Along with listing and writing Christmas cards is the list of guest we’re inviting over during the holidays. “Gee, this year the Butterfields and Hamburgs are coming. I must put my best foot forward. You know everyone will be talking about how lavishly I entertain my guest. Have to make a grand-slam first impression! Oh, I almost forgot; I must pick up those silver candlesticks at Bloomies while they’re on sale.”

Wow. What happened to the hospitality in entertaining? Here’s what I wrote on my fan page wall yesterday:

Don’t ‘dress to impress’ with your home’s decor this holiday season.That’s comparing your home with another; trying to measure up to or exceed. 2 Cor.10:12 admonishes that when we measure ourselves by another and compare with another, we are without understanding. Ouch!

I want to leave something with you that will have an indelible affect; Something that you can carry-over into 2010 use over and over again. Many if not all of you will be celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa during this season. You’ll be entertaining your friends and family in some format, whether at your abode or theirs. So along with that I thought it was appropriate to share with you my Kingdom blueprint for successful entertaining all the time with peace of mind, which is nothing short of good ole hospitality.

Friends and Family: You are Always Welcomed Here

I’m reminded of what Apostle Peter wrote:

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

1. Everyday Life at Home -- Paul tells us in the book of Romans to practice hospitality. Generally, we take this as referring to guests in our home. But begin to practice hospitality at home by first living hospitably with your family. Do special things for them not only during Christmas or holidays, but find ways to be a blessing any time.

2. Entertaining and Hospitality -- Home and home life is a gift from God. So there’s no need to become over-dramatic and stressed out thinking everything must be perfect before you practice hospitality. I used to feel this way. By the time my guest arrived, I was so tired and sometimes irritable from trying to have everything perfect that I couldn’t enjoy my guest. It is never about us or what we have, it’s about blessing others with what we are given to share.

3. Peace of Mind: Preparation -- When I was growing up, my grandmother was always prepared for an impromptu meal because guest would drop by without calling. (That was the norm in the southern community where we lived). She always had a baked pie and/or cake in the refrigerator. She was prepared to share a meal with our unexpected guests. She would entertain her guest from a heart and love with hospitality. Staying prepared for an impromptu meal or an unexpected guest is simple. Keep simple things on hand like hard and soft cheese, crackers, fresh or frozen fruit, baby spinach, red peppers, green olives, nuts, a bag of linguine or noodles, etc. to prepare a quick and easy dish. Get the idea? Also, practice placing cloth napkins at the table setting even with a quick brunch or late lunch. This sends the message of hospitality to your family and guests that they are special. I prefer using cloth napkins over paper napkins because it practices Green Living and being a good steward of the Earth God designed for us.

4. Home Living: Be Creative -- Hospitality is also for you and your family, so live creatively at home with your beautiful things. My grandmother and mother would never use the good china and crystal-ware unless guest were coming. I admire them for the desire to share their cherished things with guest, but what they didn’t know is hospitality is the Kingdom way of home living. Use what you have in creative ways. Take a crystal glass and fill it with candy or mints. If you don’t have crystal, china or silver, there still are beautiful things you can pull out of your closet or pantry and use. A bowl or dish that you cherish can serve as a beautiful center piece filled with Christmas ornaments. After holidays are over, fill this same bowl with fruit, candles, nuts, potpourri, your favorite flowers or chocolate kisses.

Take the time to lovingly prepare for your guest, but seek to enjoy the relationship while communing and sharing together. Refresh your guest with yourself. Don’t allow what you don’t have to stop you from being hospitable and a blessing to family and guests. It is not about you, but those He places in your life that your hands can touch for Him. You never know when you may be entertaining angels unaware.

Sharing my passion,

Author's Bio: 

Deana Murphy is a visionary, author, lifestyle designer, speaker, and radio personality who enjoys making people happy and desire that everyone live in a peaceful home. She has a passion for helping people to see their potentials and not the problems: to recognize strengths and resolve the weaknesses in their lives. Deana is an interior designer who teaches the spiritual applications of design and guides people through life, home, and family transformations. Deana's expertise is showcased on television and in signature magazines, and she recently authored Designing for the King and co-authored Victorious Living for Women. She conducts workshops on designing within and writes frequently on designing for empowerment topics. Deana encourages a lifestyle of rewarding living from the inside out.