Friday, April 23, 2010

Hospitality Challenge, Week 5-6

from Carrie

Scary looking, isn't it?

I don't know about you - but I don't think I've ever set the table this way in my life. No matter how many times my mother tried to grill this fact into me - I STILL have to ask my husband which side of the plate the forks go on! It's inconsequential information to me and I don't seem to want to waste the brain space on it.

Offering hospitality to others is a fearful thing to some people, partly because there are manners involved and sometimes you don't exactly know (or remember) what they are.

So this week your challenge is to practice on the people who matter to you the most - your family! No stress, no worries. Just create a festive looking table some night for dinner. Figure out what works and what doesn't for place settings on the table that you have. Try a new recipe that you think you might like to serve for a group. Make sure it works. Just work on your hospitality at home, within the home, and in order to bless those you live with on a daily basis.

I don't know about you all, but when I make a fun deal out of setting the table especially for my kids - they get excited and the whole meal is more pleasant, fun and interesting. So just try something new and work on fine tuning yourself and the "things" you have on hand to work with (i.e., special dining ware, cloth napkins, candles, etc.) in preparation for opening your home to others!

***
I did this this past week with my family and we had our own little Alice in Wonderland party which was a lot of fun! We plan to do more family parties in the very near future as a result of this experience.

7 comments:

  1. Here's the funny part about manners on the West Coast: everyone's family does things a little bit different. For instance, I tend to set the fork, knife, and spoon on the right side on the napkin...this is how my family set our family dinner table. DAVE, on the other hand, always set the fork on the left with the napkin and the spoon and knife on the right. It's funny how it rankles his senses when I set the table my way!!

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  2. I prefer "homey" to "fancy" as far as dinners go. I'm thankful when people have me over when they treat it like any family dinner...makes me feel more welcome and comfortable. I try to do the same.

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  3. Isn't it funny how doing something special at a meal is different for every family? I love your suggestions - candles, special dinner ware, cloth napkins. I was just thinking about what I could do to spruce up my dine-in kitchen. I was considering getting new curtains and a table cloth. Then my 3 yr old spilled her milk all over the table and I remembered why I DON'T use a table cloth. :)

    I would love to use your suggestions but am wise enough to know that candles on my tiny table with a 6, 5, 3, and 17 month old is not a good idea. :) So, to occasionally make our meals special means we change locations. My kids get to sit on the floor in the living room to eat pizza and watch a video every Friday night. It's a BIG deal to them because all other meals are eaten at the kitchen table.

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  4. Yes, with little kids I certainly wouldn't recommend candles. We'd spend the whole meal either watching the candle or shooing kids away from them. (We skipped the candles!)

    We "picnic" around the house as well - mostly at lunch time when Daddy's not here (as he prefers sitting at a table for his meals!) But it's always a great treat.

    The point of the challenge is simply this - do something DIFFERENT and practice for others. In my opinion, it is honoring to the people you are inviting into your home to treat them as if you are so excited to have them there. Laying out special things is one way I do that.

    Depending on the friends, they typically chip in with the kitchen work and we all sit down to a fun meal. I like giving dinners a party feel. Why? Because life is too short not to celebrate it.

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  5. Here's a little trick I figured out on my own to remember where the fork and spoon go...

    F-O-R-K has 4 letters.... it goes on the L-E-F-T, which also has 4 letters

    S-P-O-O-N has 5 letters... it goes on the R-I-G-H-T, which also has 5 letters

    Pretty simple, huh? And, yes, I'm a homeschooling mom of little ones which is pretty evident by now, huh? :)

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  6. I am really enjoying this blog! Place settings were on the brain the other day, and this is a really timely post! :-) It seems that hospitality and 'etiquette' training are a lost art these days, doesn't it (or maybe it's just me)?? I was just speaking about that with one of my girlfriends at a Bible Study the other day what a lack of 'training' we get on that in this day and age... Guess one by one, we can try to change that! Love what you are doing with your blog!!

    Blessings on your week ahead,
    Katie

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