So you're embarrassed your living room doesn't look like the most recent cover of House Beautiful magazine?
Perhaps your kitchen countertop is so small it can barely accommodate a mixing bowl, let alone stage a gourmet buffet. Maybe you don't have enough matching chairs to seat a party of six.
Stop the excuses. Fear no more. The summer solution for hospitality is here! Open your back door and entertain "alfresco." Not alfredo. Alfresco! Which means (for us hospitality novices) "in the great outdoors or in the open air."
The good news about sharing the outside of your home is you don't need to fret over the inside. Clear the cobwebs from your front entrance. Give the bathroom a quick wipe down and you're ready! Greet your guests at the front door and escort them out the back for the party.
Of all the things my husband, Bill, and I do together, extending hospitality is among our favorites. We get to be together, spend time with people we enjoy, and never leave home! It also forces us to focus on the task at hand and prepare as a team.
Proverbs 11:25 says, "Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed" (NLT). That's so true! When the party's over, we feel good knowing we've worked together to encourage others. And we're grateful for friends with whom to share life.
Besides all that, sharing the tasks and joys of hospitality has actually strengthened our partnership.
So, ready to give it a try? Start with these tips for stress-free, summer hospitality.
Be spontaneous. With our busy schedules, sometimes the best way to gather a few friends is impromptu. If you and your mate have a free evening, be impulsive and call some friends or neighbors to come over for a "spur of the moment" supper. Buy subs or have pizza delivered. Recently we dropped by on a Sunday afternoon to visit some friends in their new home. They invited us to stay for a casual outdoor supper. We ordered pizza. Our friends whipped up a salad. And another couple came over with a leftover appetizer. It was an unexpected blast!1