Courtney S. Barr

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Thursday, May 24, 2007


Having company is always fun for me. I LOVE being the hostess. Making sure the guest room is clean & put together, that the bathroom has all the amenities & more than a hotel would every supply, seeing someone you may not have seen in a while, yes being the hostess is fun. But for every hostess there are the following possible bumps in the road: entertainment & food. Setting up a stage in your living room to allow your husband to tell jokes or your dog walk on its hind legs is not exactly the best idea, but given your audience it might work for you :). No, for the regular working-day-person scale that idea is just too cheesy. But providing options for your guests when they don't have a set agenda is not, in my opinion, cheesy at all. Recently we have been rampant with company. Most of it spur of the moment which is equivalent to not having a lot of made plans or options. Now if you know me well, even the simplest of plans makes me happy, I love spontaneity, but even with spontaneity there is a little bit of planning. Be it after you 'up & decide to _____________' because once you make the decision to do whatever, you then plan how, when, where or why. So with this current mass visitation that we have had I have found myself so tired that entertainment has definitely slipped purely to TIVO. Marcus & I aren't the only people who miss television shows & would love to see them even while out of town, so TIVO can become a great friend. If you know a show that your guest religiously watches, TIVO it. Have it there, when they come in late & don't want to sleep yet, but you need to & they have nothing else to watch or do, suggest the recording. Maybe a bit too modern for some, but if I were the guest, I would definitely be excited & appreciative.
As for the food aspect of the hostess worries, well that can be tricky. You should always have water. Loads of people like sodas, but if it is someone who is new to visiting you may not know their favorite sodas or have been unable to find out prior to arrival. Water is a great stand in. Some people hate plain water, so the new craze of flavor packets has become an important part of my guest arsenal. Just this week with my sister, she discovered a new flavor that she has never seen in DC at my house. (I ended up sending all my current packets back to DC with her yesterday.) Also, snacks, just random things: cheese, grapes, strawberries, crackers, chex mix, & some chocolate. Nothing too heavy, just hand held basics that most people can eat (some people with allergies do have issues but you should pay close attention to those with allergies so that on their possible return you will remember what NOT to have in the house). As for meals, those I actually plan a little as the visit goes on. if someone has not been to the area before, I always like to take them to a great local place, if they are return visitors they may have a favorites, plus schedules on vacations or business trips can rapidly change so being flexible is the most important attribute a hostess can have.
Lastly, there is the issue of children. We don't have any so most people expect us to have nothing for them. WRONG! We always keep a small assortment of male&female toys, as well as (You all know we are DISNEY fanatics) kids movies. As for entertainment, see the first two sentences of this paragraph; food - popsicles are the only additive we put with the list of snacks from above. Though the allergy area is twice as important. Finding out from the parent or guardian is so important!
Anyway, this installment is a bit different but it has been on my mind since last Friday. I hope any of your visitations go pleasantly and that most importantly you as the hostess, friend or family member take the time to enjoy your guests. Make sure that even though that dinner needs & will be cooked, that you invite them in the kitchen to talk or wander out by the grill, don't just hole up and 'work'. They came to see YOU as well as take some time away from their own home, you never know how often they may get to come again.

1 comment:

  1. If only we could all aspire to be the fabulous hostess that you are. We all bow down and take note. Plus I like to steal your ideas...( I have small sample toiletries in my guest room now!!!). Thank you for doing something we should all aspire to!


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