Wednesday, October 5, 2011
31 Days of Hospitality: Day 5 - Hospitality vs. Entertain
Entertain means to invite people to your home for a party, visit or meal. Pretty much the same as the definition of hospitality, right? Maybe that's what makes the thought of hospitality so daunting. Entertain sounds so elaborate, big, expensive.
Entertaining in your home is such a nice way to show people you care. When we moved to Arizona and started making friends I noticed that people just don't entertain at home here. You meet people at restaurants, even for parties. We came from a small, rural town in the south where opening up your home was the norm and I guess I just figured it was like that everywhere. I was a Pampered Chef consultant back in those days and continued to do that when we moved to AZ. It was here where I first encountered the hospitality roadblocks: my house is too small, too old, etc. At first I thought it was a nice way for someone to say that they didn't want to do a show. But it happened so often that I realized that might not be the case & they really believed that. When I stopped selling PC after LM was born and we joined the MOMS club and started getting involved in playgroups I realized that only a few people wanted to do playgroups at their home. The others had the sames reasons: house to small, too old, no pool (that's a big one here in the summer). Since it's a little hot to take small people to the park in the summer, playgroups ended up being at the same people's homes all the time. And while I love to entertain and my home is always open, that gets old after a while. As the years have gone by we've made new friends and luckily alot of them enjoy opening up their homes as well. I always find it more relaxing to enjoy dinner at home with friends and have time to chat afterwards and not feel like I am being rushed out of a restaurant.
Just because you are entertaining at your home doesn't mean you have to do all the work. Sometimes it's nice to provide the entire meal but so often potluck is the way to go. Maybe set up a theme to direct people to certain items: Mexican, Italian. Be creative and make it fun.
Remember that while entertain sounds so elaborate it's just the same as hospitality. So hopefully that will make it less intimidating to open up our homes a bit more often....