Our new year started with a new house. A home that seemed borderline ridiculously huge compared to the 960 square feet we had left behind. While I immensely admire families who choose to live in small homes, we weren’t deliberately trying to be a “small house” family with our two-bedroom condo.
We were just trying to be financially responsible.
Small House Hospitality
Hospitality was one of the things we struggled with most in our small house living. It was easier to have a few people over before our daughter was born. And even though we tried to keep her stuff to a minimum, it became increasingly more difficult to have people over in our small house, with a very young child. Not to mention not having any space to host visitors for overnight stays.
My husband and I grew up with our families practicing hospitality. I grew up with huge holiday gatherings. My husband’s family was always hosting interesting people. We knew we wanted our new home to allow us to bring groups of people together.
Bigger House, More Entertaining
The instant we saw pictures of our current house, we knew it was a place where we could gather our family and friends together. Inside and outside were meant for building relationships and memories.
Now that we were in a house meant for entertaining, we are putting it to use!
First, it was an Easter gathering of almost 30 people. Then it was a series of large barbecues about every other weekend this summer. It’s been a blur of hamburgers, hot dogs, and paper plates. And it has been amazing.
Not that every event has been amazing from beginning to end. I played solo host on Easter since my husband was quarantined upstairs with an illness. One barbecue it rained and was so windy we were left scrambling to fry up hamburgers and hot dogs in skillets on the stove.
Keeping it Simple
There haven’t been decorations or elaborate spreads of food. I ask people to bring sides and desserts to help round out meals, but don’t specify what they need to bring. I figure if one meal is made up of hamburgers and brownies, that would be fine. Everyone would get their vegetables another time.
Our home has an open door. We are willing to put in the work of scheduling and opening up our home because we value the opportunities to cultivate relationships and memories more than we want to avoid inconvenience.
We want to raise our daughter to believe that everyone is welcome here. And we want her to know that people are more important than having a spotless home to showcase. We want to demonstrate what it looks like to genuinely get to know and care for people.
Hosting with Children
It’s not easy trying to host a gathering and have young children. It’s hard to have in-depth conversations when you have to keep an eye on kids and fetch this or that for guests. Even though our hospitality is less than perfect, less than beautiful, less than gourmet, I doubt many people left our gatherings thinking they had wasted their time in coming. Instead, people seem to enjoy the opportunity to get together.
We were able to build relationship and memories in other ways when we lived in our smaller home, but I am thrilled to be able to bring as many people together as we want to now. I’m so grateful to have a home for hospitality.