I’ve never been a busy hostess. For many years Ken worked nighttime 12 hour shifts. He also worked a rotating schedule with only one full weekend off a month. On top of all of that, he worked most holidays. That meant that hosting friends for dinner on a Saturday night was almost always out of the question. When he did happen to be off at night or on the weekend, we had household things to get done and family time to spend together. Over the years I found that my way of showing hospitality to people was not to bring them to me; it was for me to reach out to them. Sometimes extending hospitality means reaching out to show people how much we care and appreciate them.
…it’s the small things, the size of a mustard seed, that ultimately move mountains.Cory Booker
I’ve delivered meals to a lot of people over the years, usually when someone is sick. But my favorite way to reach out with hospitality is to treat people out-of-the-blue, “just because.” This week I mixed up a giant bowl of a fall snack mix, and I put it into bags with tags on them. Ken took them into work on Monday and handed them out to his coworkers. There wasn’t an occasion or reason – It was just because sometimes Mondays stink, and who doesn’t love a little treat on their desk?
I’ve seen pictures of similar mixes on Pinterest and Instagram. I’ve actually never looked up or used a recipe. I just mix up a bunch of things that I think taste good together.
Here’s what I like to mix in:
- Brach’s fall mix candy corn (It’s the bag that also has the mallow pumpkins and assorted fall colors in it.)
- A jar of dry roasted peanuts.
- A bag of mini pretzel twists.
- A “share size” bag of M&Ms. (We like to use the caramel or cocoa flavors in the fall mix.)
- Chocolate flavored Chex Cereal (Not the whole box.)
- Caramel Popcorn (We like “The Mix”.)
You can use more or less of the ingredients so that you have the proportions the way that you like. You can add or omit items that you want in the mix. (This time around I didn’t have caramel popcorn, so I used Teddy Grahams.) This is great to set out at a party or to put into bags like I have.
I think there’s an assumption that in order to show hospitality we must invite people into our homes. And that is wonderful way. But it’s not realistic for everyone. If you really want to “invite people in” and show them kindness, sometimes a little gesture can open the door.
Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.Mother Teresa