4 Reminders for Holiday Hospitality

The holiday season is upon us and, with it, opportunities to show hospitality. When we open our doors, we're sharing more than just food and space. We're sharing our lives. And this is good. As Christians, it's how we should live.

When we open our doors, we're sharing more than just food and space. We're sharing our lives.

But even for those who regularly and genuinely enjoy hosting, there can be times when showing hospitality feels more like a duty than a delight—times when, if our children were asked to describe their mother's face during the hours of preparation, they'd describe someone exasperated and sighing, not peacefully, joyfully bustling about.

Here are four reminders as you become the holiday hostess.

  1. Be yourself.

    Know who you are. When it comes to hosting, know your gifts, know your limitations, and know God can use your home without you trying to change it into someone else's. Your table doesn't need to be set like Martha Stewart's, but it also doesn't not need to be either. God can use your home with your gifts. When I reflect upon the hospitality of others, some of the sweetest nights have been when the host ordered pizza and put out a stack of paper plates and when the host spent hours creating a culinary masterpiece laid out in elegance. We've been loved through both!

    In the end, there is freedom to show hospitality just as we are, whether our style is simple or elegant. Give thanks for the gifts God has given you, be okay with your limitations, and remember that you can love others through hospitality just as you are.

  2. Understand the difference between beauty and perfection.

    We live in a time when, in response to the pressures of Pinterest home décor, we are rightly reminded, through countless articles, that our homes don't need to look like Pinterest boards. However, we sometimes forget that beauty is a gift from God and that wanting to create beautiful (even if simple) homes is an instinct that reflects our Creator. In the beginning, God created trees in the garden that were not just good for food to eat, but were also pleasing to the eye. Beauty was part of their purpose!

    This holiday season as we're hanging holiday wreaths, arranging pine boughs on mantels, or hanging ornaments on trees, we want to rejoice in the gift of beauty and in the gift of wanting to create beauty. At the same time, we've got to altogether reject that desire for perfection. Tidied living rooms get messed up. Decorations break. Food gets overcooked. We run out of preparation time and can't clean everything perfectly. And that's okay! We need to understand the difference between rightly desiring beauty and wrongly striving for never-achievable perfection.

  3. Appreciate that hosting is sometimes hard.

    There is a cost involved in showing hospitality, isn't there? It costs money. It costs time. And though sometimes hospitality is fun and effortless, other times it's tiring and anything but easy. In the moments when you're feeling the cost, remember this: it's good. What you're doing is good.

    As Christians, we do things in this life all the time that cost us or that stretch us thin. But we do it because it's right. The next time you're preparing to host and hear yourself sigh or feel burdened by the task, be encouraged by this simple truth: showing hospitality is sometimes hard, but it's always good.

  4. Remember your main purpose.

    Why do we show hospitality in the first place? Yes, there are biblical imperatives (1 Peter 4:9, Heb. 13:2), but hospitality is about more than obedience. Hospitality is about love.

    We were lost, wandering aimlessly in darkness. Then the Word became flesh, and God pierced darkness with everlasting Light. He drew us to Himself and adopted us as His very own children. He opened His home, and we sit around His table. And now, like Him, we open our homes and invite others to sit around ours. When we're hosting, it's easy for our focus to rest on the many details instead of our main purpose: to love people.

As you open your home this holiday season, what other reminders would you add to this list?

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About the Author

Elisha Galotti

Elisha Galotti

Elisha lives in Toronto, Canada, a city she loves and longs to see won for Christ. Her husband, Justin, shares her heart for their city and is thankful that God brought him to be the pastor of West Toronto Baptist Church. Though Elisha spends most of her time mothering her three wonderful and funny little ones, she is a lover of the arts and teaches ballet part-time. 

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