May 2011 - Hospitality


the act, practice, or quality of friendliness toward guests or acquaintances.


Hospitality should have no other nature than love.  - Henrietta Mears

When friends are at your hearthside met, sweet courtesy has done its most if you have made each guest forget that he himself is not the host.  - Thomas Bailey Aldrich

In hospitality, the chief thing is the good will. –Greek Proverb

The good guest is almost invisible, enjoying him or herself, communing with fellow guests, and, most of all enjoying the generous hospitality of the hosts. – Emily Post

Teaching Hospitality

To show hospitality is to open your home to friends, family, and even to strangers for conversation and coffee or hot chocolate, sharing a meal, or even giving up your bed for a night's stay. It's simply sharing your time, your energy, your home, and your love, and can become a natural way of living.

Teaching children hospitality can be as simple as inviting people into your home to talk about the things you care about.  You can share a meal, but the focal point isn't what is being served; it's the conversation and friendship that demonstrates the hospitality. The company may have been strangers when they entered your home, but when they leave, they take with them the love and kindness you have shown toward them and leave you with plenty of memories as well.

Hospitality can also be taught to children by preparing dinner for invited guests or even those that happen to drop by. They can get involved by setting the table, or entertaining the guests while dinner is being prepared.  It is mainly getting together to share moments of fun. The point is, guests will remember the conversation, laughter, and love even more than the dining arrangements or the food.

Another way of teaching children hospitality is maybe giving up your beds for overnight guests.  It humbles your hearts to remember not to be selfish and only think of ourselves, but instead to remember the comfort of your invited guests.

There are many ways to show and teach hospitality to children. Sometimes, it's just the simple ideas and plans that make for better invitations. What is served, whether a meal or snacks; the size of your dining table; or even the fact that you can't or don't like to cook doesn't have to draw us away from being hospitable. People will remember the warmth, care, love, and respect that were offered to them more than anything else.  


Books to Share With Children

Read books that illustrate and encourage hospitality. Check your library for some of those listed here. Each one provides opportunities to discuss the results of showing hospitality and neighborliness.