growing in hospitality with Hallmark

College was one thing. We’d text friends to come over, they’d come, we’d drag whatever snack or non-snack food we had out of the pantry, and we’d talk and watch movies for hours.

When I moved to St. Louis for grad school, through God’s goodness I found a wonderful roommate I’d never met before. We became friends quickly, and we made friends… including Dan. A few months in, my roommate, Meredith, hosted a brunch at our apartment. Loads of homemade food, tablecloth, candles, other decor. She welcomed friends and took coats and made conversation and refilled the food table with ease. This was a whole different thing. I loved it. And I was impressed.


Unlike Meredith, being hospitable does not come easily to me. As much as I may want, I’m not the sort to tell friends to stop by “whenever.” Even planned events make me sweat as my thoughts are dominated by whether the bathroom is clean and if friends feel comfortable on my couch.

Because I want so much to be a good host, I’ve quietly observed others hosting formal events and casual hang outs for some time now. In my experience, there are two things most people do to make people comfortable in their homes. They’re simple, and I’ve done them in my home.

I make sure my house smells nice. I make sure our little Glade plug-ins are going strong. I light a candle in the bathroom or above the fireplace. For the holidays, I purchased a mistletoe Crafters & Co. candle from Hallmark. One big one for the mantel and one little one for the bathroom. They are glorious.

I also make sure there is food available immediately. I dump some pretzels or nuts or peppermint bark in a bowl. I picked up some peppermint bark from Hallmark for a party I’m hosting soon. (It’s a Favorite Things party, and it will be only the second party I’ve planned and hosted. The first was Milo’s adoption finalization party!)

I may not naturally love hosting, but I believe it’s partially how I can steward the resources and home God has blessed me with. I’m slowly learning, and though the bathroom may not always be clean, you can count on a candle lit and snacks available. 

I got to make another little video. It has a few glimpses of our new house! 

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Hallmark Gold Crown, but experiences expressed here are my own.