Hospitality: Spontaneous Events and How to Be Prepared

Hospitality happens on a regular basis here at our cottage.  Some weeks its not so busy and other weeks, it is hopping with activity.  

Last Wednesday Rachel and Sarah invited their Frisbee friends to come here after playing, and have a campfire.  They cooked hot dogs and s'mores over the fire and enjoyed themselves until after 10:00 pm.  

Sunday we had church, then we ate lunch at church, had a youth service (which was great!) and then people came over.  Denny picked up a lot of food, and other people brought stuff and we had an enjoyable time.

This evening, I'm hosting a Women's dinner gathering here.  Everyone is bring some kind of Mexican dish.  That's my favorite food, but this is Lancaster County where the German roots are deep and several ladies have said to me, "I like Mexican food, but I don't know how to make anything!"  So it should be fun and interesting eating!  This event has been on our church calendar, but its pretty laid back!

Most of these events are spontaneous, and happen because we are willing to open our home.  They aren't all fancy affairs, in fact, most of our gatherings involve disposable dishes!  It makes us all happier to host groups of people if we don't have to spend hours washing dishes afterward!  And frankly most of our guests feel better about that, too!  When I used to use all my regular dishes, people just hated the thought of all the clean up afterwards!  

I shop at Christmas Tree Shops pretty regularly because they have great seasonal paper products.  The prices are very good, too.  I think ahead about the events that are coming up (like hostessing our parents room at our co-op - we start next week!), or a birthday, and buy ahead.  

For tonight's dinner I went to a different store and bought some decor and colorful plates to make dinner tonight feel festive!  I'll try to remember to take some photos.  

I've been pinning some new things to my Fall Fest Pinterest board.  We host this annual event for friends and family every year at the end of October or the beginning of November. We do hay rides, a bonfire, games, an outdoor movie, and everyone brings food to share!  Its a great time, but takes planning, and I am already thinking ahead.

Lindsay hosts a Hobbit Day party every year.  Hobbit Day is September 22nd which is Bilbo AND Frodo Baggins birthday!  People dress up, we eat outside with lights in the Party Tree and we dance.  Its one of the best gatherings of the year!  She's been planning food already, as food is VERY important at a Hobbit Party!

Now I'm hungry!

It doesn't take much more than a willing heart to practice hospitality.  Make coffee and some kind of treat (or buy it) and invite someone over!  

Its fun, and you'll find that your kids learn to love it, too, and then they start saying "Mom, we ARE going to invite people over, aren't we?" And that makes my heart sing!

Disclaimer - I recognize that I say its simple but then I show you photos and talk about two of our most involved events of the year!  Trust me though, it really can be as simple as coffee and cake.  For our Mexican dinner, each person is bringing food, I'm providing the location, and because I'm me, some cute place settings. Oh, and some enchiladas!

If you notice - we also ask people to bring food to share at nearly every event we host!  People are willing, and just want you to let them know what they can bring!


  1. Fun! You really DO know how to throw your house wide open to friends and family...

    And you're right! People ARE willing and ready to chip it!

  2. Looks like fall has arrived in Pennsylvania....sweet photos Deanna.

  3. The key point is that people appreciate being invited to your home and feeling loved .. they don't care about what they eat or how things look--it's the fellowship! You are setting a good example for your kids.

  4. love those napkins and paper plates


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