Day 2: Lists for Hospitality
- Organize Your Attitude
- Organize the People
- Organize the Food
- Organize Your Preparations
- Organize Your Evening
For the rest of the week we will focus on organization techniques to simplify the most common sort of hospitality: having people over for dinner.
First List: People to Invite
Have you ever looked around church Sunday morning or heard a name come up in conversation and thought, “Oh, we really should have them over.” Often, these thoughts come and go and they never stick around long enough to be acted upon.
If you keep a household binder, a planner or address book with notes section, or an app or program with your lists, you should have spot for hospitality related notes and lists. The first list to start is a list of the people you would like to or that you “should” have over. This includes not just those families who are friends whom you owe a dinner in return, but also those people whom you know need friends and those in the church with whom you have a harder time “clicking.” Hospitality is not about maintaining our own social circles or comfort zones, but about extending the love of Christ to those who need it.
On this list or in your address book or contact program, you can also note any food intolerances or other information to make social meals less awkward.
Second List: People Hosted
It is also handy to keep a running list of people you’ve had over, including the date and what you served. I’m always surprised looking back over this list to see that it’s actually been 4 months since we had that new family from church over, even though it seems like only a couple weeks ago. Perhaps they need to be added back to the “people to invite” list! It’s easy to remember to have the new family over, but often that new family still feels new and uninitiated months later, after all the dinner invitations have dried up.
Besides the name and date (I only note the month and year), it is helpful to list what you served for dinner. This isn’t just for the pride-saving reason that you not serve the same thing twice to the same people, but also to jog your memory of what you can serve on such occasions. Not only will you eventually have a nice reference here of meals that work well for hospitality, but you’ll also have something to jog your memory in different seasons. As we move from grilling season to soup season and then back around, it can be difficult to remember what meals you make that fit the weather. After a year or two of keeping a list, though, you’ll have a nice personalized reference list.
As you add these lists to your files or binder, you might also be interested in checking out my previous series on Digital Home Management. And, don’t forget, in October I’ll be writing a whole 31 Days series on GTD for the homemaker & homeschooler. You can sign up to receive new posts by email so you don’t miss that!