup and cheese slices for grilled cheese, to the ingredients for Mexican soup to spaghetti.  The list goes on and on.  Only we can decide what is a good/simple/tasty recipe to serve to others.  I don't believe that what we serve or how our home looks will be what our guests remember as much as how welcomed they felt in our home.  How many times have you visited someone and although their home was beautiful and the food lovely you kind of felt like you were a burden?  The hostess running around, talking about how much work they've done.  I don't know about you but that makes me feel guilty.  This has really happened to me a couple of times.  The hostess meant no harm by her remarks but I felt like I had put an extra burden on her and for that I felt guilty.  And homemade food?  Well if you are a great cook and that is your thing then go for it but I, myself, have no problem with using cut and slice cookie dough, frozen pizza or Country Time Lemonade.  Once again I think it is the thoughtfulness that counts.  If you choose to use paper products, go for it. I would not be insulted if you served me food on a paper plate but for me..........unless it's a large crowd, or unless I have some really beautiful, festive paper plates, I will use my Fiestaware.    I think it should be rather easy to have a couple of different types of beverages in our homes at all times.  Even if you don't drink soda you could find a deal on soda, buy it and have it ready, or mix up some of the Country Time.  And if you live in the south well folks down here love some good ole sweet tea.  Sweet tea is the wine of the south ya'll!!!  Keep some good smelling candles on hand or if you are concerned about allergies, keep some unscented candles on hand to light to give your home that "homey" light and feeling.  Scent is important to me. 
Well I think that is enough for now.
What suggestions do you guys have?  What has worked for you?  What hasn't?  Do you practice hospitality or intimidated by the thought? 

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