Scruffy hospitality

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I don’t know about you, BUT this fortune came at the right time.  See, I am one of those “need to have everything in place” kind of gals.  I struggle to have everything “perfect” before anyone comes to visit then freak when the littlest thing doesn’t go right.  Admit it, I am not the only one!  Don’t leave a girl hanging, please!!!

Your home doesn’t need to be picture-perfect to invite people over.

 I read a blog post by ROBIN SHREEVES which was an eye opener for me.  Yes, I will be the first one to give advice saying “they aren’t coming to see your house, they are coming to see you” BUT I seldom heed my own words.

The idea that we must make our home look un-lived in before having people over stops so many of us from sharing life together.

I mean don’t we usually try to make our home look un-lived in before friends and family come to visit?  And have you ever NOT had people over because there was no time to make it perfect?  As a result, we stop sharing our life with those who are closest to us.  (Photo: Elzbieta Sekowska/Shutterstock)

I love the idea of “scruffy hospitality.”  So what is it?  On his blog, Father Jack defines scruffy hospitality this way:

Scruffy hospitality means you’re not waiting for everything in your house to be in order before you host and serve friends in your home. Scruffy hospitality means you hunger more for good conversation and serving a simple meal of what you have, not what you don’t have. Scruffy hospitality means you’re more interested in quality conversation than the impression your home or lawn makes. If we only share meals with friends when we’re excellent, we aren’t truly sharing life together.

Honestly, the best gatherings have been the “let’s just hang out”.  My best home parties in my direct sales business have been those gatherings of friends to just talk, play with bags and catch up.  No formal presentation.  No fancy food.  Just friends enjoying each other’s company.

Now I know that it is a little tough to get away from the “perfect” house concept.  I mean many of us scroll Pinterest every day looking for ideas that we want to do before guests come to visit, right?

My journey to scruffy has been very slow!  I mean, miracles don’t happen overnight, right? Remember back to before kids, maybe even before you were married.  Were you a whirlwind, cleaning before dinner guests or were you more casual making sure things were put away but didn’t get crazy?

I realized at some point when I was a single mom that entertaining didn’t mean I had to have a spotless house.  The kids didn’t care and most of the moms were glad to know that they weren’t alone in “not” having a perfect house.  I totally got the idea of  “Are they coming to see me, or are they coming to see my home?”.  The house was always neat but dust bunnies got to stay longer than I wanted and sometimes I had to close a bedroom door to hide the mess.  It never seemed to bother me.

Then, somewhere after Belinda left for college, I moved into the condo and got married – the ideas that I embraced for years seemed to fly out the window.  Time to go back to the “old ways”.

Sometimes authenticity happens when everything is a bit scruffy,writes Father Jack.  In fact, I think the most authentic conversations I’ve experienced have happened during scruffy gatherings. Maybe it’s because when everything is polished and shiny, I feel like I need to be polished and shiny, too. When things are a little messy around me, I feel like I can let people know things are a little messy inside me, too.

Maybe you have friends who are excellent housekeepers, and their homes are always “company ready”. Do you feel like you need to measure up?  What if your house was authentically you?  Maybe a little dust, maybe some dishes not done or maybe even a few papers laying around, how would that make you feel?

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Authenticity invites authenticity. If your home isn’t naturally ready for company why not try the idea of scruffy hospitality.  Value community over tidiness. Invite people over and say, “I don’t know what I’m serving. I may have to order pizza. I would just love your company.”

“Hospitality,” writes Father Jack, “is not a house inspection, it’s friendship.”

Are you ready for scruffy hospitality?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

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