J.S. Farynski said, “Visitors should behave in such a way that the host and hostess feel at home.” Take a minute and think about how you behave the first time someone comes to visit your home. Do you bring them a glass of water, or show them where you keep the glasses and tell them to help themselves? That first interaction will set the stage for every other visit they have. You have either taught them that they will need to be waited on by you, or that they can ease some of your burden as a host and serve themselves.
I have been in both scenarios, and because I show guests where my glasses are and let them help themselves, I like it when you allow me to do the same. However, I’m equally as happy to let you serve me if that is what you prefer.
If you want to allow guests to serve themselves, consider creating beverage stations in your home. In an earlier post, in which I shared about using height to create interest, you may have caught a glimpse of our coffee/tea station. It’s a Keurig on a small counter, with a basket of K-Cups nearby, and a cake dish that holds a sugar bowl, tea bags, and honey. In a cabinet above the counter I store my looseleaf tea and mugs.
Across the kitchen I have a seasonal beverage station. In the summer it houses the fixings for iced tea, and in the winter it houses the fixings for hot chocolate. I use a 4 pint canning jar and a 1.5 TBSP which stays in the jar for measuring. It all sits on a tray on top of my microwave, and I change the mug to match the season and in the winter I add a glass with fun snowflake stirrers to the display. You could use a round tray and put a beverage station on a counter or in the middle of your table. My hot chocolate station contains cocoa mix, marshmallows, and mini chocolate chips. During the holidays I also put a jar of mini candy canes on the tray as well. I put a 12×12 sheet of colored cardstock on the bottom of the tray which also changes with the seasons; brown in summer and fall, red for Christmas and February, and blue for the rest of the winter and early spring. It adds a pop of color and breaks up all the white.
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