Saturday, October 1, 2011
31 Days of Hospitality: The Real Day 1-Inviting others to join your holiday celebration
Since this is really day one of the 31 Days series I made my title 'the real day 1'. Okay, that's out of the way so let's get started.
My first post of this series listed a couple of the many definitions I found of the word hospitality: the generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests. I like that one. Most of the definitions were pretty much saying the same thing but with different words. We all have our own idea of what hospitality is. Our ideas come from our own experiences; watching our parents and grandparents opening up (or not) their homes for friends and family at different times. I am sure we all have memories of holidays at certain relatives' homes, Sunday dinners, birthday parties, etc.
When I think back to my own memories of hospitality I am happy to say that I had friends and family that were very hospitable and I feel like I am the same way. When I was living away from family I always had friends who were happy to include me in their family holidays. Their hospitality sure was better than sitting at home watching a movie and eating a tv dinner alone!
It's always fun to have an 'outsider' at your holiday table. They bring different stories and experiences to the day. Maybe you won't have to listen to Grandpa Stan's war stories one more time! When I invite others to spend a holiday with us they usually ask what they can bring. The easy answer for me is always 'just bring yourself'. But I have found that when people offer to bring something they usually do so because they want to (and they have manners). For years now I have been asking them to bring something they would normally eat if they were at home for the holiday (the holiday can be Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, even the 4th of July-we all have traditions). I like to think that makes our guest seem more at home.
As the holiday season comes upon us it's nice to remember those who are far from home. Invite a friend or two who will not be able to travel home for the holiday to join your family. Ask them to bring a dish that is traditional to them. Your own holiday will be richer as will your friend's.