Friday, September 20, 2013

Hospitality, a Forgotten Art

I truly believe if God had another gift of the Spirit, it would be hospitality, maybe the writer forgot to mention it, or just maybe it was lost in translation. Hospitality is defiantly wrapped up in other spiritual gifts. I know for a fact that it is one of my gifts. When I say Hospitality, I don’t just mean hostessing/Hosting, I mean guests too. Our culture as a whole today has lost it. I wish we could find it, but we are living in a memememe society. You HAVE to make a conscious effort to find it and keep it!

Not having any gatherings growing up (including birthday parties), I need no excuse as an adult to have a gathering or full blown party. Sweet man knows how much it means to me and he goes above and beyond to help me anytime I say “it is Thursday, let’s have a party”. Ok I am exaggerating about the Thursday but St Pattys Day? You better believe there is green mashed potatoes there somewhere. Cinco De Mayo? Break out the maracas, let’s get our Mexican food on!! Christmas? Anyone that has been to our annual open house during the Christmas season knows that, well Christmas explodes at my house. Every last inch of the house is decorated. Don't stay too long, you just might need some jingle bells on your shoes.
I recently got some sad news, that stabbed my hostessing in the core. My oldest daughter  just had to go by a house this year and well, SHE wants a holiday. This year, my oldest (Dani) wants to do Halloween at HER house (sniff sniff). She said and I quote “I knew you wouldn’t give up Thanksgiving and Christmas”. She is right btw, but still, sniff! NO don’t let it be true, how selfish can she be that SHE thinks she can take Halloween from me. Sniff. Then I had to say, (while sniffling) “OK, I gueeeess”.
We no longer live in a subdivision, so we get no Halloween trick or treaters. When we did, that was a whole other story. I spent hours working on bags for each trick or treater, decorating, getting dressed up. And we also started, during those times, another tradition.
Every Halloween for I can not tell you how many years, we make all kinds of fun food, take a look:

We ALWAYS watch Hocus Pocus:

I had someone say, “yeah I don’t understand that”. What is NOT to understand, we are making memories. Memories that turned into tradition. It means the world to our girls even at 19 and 25. Which in turn means the world to me.
This year we will be spending Halloween at Dani’s house (sniff), all day. We will be creating, and playing games, and talking about past years and watching, of course, Hocus Pocus. We will be making memories. My daughter will be hostessing, she will be carrying on the hospitality. So for that I am so very happy (sniff).
See these cute no bake spiders?

So easy and so very good, they are the best No Bakes Cookies! I am sharing my no bake recipe with you at the end of this blog. For the spiders, you just push in some pretzel legs and cinnamon candy eyes. You need to do it while they are still soft, so 2 hands help in this one!

It is not always easy being a hosts or guest. After all, many of us were never taught what to do or how to act. 
So here are a few hostessing and guest tips:

