Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Hospitality – Movie [TV] Night

Here's Judy with a hospitality themed blog post.  She will be sharing her ideas every season.  Thanks Judy.

Hey y’all! I’m so happy to be a part of this WONDERFUL creative blog!!

Recently I’ve started some conversation in our facebook group about getting together with friends. I hesitate to call it entertaining because I think that sometimes gives us higher expectations… that we might feel are unattainable – sooooo, I want to share some easy, attainable ways to get together with friends. We love having friends over to the house, but we also love planning get-togethers outside our home as well, for instance, we coordinated a progressive dinner for 12-12-12 to three different restaurants [appetizer – dinner – desert] in an upscale shopping center to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime-date – fun!

Every few months I’ll be sharing ways we can enjoy the company of others by offering hospitality. Romans 12:10-13 says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love, give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.” [NAS]

I love the notes in my study Bible: “… hospitality differs from social entertaining. Entertaining focuses on the host – the home must be spotless; the food must be well prepared and abundant; the host must appear relaxed and good-natured. Hospitality in contrast, focuses on the guests. Their needs – whether for a place to stay, nourishing food, a listening ear, or acceptance – are the primary concern. Hospitality can happen in a messy home. It can happen around a dinner table where the main dish is canned soup. It can even happen while the host and the guest are doing chores together… Don’t hesitate to offer hospitality just because you are too tired, too busy, or not ‘wealthy’ enough to entertain.”

Hospitality can be as easy or as detailed as we want – and while ‘having people over’ does encourage us [me, personally] to clean up things a bit around the house, no one expects perfection. Our friends are there to visit with us – not inspect the cleanliness of our home [and if it’s the opposite we might need to consider some different friendships… just kidding. I think.] Living in an older home has given me great freedom in the ‘everything must be perfect’ mentality… I’ve often been told I have the gift of hospitality – and we do love planning to be with friends – here’s my guideline:

     I like to keep it simple.
     I like whimsy.
     I like time with my friends, and
     I like for others to feel ‘at home’ when they visit us.

Throughout the year I’ll be sharing some different ways we host friends and family; this month I want to share a recent Movie Night in our home…

What I did to Prepare: 
We have a little dog living in our home, and I know that everyone doesn’t appreciate animals – so the day of our gathering we moved her upstairs and gave everything a good vacuuming and sprucing up. 
We also moved the TV to the living room since our den is very small…and I added a bucket of movie candy to tie into the theme – [Popcorn buckets & candy from the Dollar Tree -]
Invite: I do enjoy making little invites, even for small gatherings, so a few weeks prior I searched the internet for free TV graphics and created this one. [There are so many cute ones out there that I used several for the evening!] Be sure to double check the dates – don’t be like me! LOL.
Welcome: I thought it’s be fun to have a little welcome sign by the door so I created this giant TV out of old cardboard – Just did a quick sketch of the TV, cut out the center and added a little paint [I used to do things like this for birthday parties when the kids were younger – once we had [cardboard] dinosaurs as big as them!] The idea was to add a little fun – I wasn’t concerned with perfection - 
Menu: This was a very simple gathering – just hotdogs and chili in the crockpot with mustard, ketchup, and mayo. We also had all the ‘fixins’: kraut, cheese, onions, and relish, as well as chips, cupcakes, and popcorn candy.* I created the menu board form another [free] TV graphic – just printed it out and did a ‘fussy’ cut around it before placing it on a sheet of paper and on a photo stand… [I’ll re-use the scrapbook paper later.]
Table: I enjoy setting a pretty [and fun!] table – something I learned from my mom, I think… so I picked up these different popcorn containers at the Dollar Tree and different thrift stores as I came across them. I used red plates and striped napkins and added in some white milk glass bowls. 
Details – I printed out a few more little TV graphics and used them for labels – I used packing tape to secure them to containers I already had [and yes, I use canning jars – lol.]
I also secured popcorn labels to the insides of the containers so friends could easily tell what was offered – I’d originally thought it might be fun to have a popcorn ‘bar’ with plain popcorn and lots of toppings, but – I went with the simpler plan of a couple of different types of easily prepared microwave popcorn. Ha.
Conversation Starter: I created little TV cards with the question, “What was your favorite TV show  in Elementary School - or Middle School – or High school?] as a prompt for us to share together. These were put on the cups with packing tape - It was fun to hear the different answers! 
Photo Op: And lastly - I’ve loved all the cute photo-ops I’m seeing on blogs these days and I wanted to include one in our gathering! And our friends know I’m a photo addict, so they are sweet to indulge my craziness!

I simply re-purposed the welcome sign to be a photo frame – easy peasy… and, again, the purpose is FUN not perfection [we had to hold up the antennae – ha.] 

We had a great time Watching Snow White and The Huntsmen – none of us had seen it and it wasn’t what we expected – but we were happy with our choice in the end… Have y’all seen it?
And we sent our guests home with boxes of cupcakes and popcorn filled containers! Here’s the popcorn candy recipe – found it on the web:
Melt a pound of vanilla candy bark [slowly] in the microwave and stir in popped corn [be sure and clear out any kernels that didn’t pop,] and M&M’s. Then spread it out on wax paper and cover with sprinkles. My friend Carrie makes a version of this during the Christmas Holidays with dried cranberries and pretzel pieces – it’s delicious! [We like to mix the candy corn with salted popcorn – mmm, so. good.]

So, that was our evening! – I hope it encourages you to think creatively about how you can host a gathering of your own – and I’d love to hear your ideas!

Thank you Judy.   
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