Saturday, September 26, 2009

Open the Door!

The true meaning of hospitality lies in the attitude of the heart….The planning and preparation should say, ‘I’m glad you’re here!’ --- Devy Titus

So we’ve now reminisced about our childhood memories around the kitchen table. Despite our fondness to those memories, our current homes are ready to supplement with new memories. And the best part is to, open the door and invite others to join you in the memory making process.

There is adrenaline and excitement when you prepare for guests. You clean corners you may have previously overlooked, you rummage through cook books for a delicious idea, and you organize the perfect playlist for hours of great music. Ah yes, when you’re guests arrive; you can make them feel comfortable and brilliant by practicing your “yes ands”.

Hosting guests in your home is a powerful way to provide a glimpse of your personal life, of who you really are. Imagine what can happen when you invite others into your personal space, your home. You can experience the pain in your cheeks from over smiling; you might indentify common interests and great business ideas, or simply confirm that your guests are people you’d like to hang out with again. When they are in your home, you’re in the driver seat, you have control (you know you like control) to set the atmosphere, the tone, and to steer your guests in almost any conversational direction.

My husband and I have always enjoyed entertaining guests. A few years ago we invited a new acquaintance over for dinner. I probably enjoyed the conversation more than he did the dinner. We learned a great deal about him, his country and his culture; the fact that spicy food wasn’t necessarily a great hit was an additional bonus. He provided an insight into his world, a part of Africa that seemed so foreign to us. A few weeks later, he was back. This time he was in the kitchen bringing a piece of Africa to us as he prepared his favorite native dish, peanut sauce! And just like that, over a small dinner, the acquaintance had developed into a friendship!

If your table’s legs could speak I’m sure there would be great stories we’d all like to hear!! So be a host, be creative, be welcoming, and invite me over!


  1. So true, so true... The adrenaline, the checking of corners normally ignored, and checking the cookbooks for the new & neat ideas, I go through all of that when preparing and planning for guests. It's a wonderful feeling to do all these things and even more rewarding when I get to enjoy the moments and create memories with friends.

  2. Jennifer,

    Thank you for inviting me into your life! By inviting people over to your house, it's definitely a great way to connect with others. I love how you've incorporated the "yes... and" theory and you are one of the most hospitable person I've met! I would love to invite you over, just need to clean up first! =)


  3. Jennifer,

    Your two blog conversations take me back to my Restaurant & Resort classes! One thing that is true of restaurants, hotels and even our homes is the goal of creating a memorable experience.

    My professor would always say, "Everyone needs to eat and we live our lives to make sure we can do so!" It was something like that, anyway!

    When you invite someone to your home they will mostly likely remember the food and conversation you shared. We pour our hearts into making someones experience a pleasant one through our cleaning an cooking. It in turn invites our quests to open their minds and hearts to us.


  4. Jennifer,
    I agree that having guests over to your home is one of the best way to get to know them - over the food, family/friend atmosphere and conversation. I think that our cohort now feels closer thanks to the MBA dinner that you a Arthur hosted a few weeks ago. Thanks for sharing your ideas - I'm going to share with my roommates (we love entertaining too!).
    Karen :)