·      If you are going to hostess, do your very best. If your very best is picking up a tray at Publix, then that is aok. If your very best is spending hours upon hours cooking, that is ok also. Your best may not be your neighbors best. Learn to appreciate and embrace it.
·      Don’t ask others to bring items when the cause of the event is yours. It is rude to ask someone to come and then tell them "but I want you to bring"….. If they offer, let them bring something. And be specific.
·      Guests, if a Party starts at 2, be there at 2, a 10 minute window before or after is acceptable only if you call your hostess to let her know. It is unacceptable to show up an hour early or 30 minutes late or not at all.
·      If you are hosting a gathering for a specific purpose (sport team, small group meeting, etc) then it is perfectly ok to assign items (snack items, drinks, etc). Again be specific, tell then “2 2lts of Pepsi”. That way you know exactly what they are bringing.
·      If you are hosting a Holiday dinner or BBQ, a host should always provide the meat, cups, plates and dinnerware, then assign the guests a side or drink or both. Try to get an idea ahead of time as to what each guest is bringing, that way you do not end up with 3 baked beans and 2 potato salads. Make sure you are clear to your guests how many are coming so they can bring enough for each guest to partake. And if you are a guest, bring enough food! Someone else is hosting, the least you can do is show up with more that a small cup of potato salad from Publix (true story).
·      Hostesses make sure you have plenty of food for everyone that RSVPed and 10% more for last minutes.
·      Guests, be kind to your hostesses, if you did not contribute to the food, don’t eat. Just joking. Give your humble apologies for your oversite. Own up to it so that there is no hard feelings.
·      Guests, if at all possible, bring a token of your appreciation to the hosts. Afterall, at the very least, they are opening up their home to you.
·      Hosts, know that things will and can be broken, put precious things away and if something does happen, be prepared at how you will handle it.
·      Guests, if you are bringing children , watch them, never let them out of your site unless the hostess approves! It is extremely rude to allow your children to run a muck in someone else’s home. Don’t get angry when your hosts or other guests have finally had enough and says something to them. Don’t create a situation where it ruins your friendship.
·      In the same note, Hostesses, if you are allowing guests to bring children, know what you are allowing. Not all children are as well behaved as others. Be quick in stopping a situation with a child before it gets out of hand. If you have to, graciously take the parent aside. Know that you can not predict their response. That is acceptable, you did your part, how they respond is on them. And guests, know that this not your home and respect your hosts wishes, even if they seem extreme. You can determine later if next time you should get a sitter or not come at all.
·      Guests, if you RSVPed, DON’T stand your hostess up. They planned on you and your attendance in food and other preparations. No matter the size of the gathering, you RSVPed and they are counting on you. If you are thinking, “well it is only 2 people”, combine that to the other 20 that did that, and it is devastating on your hostess and her wallet. I watched as great disappointment came over my daughter when her and her husband had thier open house and over half of the people that RSVPed did not show up. She was left with an enormous amount of food that cost her a pretty penny. But most of all, she was extremely let down. I am not saying that emergencies don’t arise, if they do, be prompt in telling your hostess.
·      Most hostesses will not mind if you bring a guest, but don’t bring 15. And don’t have a mini 3 hour party of your own at your Host's expense (true story). If you are bringing a guest or 2, offer and follow through with bringing something extra to compensate the host, after all this is your guest not theirs.
·      If you spill or drop something, let your host know so they can treat it.
·      ALWAYS offer to remove your shoes. We are greet our guests at the door at parties to tell our guests it is ok that they can leave their shoes on (please wipe your feet before coming in). BUT we own a carpet cleaning company and can clean ours, some people want you to remove your shoes. That is ok, it is their house. Did you know that 80% of the dirt in your house, walks through on people’s feet? Carpet Cleaning fact! We do like it at small gathering when people remove their shoes. But large gatherings we do not expect it and we clean our carpets after.
·      Hostesses, always smile. Even if things are not going your way, smile through it. You will set the tone for your guests. If you have to, take a friend or your spouse into a room and sound off to them ;)

So there you have it, some small hospitality tips. I hope they help you understand your guests a little better or to be more respectful towards your hostess. And moms, know that if you start these beautiful traditions, your children (still sniffing here) will want to carry them on. Be prepared, it will happen sooner than you think.

On a personal note, please join me in my excitement of becoming a first time Glamma!! Dani is pregnant with our next generation. We are so happy and we are so proud!

Diane's No Bake Cookie

1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Powered Cocoa
2 Cups Sugar
1 Stick of Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Peanut Butter
3 Cups Regular Oatmeal, NOT quick oats

Lay out wax paper on counter, a 4' x 2' are should do.
Get the last three ingredients together and ready to go. Set aside on counter
In large sauce pan mix first 4 items, after butter melts, bring pot to a boil on medium heat. VERY IMPORTANT, full boil for 2 minutes, stir while boiling without getting splatter on you (hence the large saucepan). When time is up, remove from heat and immediately stir in last 3 ingredients, in order. Take a large scoop and place on wax paper to set up.
When cooled they with be hard. If they are not hard enough, you did not hard boil the 2 minutes. If they are crumbly, you went to long, it is precise.

These are a frequent request from family and friends. 
I hope you enjoy as much as we do!
Printable version: Diane’s No Bakes

Peace, Love and Enjoy

Please feel free to check out a great blog on homesteading.
You will love it!


  1. LOOOOOOOOOOVE!!!!! I love Halloween!! We love making weirdo foods too, your stuff looks awesome!

    It's great that your daughter is following in your footsteps, too! It might feel like she is stealing (borrowing) a holiday, but the good news is that your glambaby will end up having a wonderful childhood with traditions and memories like your girls did! Love love love!