From Hosting to Hospitality

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Learn from a simpler time

Growing up, hospitality was very important to Abundance Canada client Gordon Baergen’s family. His father was a Mennonite minister, so they often had missionaries on furlough stay with them and people from the congregation stop by unannounced. “Our home was always open to whoever wanted to come,” remembers Gordon.

“Back then, generosity … was giving what we had…to whoever needed the help.”

The dining room may not have been picture perfect, but guests were always welcomed in to share a good meal and went home laden with gifts of produce or preserves from the family garden.

Focus on hospitality

Thanksgiving can be overwhelming. Groceries to be bought. Turkeys to be cooked. Houses to be cleaned. It’s easy to get wrapped up in presenting our guests with a “Pinterest Perfect” celebration, leaving us stressed, short-tempered, and exhausted.

But everything changes when we shift our focus from hosting to hospitality.

When our thoughts turn to hospitality, we often think of hosting a dinner party or event. However, author and speaker Jen Wilkin teaches that entertaining and hospitality are not synonymous. We can throw a good party without extending hospitality. It comes down to motivation.

Is that perfectly set table, we’ve snapped at the kids all afternoon not to touch, really to make our guests feel welcome or is it to impress them? Is the gourmet recipe really about giving our time and talent to those we love (especially if we’re constantly running to the kitchen)?

When entertaining focuses inward, stress gets the best of us; when we extend hospitality, the people we love do.

Listen to cat stories

Hospitality is rooted in being grateful for what we have and sharing it generously with those around us. It’s welcoming a friend in when the kitchen’s still a mess and the doorbell rings.  It’s inviting a new neighbour to join us for dinner. It’s listening to Aunt Mabel’s story about her cat instead of running off to the kitchen. It’s about caring for the people in our lives, friends and strangers alike, and making them feel welcome, appreciated, and loved.

This year, whether we cook a four-course meal and serve it on fine china or order in pizza on paper plates, may we bless one another with hospitality as we celebrate Thanksgiving together.

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