Celebrate the Connections
One of my friends reminded me yesterday the thanksgiving holidays are less than three weeks away. ‘Three weeks’ she said. I wish you could have seen my ‘are you kidding me’ face? Surely her calendar was wrong. So I glanced at mine and it said the same thing. Rather than panic I focused on a quote in my Hospitality 101 notebook that says, it’s best to ‘celebrate the connections rather than the imperfections.’
I wish I could say I’m feeling cool, calm and collected about turkey day sneaking up on me (I thought I had an extra week) but it is what it is and it will be fine. I guess I’ve been so caught up in family, work and ministry life, I let the time completely get by me. Can anyone else relate?
Be Gracious with Hospitality
So what’s this girl to do? First, I had to get over myself and kick things into high gear. That’s what a good hostess does–isn’t it? Next, I made the all encompassing to-do list. And finally, I’ll pulled out my recipe binder, planned the menu and made the grocery list. There’s still plenty of time, right?
The thought of at least having the planning done has me feeling better already. Because the one thing I don’t want to happen in the midst of all my preparations is for my Mary side to cave in to my dominant Martha tendencies. BECAUSE. IT. CAN. HAPPEN.
No Perfection Needed
I’m not after perfection and I don’t want to get bogged down in the details like Martha did. Whatever gets done, gets done. If something doesn’t go as planned, I need to laugh about it and move to plan B.
In Luke 10:40-42 Jesus is clear about what is truly important. “But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Like Mary, I want this time of celebration to be about one another. I want our guests to have fun, tell stories, watch the game, share recipes, and if possible, maybe even enjoy some time Black Friday shopping.
But mostly, I want to remember I’m not auditioning for Southern Living. The real focus is about the invitation I’ve extended and that matters more than a perfect home or dinner. Hospitality is about opening our hearts and homes to celebrate the gifts God has provided. (for more on hospitality check out this post from Sue Moore Donaldson)
Hospitality Opens Our Hearts
So when I’m feeling anxious about the holidays here are 10 ways to prepare for entertaining (free printable)
- Two weeks before take inventory of the items you have on hand and purge the pantry.
- Start now with cleaning the house, take it one space at a time.
- Do as much cooking/baking/prep work ahead of time.
- Make each trip to the grocery store count. Add a few items each time so you’ll have what you need on the big day.
- Stock up on ziploc bags, foil, and throw-away pans so taking care of the leftovers is a snap.
- Find ways to simplify–use paper/plastic instead of crystal/china.
- Use pretty paper napkins and make the table decor simple..
- Buy gallons of tea instead of making it.
- Use a store bought crust with homemade pie ingredients.
- Delegate. Let your family/friends help with bringing the side dishes.
I’m praying blessings over you as you celebrate this holiday season.