We discussed how important hospitality is and why we girls should be exercising it, and so here are some tips on how to do this practically. If you have any suggestions or ideas from how your mom hosts events, please feel free to do share them! 🙂
Ten Tips on how to be a Great Hostess
1) Chose your theme and group: Structure and purpose can be extremely helpful in making sure the evening is enjoyable for everyone. Both you and your guests can look forward to the event, understanding what to expect and knowing what will be expected in return. For example, a simple get-together of chatting over goodies will be faced much differently from a formal dinner or even a birthday party. Also, knowing exactly who you are going to invite, and making a list of how many to expect will make the set-up for your event much simpler.
2) Welcome them…really. Greeting someone with a warm smile and genuine welcome can go a long way. Treat your company like they are your favorite relative – not a piece of China! It is said that the people you meet will have formed their impression of you in under ten seconds, so make the most of that fleeting moment! Even if these are people that you have known for your whole life, give them a welcome that makes them feel special – that is the reason why you invited them!!
3) Use names: Your company is made up of individuals with names. They aren’t nameless creatures. Being pointed (though obviously not creepy) in using a person’s name can personalize the interaction. Especially if you’re meeting new people, calling a person by their name can make them feel welcomed and valued. Also, using their name will keep it fresh in your memory (if that is something you struggle with).
4) Observe: Pay attention to what is going on around you. Keep a short mental list of what requires attendance and remember that things will be constantly changing. Watch the subtle (even unconscious) movements of your guest for clues on how to best serve them. You know how moms always seem to know what is going on? Well, maybe we can take notes on that…. 😉
5) Be proactive: Don’t wait for the juice jug to empty before you fill it, or for the guest to have to hunt up a cloth to clean up a mess. Be ready to jump up with a ready smile and attend to things before they become amiss or reach the point of awkwardness. This can also entail steering a conversation away from a potentially turbulent topic and directing it those things that encourage and bless the whole group.
6) Give equal attention: Make sure everyone in the room is included (this may require mingling a bit depending on the event). You invited all these people, so make sure you speak with each one, and be sure to include everybody in the set activities. This may take more planning before the event to make sure everyone is able to participate. DO NOT let anyone feel like they were born to be a wallflower!!
7) Laugh Easily: With all the hostess responsibilities to keep in mind, it is easy to get stressed out. Just writing these tips can make hospitality look altogether too daunting! However, you are the hostess, you are in charge, you can do this, and YOU set the atmosphere of the occasion! No frowns, tears, frantic running, excuses or otherwise unsettling displays allowed. 😉 Play fitting music, inspire an up-beat attitude, and SMILE!
8) Be flexible: This is sometimes hard to take if you are like me and need things done in a certain way. But we need to remember that the guest has a heart; they want to help and demonstrate their gratefulness. So, accept help and input from your group. Don’t freak out if they suddenly pop into the kitchen or stand up to help clear the room. Be gracious, look at this as more time to spend with them individually and be sure to thank them for it!
9) Do breezy tidying: Do NOT stress out and try deep cleaning while visiting. It is distracting for the guest and can turn the atmosphere of the room sour in an instant. Be okay with crumbs on the carpet or a finger-smudged window. Moving through the room and subtly righting a few things is ok, but nobody should have to stop talking in order for you to beat the rug or wash dishes. 😉
10) Do not try something new: Avoid potential disaster unless you know you can have a great time doing something different even if it flops. 😉 If that is the case, just make sure you have a plan B set and ready to go. The whole event should be fun and enjoyable for everyone – especially the hostess!
Well, there you are, girls! Ten tips that we can use in striving to be a godly hostess. We all want to be great at this, but ultimately, these skills are to be used for God’s glory. In the end, our heart’s desire is for them to have seen Christ in us, not just how amazing we can be. Also, this is something I thought I’d lump in. Look for hospitality everywhere. Initiating a girls shopping date, a brief visit over coffee, inviting siblings into (gasp) your room, etc. Have an open attitude in sharing your time and resources with others – and make those times memorable. 🙂
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” – Hebrews 13:2
Ps: Kathleen was reading over this post for me, reached the last tip and said “What, don’t try something new?! You should say instead ‘Have a plan B'” What wonderful differences even sisters can have 😉