Thanksgiving is upon us and you may be preparing for guests over the holidays. You’re writing menus, decorating the house, setting tables. But hosting a successful holiday meal is more than good food and a clean bathroom. Your heart has to be ready to receive your guests and extend these five attitudes to those surrounding your dinner table.
5 Attitudes to Have When Entertaining Over the Holidays
~ Love ~
Love is an action; it is demonstrated in words and deeds. Love is doing the best for the person loved. When your family and friends are around the kitchen counter or chatting at the dinner table, how can you show love to your guests?
It may be through heart-felt conversation and showing genuine interest in someone else’s life. It may be through the care with which you prepared food for your loved ones. It is seen in a serving heart as you care for those in your home. It is demonstrated as you share what God has blessed you with.
~ Grace ~
No matter what family you have around the table, there is no such thing as a perfect family. Simply put, because there is no one who is perfect. When we are tempted to start judging someone because of their choices or behaviors, this is the time to extend grace to others. Grace is unmerited favor towards the recipient. It is offering something undeserved. It may show itself in an act of kindness, forgiveness or simply space to let a person be themselves. Grace is something I always hope to receive from others.
~ Assertiveness ~
There are three types of communication: passive, aggressive and assertive. A passive communicator doesn’t stand up for one’s self. They let the opinions of others rule and may see themselves as less valuable than other people. On the other end of the spectrum is aggressive behavior. The aggressive communicator dominates, intimidates and works to control others. A blend of these two, called passive aggressive, often reveals itself as sarcasm.
Assertive communication is the goal. A person acting assertively has a healthy knowledge of self-worth and can establish boundaries in relationships. An assertive person can speak openly in a conversational tone. He sees others and himself as having equal value.
Where do you stand in your communication style? How do your family members fair? During your holiday dinner, keep to an assertive style of communication. This shows not only in how you talk to others but also in how you respond to the opinions of your guests. How are you conveying your thoughts? Are you condemning? Are you sarcastic? Do you need to speak up more?
~ Flexibility ~
Ah, flexibility. Someone is going to spill something. Someone is going to be late. If you’re like me, it is probably one of your recipes that isn’t going to turn out quite right. Maybe you have a family member who takes action without considering others. This is the day to be flexible. When your house is filled with guests, be flexible. Instead of getting irritated or upset, go with the flow. Be ready to alter your plans if necessary to accommodate your guests. And if it makes my fellow Type A’s anxious to think about this, just plan in a little flexibility. Yep, write it on your list. 😉
~ Hospitality ~
How do you want your guests to feel when they are in their home? How can you make them comfortable and put them at ease? Hospitality welcomes your guests, it values your guest. It is not about impressing others with your fantastic garlic mashed potato recipe. Rather hospitality opens the heart and invites guests to dwell in peace, love and . . . fun.
What attitude do you need to demonstrate most when entertaining over the holidays? Is there something you would add?