This week’s guest post is from Tara. She is a fellow blogger and her website I dream of Simple is a wonderful blog about what really matters in live. Today she wrote about how to actually enjoy hospitality during the holidays, she also created a wonderful hospitality toolkit for you, that you can sign up for and download for FREE! Have fun & enjoy this great read.
Tara Dubiel is a wife and mom to 2 kiddos. She writes at www.idreamofsimple.com all about clearing the clutter from our homes in order to live a more intentional and meaningful life. Connect with her on social media and say “hi!”
For most of us the holidays are a busy time of year. It can quickly get overwhelming with all the parties and gifts and food and cleaning and on and on.
The holidays are also known as a time of year for hosting dinner guests and out of town family members.
This is supposed to be a happy and joyous time of year, right?! Who doesn’t want to spend quality time with their family and friends?
I know I do! Especially now that I live out of state, I can’t wait to see everyone over the holidays.
But this time of year also has a funny way of
causing even the most organized person a little (or a lot) of stress!
The thought of cleaning, cooking, and entertaining all those people can be overwhelming, to say the least.
The goal of this post is to help you simplify the process of hosting guests in your home and actually enjoy spending time with your loved ones.
But before I get there, I want to first back up and look at the definition of hospitality:
“The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.”
That sounds nice, doesn’t it?
What stands out to me in that definition is “generous reception.” Hospitality gives us a chance to bring people into our homes and openly pour out our love to them. Additionally, it gives us a chance to make our loved ones truly feel special and welcomed in our home.
This quote from Shauna Niequist really hits the nail on the head:
“The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It’s about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.” ― Shauna Niequist, Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes
Now onto the tips!
7 ways to simplify hospitality during the holidays
Lower your expectations
“As a host, you set the tone, and you set it right away. It’s so easy to get carried away with an ambitious menu…Terrible plan. Everyone would rather have a simpler meal and a happier host.” ― Shauna Niequist, Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes
I love this quote! It reminds me that if I expect perfection I will be sorely disappointed.
Remember back to the definition of hospitality. The whole point is to be generous with others, not to impress them.
When I think back to the times I am the guest, what I remember and cherish the most is the good conversation and laughs spent in community. I don’t even usually notice if the bathroom wasn’t cleaned or that the dinner wasn’t 3 courses.
Lower those expectations. Your people are there to spend time with you, not judge your homemaking skills!
Practice self care
This piece is critical. If you want to be able to pour out to others, you need to be filled up yourself. Do whatever this looks like for you. Read a book, take a bubble bath, or go for a walk. At the very least take a few deep breaths!
For more ideas check out the Simple Hospitality Toolkit below!
“Hospitality isn’t about inviting people into our perfect homes, it’s about inviting them into our imperfect hearts.” – Edie Wadsworth
What a fantastic reminder! When I have guests coming over I focus mainly on the visible clutter.
If there is clutter everywhere, even decorations, it can feel claustrophobic or uncomfortable to guests.
A simple decluttering will help create the appearance of simple home. This in turn creates an atmosphere of hospitality.
In terms of actual cleaning, I recommend only cleaning what people will see. This is not the time to tackle a big decluttering or deep cleaning project!
Create a simple meal plan ahead of time
“Our goal, remember, is to feed around our table the people we love. We’re not chefs or restaurateurs or culinary school graduates, and we shouldn’t try to be. Make it the way the people you love want to eat it.” ― Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes
I try to think about what the meal plan will look like ahead of time. This way I can be sure to have the necessary groceries before the guests arrive.
But be prepared for changes along the way! Your gang may want to go out to eat when you had planned for a different meal. Just go with the flow! You can throw whatever you had planned to make in the freezer or plan to have it the next night.
Simplify your decorations
We want our home to have an inviting atmosphere and not be overwhelming to our guests.
Sometimes a ton of decorations (although they look awesome to you!) can just get in the way if you have extra people in your house as well. This might be the time to stick to your absolute favorite pieces and keep the rest for next year or after your guests depart.
If people offer to bring something for dinner or help out around your home, let them! This is not a time to be proud or try to do it all. Plus doing the dishes with your friend or sister can be a great time to catch up one-on-one. 🙂
Think outside the box
When we think of hospitality we usually think of having people over to our house for dinner or an overnight stay. But that is not the only way to practice hospitality!
If you have a small space or just don’t want to have people at your house, but you still want to be hospitable during the holidays, that is perfectly fine! Try to think of other ways you can show kindness and love. Here are a few ideas I came up with:
- Offer to babysit for a friend or relative
- Welcome friends and family when they show up unexpectedly
- Be kind and courteous to strangers – you could even volunteer at a soup kitchen in your area
- Help out your neighbors: take them a plate of cookies or dinner, rake their leaves, or just sit and chat.
Simple Hospitality Toolkit
As a thank you for reading this post I put together a Simple Hospitality Toolkit for you to enjoy! I hope that when used in conjunction with this post, the toolkit will inspire you to think about hospitality in a different way this year. I hope that you are able to simplify your preparations and truly enjoy this special time of year.
What is included in the Simple Hospitality Toolkit?
- 2 printables of my favorite quotes on hospitality to remind you of the purpose behind hospitality.
- “8 Steps to Clear the Clutter” checklist.
- A list of 20 self care ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
- A list of simple meal ideas to feed a crowd. This includes ideas for breakfast, lunch and snacks as well.
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