The story of Mary and Martha from Luke chapter 10 is very commonly referenced when thinking of hospitality. Martha is the busy one preparing the meal for her guests, while Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and served her guests instead of worrying about the condition of her home.
Often times studies paint Martha as the one too busy and not hospitable or asking you to chose one to be, but why can’t we be both?
Especially during the holiday season life is crazy and hosting can be turned into a stressful event, especially if you are a Type A personality like me. It’s very easy for me to be like Martha and lose sight of the qualities of Mary. I recommend taking certain steps in your home to prep for the unexpected guests or parties so that way during the time spent with your guests you don’t have to worry. This way you can be the best of Mary and the best of Martha.
3 EASY WAYS TO PREP YOUR HOME
1. Think Simple
Your Christmas decor does not have to be over the top and outrageously expensive to have beautiful holiday decorations. I use inexpensive ornaments to decorate with all over the house. I love putting them in empty lanterns on the front porch, in serving bowl as a centerpiece and even mixed with pinecones in a bucket by the tree. Buy a big pack for your tree and sprinkle them in with decor around the house for a cohesive look and feel.
2. Candles go a long way
I love to keep several candles on hand because even if you have dirty dishes in the sink you can light a candle and it does wonders!
3. Keep a bottle of wine in the fridge
Here’s the thing, your house could be a wreck but you’ve got simple Christmas decor and your house smells good because of the candles, pop open a bottle of wine and dive deep into your guest’s lives and they won’t remember what your house looked like!
I try to keep our main living/guest-facing areas generally clean where all I might have to do is fold a blanket or pick a few items, now if you look closer you might find dust and don’t wander too far because I can’t promise my bed will be made or my bathroom will be clean.
If you have a planned party and you know in advance feel free to go all out and do it big, but do all the prepping, planning, and setting up beforehand so you can be attentive and serve your guests while they are there. I promise the food and dishes while be there when you leave.
Wait until the guests are gone to clean up. When you start cleaning up it can give your guests the impression you are ready for them to leave even though you are probably just thinking about leftovers.
This holiday season don’t worry about spending time making your house immaculate, being the perfect host with all the right dishes and right decor, or apologizing for the conditions of your home but I urge you to dive deeper into those relationships and serve the ones in your home while they are there.