I don't really consider myself a natural at hospitality. Being an introvert on the most extreme end of the scale along with my job as a Mom to four very young children makes the idea of freely inviting friends and neighbors in on short notice exhausting to think about. Now don't get me wrong I love crafts and baking and decorating and throwing a well planned and executed party but hospitality, well that's another story.
We discussed the topic at my MOPS group this past year, the idea of being hospitable even when we are uncomfortable or tired or unprepared. The Bible tells us to open our home and serve without complaint and to use our gifts freely:
1 Peter 4:9-10
My husband is on the other end of the spectrum being an extreme extrovert he loves inviting people in on short, unexpected notice. It has been hard on our marriage at times for us to come to an agreement on how our family makes decisions on spending our time. I usually win out because I am the one running our home and so we miss out on opportunities to serve others and I so often wish that I was better and being more flexible and relaxed with the idea of inviting people in.
One of the women in the MOPS group suggested having a "tea box" stashed in the cupboard for those moments when someone pops by unannounced so that all you have to do is put the kettle on and open the box of goodies making an instant and easy spur of the moment visit less stressful and more about fellowship. That idea resonated with me in a big way. Part of the reason I get so nervous when things are unexpected is that feeling of being unprepared it makes me sweat and stress...and want to run and hide frankly :).
And so I decided to take that idea and turn it into a few hospitality kits that I can have on hand for when the moment strikes and I need something fun and easy to pull out and serve neighbors and friends. This first one is an ice cream sundae kit we put together as a family, all you do is add ice cream and it is an instant party! Here is what we did:
First we went to the store as a family. I picked up a dozen small canning jars and then we had fun picking and choosing our most favorite toppings for our kit. We also grabbed some hot fudge and caramel and some cherries for on top.
Then we went home and filled the jars with all the yummy things we bought. Crushed cookies and peanuts, marshmallows and gummy bears. It was super fun sampling everything too! Next I made a simple menu of all of the things we had put in the jars and bought for the kit. I printed it out and put it on a clip board to stash with the goodies along with a few cute trays for displaying the jars. Then I found a small carton and bag to store everything in the pantry.
This past weekend we had a chance to pull out our kit and bring it along for an impromptu BBQ. It was an instant party everyone crowding around oohing at ahhing as we open the jars and set them out on the trays. Honestly it was so easy and such a gift to share a big bowl of yummy ice cream with friends no stress involved I am actually looking forward to having a spur of the moment chance to use it again!
So do you consider yourself a natural at hospitality or do you have to work at it like me? Feel free to leave any ideas or tips in the comment section I would love it!