10 Reasons I Love to be the Hostess
We do something that is a little outside the norm. We love to host out-of-town guests. We practically beg people to come visit. We have hosted friends from high school, college, tons of family, work friends, church friends, and even new friends.
We do it a lot less now that we live on the other side of the country from almost everyone we know. When we lived in the DC area, we had a constant stream of people stopping through. Sometimes they stayed with us. Sometimes they just came over for dinner. Either way, we love it.
This week we hosted a family that is not only special to Alan and me, but also dear to our children: Sean, Amy, Xavier, and Zoe. This family is a BIG DEAL in our world.
I still remember the day I met them. They were our neighbors, so they walked over to introduce themselves. Caleb met them in full Woody costume. Joshua waved at them from the car port, but he was too shy to come all the way out like Caleb did. Daniel was 4 months old, and Caleb was 4 years old. Joshua, Xavier, and Zoe were all 5, and about to start Kindergarten at our neighborhood school together.
Over the next three years, we were all the best kind of neighbors. We all hung out in our front and back yards all the time, along with our other friends from the cul-de-sac, especially Eddie and Betsy and family.
We all looked out for each other. They are the kind of friends that become more like family. Alan and Sean led cub scouts together. Amy coached Joshua’s soccer team. Alan coached Joshua and Xavier’s basketball team. Amy and I hung out and gossiped over coffee after school, on Amy’s work-at-home days. It was so hard to move away from them.
When we left Virginia, we invited them to come visit us in California. We have five bedrooms, plenty of room! I was so excited when I realized it would be a reality. Amy and Sean were able to plan to visit us while Alan was on summer break, so we were all able to join them in their adventure.
The kids took all of 2 seconds to warm back up to each other. It was as though nothing had changed at all. Daniel kept mixing up their names, which was funny, but he was so excited to have Zoe as a roommate.
If there’s one thing I’m SUPER glad that I do, it’s hosting.
This is why:
#1. We move a lot, so if we don’t stay connected to our friends and family, we won’t really have anyone that’s close to us!
#2. It’s an anti-depressant. The best way to cheer yourself up is to do something for someone else.
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Living just for yourself is depressing. We need to be serving others if we want to be happy.
#3. I learn so much from our guests and the way they do things. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”
I remember when my cousin Amber stayed with us for a month. For clean up time, she would take a broom, sweep all the toys together, and then have the kids put them in the toy box. Genius!
#4. It’s INSANELY FUN.
There are so many things to do and see here, but we rarely actually go out and do or see those things until we have family and friends to entertain.
We got to go to the aquarium, Cannery Row, Point Lobos, paddle boats, and kayaking. We only kayak when we have company.
#5. That whole “It takes a village” thing.
Our children benefit IMMENSELY from having guests stay with us. Just this week, I saw Sean and Zoe teaching Daniel how to play UNO, Sean reading to JD, Amy loving on Daniel and JD all the time, and Xavier and Zoe kept all of the kids well occupied. Imaginations were running rampant, let me tell ya.
#6. Safety in numbers.
This one sounds silly, but it has always given me an extra measure of security to go to bed at night, knowing I had a house stock FULL of people.
I blame those long deployments Alan went on for that one. I can’t tell you how paranoid I was, living in Texas, at age 22, hundreds of miles from everyone and everything I knew, all alone for a year. I’m not meant to live alone. I like being alone, but not for more than a few hours. People need people.
#7. I didn’t hear the sentence “I’m bored” all week long, and it’s SUMMER!
#8. Exercise! We get so much exercise, hiking around as tourists.
#9. Taking time off to hang out and encourage one another restores the soul.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
#10, and this bears repeating…..We probably have more fun than our guests do.
We get all the benefits of vacation, without actually leaving our house. I still have my nice, cozy bed, my kitchen, my stuff. Invariably, it always ends up feeling like our guests have blessed us more than we have blessed them. (Thank you, Sean and Amy! Thank you for the laughs, the lunch, the dinner, for helping with our kids, and for playing Ticket to Ride!!)
In the words of Monica Gellar, “I just love being the hostess.”
“Oh, please don’t go—we’ll eat you up—we love you so!”
― Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are
Now what are you waiting for. Invite friends over to your house. You won’t regret it.