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Today, I am very pleased to welcome my pastor's wife, Sonya Piatt! She is speaking on being the perfect hostess. Enjoy her tips and thoughts!
The Perfect Hostess
What is the perfect hostess, exactly? Is she some fantastical “Susie Homemaker” or Emily Post or even June Cleaver? No! The perfect hostess is any lady who makes those around her feel as comfortable as she can. In fact, I believe you don’t even need to know much of anything about proper etiquette to be a great hostess.
One thing I loved about having my own home after I got married was having the opportunity to invite friends over for dinner or after church to hang out. I was still learning how to cook, so many of my first dinner parties were mainly composed of some sort of pasta. I’ve since learned a lot more about cooking and meal planning and have used many of those skills when entertaining.
Although skillful cooking is definitely an asset when hosting guests, it certainly isn’t the most important. The most important thing a hostess must be is hospitable. This is a Biblical principle for all believers and is actually a requirement of pastors.
People have lots of excuses for not doing this such as “my house is too small”, “my house isn’t very nice”, “I don’t know how to cook”, etc. However, what your house looks like or whether you can cook or not, is no reason not to be hospitable. Hospitality is something we should all strive to emulate.
How can we show hospitality? It is more than just opening our homes and inviting guests over. I believe part of being hospitable is making my guests feel at home as much as possible. One way I do this is, when my guests arrive and I’m putting the final touches on the meal, I invite the ladies to join me in the kitchen. We’ve had quite a few big parties at our house and the kitchen can get crowded pretty fast. But, it’s full of love and laughter and that’s a wonderful thing. Many of us love to offer help for our hostesses and when I’m allowed to help, I feel much more comfortable, especially when getting to know someone new. I try to do the same for my guests as well. It can be something as simple as taking drink orders, or, for a more familiar guest, helping with the salad, setting the table, or helping with clean up. I always enjoy the conversation when my guests join me in the kitchen, and the work goes much more quickly.
Another way of showing hospitality is looking for ways to make your guests feel special. You can do this by setting a pretty table and having soft music in the background. You don’t have to have fancy China and linens, either. If all you have are everyday dishes, or even paper plates and napkins, you can make your table lovely with some candles and a simple floral arrangement. I love, when visiting friends’ homes, to see how my hostess has arranged her table or laid out the food. It’s always fun to get some new ideas! It’s also fun to make a special dessert or a favorite dish that your guests really enjoy.
If you’re on a tight budget, don’t let it discourage you from inviting guests over. You don’t have to serve an entire meal. Just having friends over for dessert, coffee, and good conversation can go a long way to making them feel special. Also, you could host a potluck dinner party and invite several friends over at one time. Pick a theme and ask everyone to bring foods related to that. Keep the dishes a secret, making it a true “potluck.”
Hospitality is really an attitude of the heart, whether we are giving it or receiving it. It is truly for the purpose of making our friends, old and new, feel loved. Simply sharing a cup of coffee or a glass of southern sweet iced tea and an open heart can bring us closer to one another.
Though none of us will ever be the “perfect” hostess, we should never let that stop us from being hospitable and showing love to those around us.
Thank you, Sonya, for sharing with us today! Readers, even though we don't have a giveaway today, please leave your thoughts!