As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Monday, October 29, 2012

{31 Days of Hospitality} Day 29 ~ Make it a Family Affair

Not to Impress, But to Bless

Why not begin to make hosting a family affair?  

Even little ones can get bitten by the hospitality bug!  

I think it begins when we ourselves are excited about hosting.  A cheerful attitude is "caught" and hosting becomes an opportunity for creative expression and joyful service.

making appetizers

My girls want to have people over.  They can be heard saying, "Let's invite the J_'s over sometime," or "It's so much fun to have a party!"

Kati is no longer a child (in fact she is my right arm when we have guests!), but she has been hosting parties for years.  When she was fifteen, she planned her own birthday party, from choosing the theme to making favors to creating the centerpiece to baking her own birthday cake.  For several years, she has invited friends over for a Christmas party on a night that Ron and I are going out Christmas shopping.  And in August, she hosted a birthday tea for me!

birthday tea

When Bekah was quite young (5 or 6?), she wanted to arrange the biscuits on a bread tray.  I gave her the job and you should have seen how much care and attention she gave, placing each one in a gradually narrowing pyramid.  She was so proud of her work.  (You may remember that she is still interested in beautiful food. ~smile~)

Although children do not automatically know how to show hospitality, they can learn by being included.

Children can be given real responsibilities when you have people in your home.  

~ They can help you plan the table settings.  What color napkins shall we use this time?  Can you write the names on the place cards?  What do you think about the centerpiece?  Having practice in helping with these decisions is host/hostess training!

~ They can help you set the table.

~ They can help to prepare food.  As they work alongside you, they will learn about cooking.  But they will also learn your standards of cleanliness.  They will learn about menu planning and food presentation.    

~ They can take guests' coats and hats to the bedroom or closet.

~ They can take drink orders and either fill them or report to the person who is pouring drinks.

~ They can help with the clean-up.  Of course, that's no one's favorite job.  There is not a lot of room for creative expression in that one.  But it is a necessary part of service, and it is oh-so-helpful when everyone pitches in to clean up.  (Ron and Kati are quite skilled at this.  While I am spinning my wheels and going from one mess to another, they are able to focus on one area at a time and direct an orderly clean-up.  I usually just stop my spinning and ask, "What is the best thing for me to do right now?")

These are all ways that your children can be part of your family's service through hospitality.  Some things can be accomplished by the very young.  Some are more appropriate for an older child. But all children can learn to cheerfully do their part.   

From the time that they're old enough to arrange biscuits or place silverware or fold a napkin, children are old enough to join you in the act of hospitality.  Don't decline their help or criticize their efforts.  If you encourage, one day you will be thrilled to realize that you have co-hosts! 


  1. Oh, so true. And KNOW that your family and friends are in my prayers this morning as you ride out the storm with the Master in your "boat"!

  2. Oh me. Challenged again. I have such high, perfectionistic standards for table setting that I can not tolerate anyone to do it incorrectly. Ohhhhh...the things I have confessed here this month! You are right, of course, better to have it done improperly than not to allow it to be done by a child who is learning.

  3. When I asked my then 4 year old granddaughter to put utensils on the table, she was so pleased to have a "job" to do. They love to help at that age and it is good training. Love your hospitality series and hate to see it end. I have enjoyed every day's post.
    Blessings, Sharon D.

  4. I have found that to be true of my children! They love to host people at our home, and I know when they are older, they will host people in their own homes.


  5. So many good lessons here. Even now, I have to bite my tongue when someone volunteers to set the table for me. I like it "just so." But it's so important for children to feel included. Great post, Cheryl.


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