“Eating, and hospitality in general, is a communion,
and any meal worth attending by yourself is improved
by the multiples of those with whom it is shared.”
Have you noticed when you gather for a meal with friends, the food always tastes better? Eaten alone, food is nutritious…it feeds the body, not the soul. But, eaten in community, it is a communion, where body and soul are fed.
That’s the point of hospitality. It’s a shared table.
It might mean taking what you have prepared and offering it to someone in need. Or it might entail opening your home. It’s the sharing that gives meaning to the meal and value to the individuals partaking.
Recently we were unable to get together with our small group for a few weeks. The season was coming to an end and I decided to invite the group to my home for a potluck. Actually there wasn’t much luck involved. The group decided what they were going to bring so that we didn’t have five desserts. Though, I do think that would have been fantastic. Okay…maybe I’d prefer if it were five salads.
It all started with a package of napkins. The hospitality, that is.
This was a last minute kind of get together. Sometimes those are best. Plus, when the guests are involved in bringing food, that really takes a lot of pressure off the hostess. Often I like to prepare the whole meal. But, I’m learning that I have more fun if I don’t do it all. It gives me energy to be creative with other things….like the table setting.
Since I am on a zero spending budget these days, the first thing I needed to do was decide what I was going to do about napkins. A gal has to start somewhere and often this is the place to begin. There would be ten of us around the table. What did I have ten of? And then I remembered. Last fall I had a spider-themed table setting. At that time I saw some napkins at the store that were black with white polka-dots and bought them because they were inexpensive, thinking they would work. Later I came across some black napkins with orange dots with spiders and of course, those were the ticket. But, the black and white ones became a part of my stash.
I love to set a pretty table. Not to show off. Partly for the fun and creativity of it. And mostly because I find that guests are truly blessed and valued when they sit down to a lovely table. Of course I enjoy the compliments. But, even more, it does set the tone for the dinner, especially if there is a fun element to the tablescape.
With black and white polka-dotted napkins in hand, my mind started racing through the possibilities and finally I settled on this….a super simple table set with Clear Glass Plates, crystal goblets, flatware, and of course, polka-dot napkins.
For fun, I placed the napkins in the water goblets and added water carafes to the table when it was time for dinner. Even that little change made one less thing for me to do.
With this polka-dot theme, what was I going to do for my table decor? And then it hit me. Those snowball blossoms were like giant polka-dots. So, I grabbed a few vintage water glasses from the cupboard, added water, and white polka-dots, um…snowball blossoms.
The center of the table had a line of snowballs with crystal dessert bowls in between holding tea light candles. Another polka-dot effect.
There was one more thing to do. I grabbed my round punches from the studio and punched out a pile of white dots. A few were strewn down the center of the table. And then for fun, I placed five dots, randomly, under the Clear Glass Plates. I have to say, my guests loved it!! They thought they had polk-dotted plates until they picked them up to take through the buffet. There were some good laughs.
Do you have to do all this to exercise hospitality? No. But, if you have the gift of creativity or hospitality, I think those gifts are meant to be shared and are as important as the food.
Why? Because this gathering in community is about feeding the soul as well as the stomach. And though the stomach may be satiated for a few hours, the soul is renewed and restored in community and feels satisfied for much longer.
Have you been thinking it might be good to gather some friends for a meal? Let me encourage you to host a potluck. Host it outside if that is easier for you. Whatever you do…think about the community and the communion to feed both the body and the soul. And know that your hospitality is as important as the food served. Maybe more.
Don’t forget to throw in a little fun or whimsy. It could be polka-dots. Or it could be some fun craft project the kids put together. Or if you have time, check out Pinterest for ideas. Whatever it is…it will bless your guests and help them to feel loved and valued. And that is the joy of hospitality.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on hospitality….
- Does the idea of opening your home scare you?
- Do you have some tips that make it easy for you to entertain?
- What’s your favorite part of hosting a gathering?
- What’s your least favorite part of entertaining?
- When was the last time you opened your home?
- What keeps you from exercising hospitality?
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Wishing you An Extraordinary Day!
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I am an Amazon Affiliate and for your convenience I have added a link to the Clear Glass Plates I used in the tablescape. I have used them for many parties and have been pleased with them. If you choose to purchase them through my link here, I may receive a very small commission. Thank you for your support.