True hospitality is something I want to grow in. Opening my heart and home, when both can be unprepared and busy, is something I want to become a regular habit. As I make more connections in our new city I want women and families to know that our home is a safe place they can come to when they need time to recover from life’s recent blow; I want them to know there will always be coffee available and a listening ear present.
But there are genuine problems with having an open house. Budgets can be tight, dishes can be dirty, to-do lists a mile long, and personalities shy. Sometimes, we struggle with knowing how to do it all — how do I show hospitality when my grocery budget is tight? How do I open my home when my husband works irregular shifts?
I’ve been there and along the way I’ve discovered a few tricks which help calm my nerves (hosting is not my strength), stretch my budget, and create memories with people I’ve come to love.
My secret? Set a theme. If there is time to plan ahead, setting a theme gives me a goal and game-plan I can focus on. I don’t quite feel confidant in cooking regular meals for guests — I’m still learning what Dalton likes and doesn’t like! 😀 Setting a theme takes away the guess work.
My husband and I have the best fun creating themes for when people come over. Personally, I’ve found it is so much easier (and affordable) to plan the menu and nights activities around a set theme; plus, telling your guests to expect Hawaiian Night, Game Night, or Italian Night creates a lot of fun anticipation.
Here are some of the themes you could do easily (and affordably):
Breakfast for Dinner can be such a fun idea. Plan on buying pop-up biscuits (or making your own from scratch) and sausage then make a giant skillet full of gravy for a delicious meal of Biscuits and Gravy. You can feed a large gathering with a gallon of milk, a cup of flour, sausage and biscuits. Or, breakfast can be as simple as a large bowl of scrambled eggs sprinkled with cheese, orange juice concentrate made into a gallon, and toast.
Plus, it’s so fun to have breakfast for dinner!
Make your own pizza night was a real treat we experimented with a few months back. While shopping at Aldi, we picked up pre-made crusts (which included sauces), pepperoni, sausage to fry, a can of mushrooms, and two different cheeses. I sauteed the onions I already had on hand.
Then, we created an assembly line of all the ingredients with one person in charge of rotating the personalized pizzas in and out of the oven. Prepare a side salad and the evening is sure to be an easy success! (Especially if your guests bring a giant bowl of iced watermelon and icecream!) Yum!
A soup and style of bread makes an excellent, filling meal to share. Meal ideas can include large pots of chili with a side of cornbread, Italian soup coupled with fresh baked Italian bread, or Vegetable soup with buttered white bread. These ideas are so easy to make and very affordable; with little hassle you’ve warmed everyone with hot bowls of soup and bread. And know you can focus on what really matters, relationships.
Cereal Feast was something we did this week and loved. (Dalton’s idea!) Dalton and I rarely have cereal in the house so for a special treat we decided to ask our guests for their favorite cereal type. The menu was simple: five different cereals and scrambled eggs sprinkled with Italian sausage, coffee and iced water. What a fun night! We had a blast playing games with our friends while I loved having the easy prep work. Later, we sent everyone home with their favorite box. It was so fun!
How do you best show hospitality? Are you a coffee and dessert gal? Or is preparing a full menu more your thing? Do you feel hospitality is something you could grow in or are you a pro? Let’s share with each other in the comments below — I love to hear your thoughts!
Creating themes for your events is a fun, affordable way to bring people into your home without losing focus on what really matters: having fun, growing relationships, and glorifying Christ by serving others.
Love, blessings, and coffee,