Thanksgiving and Hospitality

There are two times in the year when visiting extended family is considered important: Christmas and Thanksgiving.  We think of having our family over for such occasions as being hospitable.  But how many people do we have to have over to be hospitable?  Is 5 enough?  Or should it be twice as many people as you normally have at home?  Can it be immediate family, or must it be strangers?

What is real hospitality?  A good definition of hospitality is “cheerfully sharing food, shelter, and spiritual refreshment with those whom God brings into my life.”  So, whether we have 73 people over, or only a few, the important thing is sharing what you have with those whom God brings into our lives.

Set up for 72

We had 73 people over the Friday before Thanksgiving, and then had all the Sherbrooke Gideons and their wives (about 15 people) over for an honorary supper on Thanksgiving Day.

But what would it be to have company without there being some kind of disaster?  The one I remember best is the turkey disaster.

cleaning up the disaster

The turkey decided it was tired of sitting in a pan of boiling liquid, so when I pulled it part way out of the oven, it promptly released that liquid all over the oven door, the floor and my feet, which happened to be under me as I was removing the turkey.  I am very grateful for Elizabeth and Jonathan who willingly helped clean up the mess.  Overall, however, the preparation went very well, and we had the opportunity of meeting a few new people.

The room was full starting on the deserts

Although almost all the leaves have fallen now, we did had some beautiful autumn weather this year.  Thanksgiving Friday was one such day so, as I was outside waiting for people to arrive, I thought I would take advantage of it to take some pictures of what remained of the beautiful autumn foliage.

Fall leaves

colourful maple leaves

1 Peter 4:9-10 “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.  As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

6 thoughts on “Thanksgiving and Hospitality

  1. Elizabeth

    That was a good refocusing on the reason for opening up our home, David. Has your foot fully recovered from its "encounter" with the turkey yet?

    You wouldn’t believe it, but hardly any of the leaves are down here. They are changing colours, though. I think Evelyn and I are getting a very long, extended fall! It is beautiful! I have a feeling we might miss the beginning of winter, though… 🙁

  2. David

    My foot is no longer requiring dressings, and there is no pain, but I expect the scar will remain for some time longer.
    There is only one night on the forecast where the temperature is not expected to drop below zero here, so I guess winter is on its way. Maybe you will come home to a few inches of snow…

  3. Stephanie

    I really am inspired by your hospitality post. I have been wanting to find some kind of outreach for our family that takes the focus off of ourselves at Christmas and as I was praying this morning, I asked God to show me some way that we could do some kind of community service at Christmas to show God’s love to others. When I saw your post I thought it was very timely 🙂 Can you tell me how you go about planning a meal for that many people and where you hold it? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much and God bless!

  4. Stephanie

    Now I see that you held it in your home! That is a real blessing to have a home that can hold that many people. 🙂

  5. Elizabeth

    Thank you for your comment. We didn’t see it until just now…

    How do we plan a meal for a crowd? Well, for starters, many hands make light work – we [i]all[/i] get involved in the kitchen. Another thing to keep in mind is that you really don’t need any more dishes than you would usually have for your own family; you just need them in much larger quantities. In other words, don’t overwork yourself making lots of different things. Keep it simple by making a big batch of [i]one[/i] main meal, [i]one[/i] salad, etc.

    We are very grateful for the way the Lord has allowed for us to add on to our home, affording us more room for hospitality opportunities. We didn’t start then, though. We have been doing this kind of thing for years. I can vividly remember a time when we had about a dozen extra people over for lunch on the spur of the moment. We all worked together, and though there was hardly elbow room and the meal was simple, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the time. And we have had more people in than that – even when the space was a little tight with just our family. People don’t mind close quarters if the atmosphere is warm and inviting. When you bring people into your home, make them feel at home – five star hotels are all very nice, but a home is supposed to be a [i]home[/i]. Be simple. Be real.

    Oh, and just a side note: a little clutter, a few toys left out, a spill in the kitchen, those things don’t detract, they enhance. 🙂


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