The holidays are over. Today was the first Monday of the new year, the first year back to work, back to routines (though things look a little different for me this year).

December was like the Superbowl of Hospitality for me, as both my parents and my in-laws made trips to Atlanta to celebrate with us. It was different being the grownup and hosting Christmas! My parents and I are a great team in the kitchen, so it wasn’t like the entire onus of feeding us was on me (and we had a blast doing it), but I spent a lot of mental energy ahead of time planning shopping trips, thinking through fun things to do together, and preparing the house. And then every night when our guests departed, I realized that it would be nice to straighten up ahead of the next day’s fun, rather than just falling into bed. It was nice, just different from going to my parents’ house and kind of being the kid again.

None of our parentals stayed with us. We have a second bedroom, but since we live in a loft it doesn’t actually have doors. It’s set up as Andy’s office, and we have a daybed in it. It’s roughly twin-sized and can be set up as roughly king-sized. We just recently hung up curtains across the doorway to the room to give it a little more privacy, and it does have a bathroom attached. The week of new year’s, we had our inaugural guest bed sleepers who weren’t my mom and actually made it up at its biggest size for the first time. When it’s set up fully, the bed is low, like a mattress on the ground. It’s not luxurious. But it’s a space in my home that I offer from my heart. If it can save a friend some money and facilitate our spending time together, than it’s served its purpose.

That’s hospitality. Mi casa es su casa, etc. Pull up a seat at my table; I’ve got a chair waiting for you.

A Seat at the Table

To me, hospitality isn’t about what you have to offer; rather, it’s about how you offer it. I mean, I have some nice things, and I love when people get to enjoy them with me. I recently bought a set of vintage coupe glasses, and they feel so delicate, and I’m sort of terrified of them. But Ima use ‘em, because I love them, and if you come over, I’ll let you use one too. And if you break it, you’ll still be my friend.

Because then again, sometimes I’ll buy you wings from Publix and we’ll eat them off of paper plates. And that’s hospitality too.

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman