Friday, February 26, 2010
Sips of the South...Southern Hospitality
Sweet Tea and Biscuits has another lesson in the making for us this week with the topic of Southern Hospitality. Southern hospitality goes far beyond welcoming someone into your home, it is making them feel "at home." I also include the role of guest in the this category because I think hospitality is a two way street. Here are my top three tips for being a Southern Hostess:
#1. Offer anyone who comes into you home something to drink. For this purpose, I think you should always have a pitcher of sweet tea, a coke, or lemonade in the fridge. But even if you don't, water is just fine. It's the offer that's important. Likewise, it is polite to accept a drink at someones house. It puts both people at ease and gives the impression that you are not there just on a "cordial" visit...and it makes grandmothers infinitely happy!
#2. Pay attention to your guests. I have, on more than one occasion, been stuck in the kitchen working on dinner while my guests are in the living room. It's awkward. Try to have as much prepared beforehand as possible, and invite your guest into your kitchen to help if need be. As a guest, I can say I'd much rather be helping than sitting there twiddling my thumbs while my hostess works her fanny off. Feeling included, not ignored, goes a long way.
#3. Make an entrance. Nothing says, "Come on in," like a welcoming entrance. I am one of those unfortunate souls that does not have a proper porch, but I do try and make my home look welcoming. A wreath on the door, a nice welcome mat, and flowers on the steps gives your guests the impression that you care. The flip side to this is that it is always nice to compliment your hostess if she has taken measures to spruce up the entrance. Just tell her how cute that flowerpot is and she'll deeply appreciate it.
Such small things. Things that I probably would have never thought to pinpoint if I wasn't thinking of "hospitality" specifically, but I asked myself, "What do I do when I have guests coming?" and the answer was, "Pick up some drinks, flowers, and easy hors d'oeuvres or dinner." Time spent with our friends is special and good hospitality is a form of friendship and respect.