With Halloween behind us, you know what that means…yes, the holidays are upon us. And with them come parties, entertaining, and expectations. Some expectations will be met: “The prime rib was succulent” and “This is the best pumpkin spice latte. Ever.” While other expectations will fall short: “The turkey was too dry” and “The pumpkin pie was store bought.” But despite food-driven expectations (of which mine are always high), I think what people truly long for during the holidays is hospitality. Being welcomed. Just as they are.
I recently heard an entrepreneur give a talk on hospitality. And it’s her perspective that I’ll try to remember and adopt during this holiday season. Most of us limit the definition of hospitality as being kind and generous towards those you welcome within your home. But this clever entrepreneur widened the scope of hospitality to include not just being hospitable to those that come to you, but also exiting the comfort zone of your home and going to others.
Think about it. Isn’t the person who brings a home cooked meal to someone just as hospitable as the person that prepares a meal at home and has people over to enjoy it?
Or that candy bowl on your desk, that is most welcoming indeed. But how much more welcoming is it when you stand up from your desk and walk over to a coworker to ask how their weekend was?
Okay, one more example. You’re alone at home after a fight with your boyfriend. Your friend calls to see how you are and invites you over to their house (hospitable). But then that friend decides to come over to your house to make sure you’re really, truly okay (also hospitable).
Some of the most hospitable acts are when we check our agenda and comfort zone at the door and meet people where they are at. On their terms.
So this holiday season, adopt some hospitality. And give your hospitality some legs. Let it travel around a bit.