The Receiving End of Hospitality

Recently I read a humor piece by a man who hates HGTV.  One of the reasons for his disgruntlement is that every couple buying or renovating a home claims to want a space for entertaining.  He writes:

"Maybe it’s just me, but I like to have people over approximately once or twice a year, tops.  But every couple on these shows has to make mention of the fact that they love to entertain. They love to have people over, and this open concept living room and kitchen is just perfect for entertaining!  Personally, I would add extra walls to give me more dark corners in which to hide when people visit."

This made me laugh, even given that fact that we entertain regularly.  Our house becomes a hub for friends, neighbors, and family on special events, like our recent Fourth of July bash which had so many side dishes that I dubbed it The Thanksgiving of Summer.


Plus, with my husband's job as a college football chaplain, we have large groups of young and hungry people over on a weekly basis.  We feed them from a crock pot so large that it resembles a trough.

Our brand of entertaining, though frequent, is rarely glamorous.  It's more like an assembly line where twenty guests make their way through our kitchen in a line and devour 15 pounds of taco meat, or pulled pork, or spaghetti with meat sauce, depending on what meal we prepare in bulk that week.  There are no frills, but there are plenty of dishes afterward.

This past weekend, though, I was on the receiving end of hospitality.  We visited my husband's aunt and uncle who live about an hour a way for the day.  It was a large gathering with cousins and cousins' children (who, according to Google, are called "cousins once removed," in case you wondered but, like me, can never keep the nomenclature straight.)  And there was food -- lots of food! -- and I prepared none of it.

I simply made my way through their kitchen in a line, sampling a bit of everything, and was so grateful for the hospitality.  When I commented on being chilly, my aunt-in-law (which is a term I'm making up, but think that Google would accept) loaned me a sweater.

I felt extremely welcomed and cared for.  It's good to be hospitable, and it's equally good to be on the receiving end of hospitality.

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