10.12.10

On Entertaining . . .

Since we bought a double bed for Miss A, I've felt much more able to invite folks to spend the night with us. Now, we had a fabulous couch, but only one person can sleep on a couch (usually) and it doesn't afford much privacy. I feel very blessed to have Miss A's room available at a moment's notice (sort of) for anyone in need of a place to sleep. It has also spurred some thoughts about hospitality and houseguests especially.

We've had the pleasure of staying with so many wonderful families and friends who have made us feel more than welcome and comfortable and I thought jotting down some things I've observed/am learning/need to do would help me and hopefully someone else. I am, however, slanted in the parental perspective with my kiddos being so young. Here goes!

1. Ample towels. Some people just need two bath towels. It is a nice gesture to provide the towels in cute little bundles or baskets, but do make sure that either you supply plenty per person or let your guests know where the towels are.

2. Soap in the bath as well as access to basic toiletries they may have forgotten, plus a place to stow personal toiletries in the bathroom (if there is room).

3. A lamp in the bedroom! Very, very important. I know some folks are all about harsh overhead lighting, but your guests may have an aversion to the light or be rooming with their children and need some sort of low light in the room if they go to bed after the kids. (No stumbling about in the dark while trying to get ready for bed). A night light is a good thing.

4. Some means of climate control. A fan, encouragement to open a window and access to extra blankets. I have this vague memory of blindly digging through someone's closet in the middle of the night desperate for a blanket to warm my freezing body.

5. A water glass or bottled water for the bedroom. No stumbling around in someone's strange kitchen in the middle of the night.

6. Ample pillows.

7. At the beginning of the visit, let folks know the general schedule of your household. "We usually get up around seven, but you are more than welcome to sleep later." Or, "we sleep in on Saturdays, but if you are up before us, here is the cereal, coffee, etc . . " Make sure your guests know that they are welcome to stay up later than you, etc . . .

8. Particularly with children who are not always adaptable to a new schedule and meal routine, do encourage your guests to help themselves to snacks and beverages. If there are certain things you are saving, say so, but make sure your guests are able to care for their children and selves. I remember staying with some folks who ate breakfast very late in the morning and our kiddos were hungry way before it was even begun. We huddled in our room feeding them peanut butter crackers so they could survive until breakfast.

9. House rules are helpful to know. "We don't eat on the couch" or "no shoes on the carpet" help considerate guests be considerate!

10. Depart when you say you are. (if you are a guest). There is nothing so awkward for a hostess who needs to feed children or put them down for naps and is still entertaining guests who were supposed to leave hours before.

11. Focus on the people. A friend shared this philosophy of entertaining: "I get the house cleaned and neat, enjoy the people while they are here and we can always clean up tomorrow." I like that. Naturally, things have to be done while guests are at your house (especially overnight guests), but the priority should be people.

1 comment:

Joey and Elizabeth said...

Love it :) We have LOTS to learn/work on for sure! We love having guests & we do hope y'all come this way again :)