Welcome Basket

My mother came in last night to stay for a few days. In keeping with the spirit of hospitality, I made her this welcome basket.

My friend, Anisa, inspired me to do this last time we stayed with her and her husband Casey. A few fresh towels, some candles, lotions, sample perfumes, a recent edition of Charlotte magazine, and a few other essentials and mom was instantly at home. During your next hotel stay, be sure to snag the soaps and bath gels that you used only once, and add them to your next welcome basket. This is a fun and unique way to make guests feel warm and invited.

Thanks Anisa! Your spirit of hospitality has spread to my house this week!

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Home. Sweet. Home.

Between diaper changes, nursing stops and rainy weather, our 10 hour trip from Jackson to Charlotte for the Thanksgiving holiday resulted in a return time of 17 hours spread over 2 days. We stopped in Atlanta Monday night to stay with our friends, Casey and Anisa Darnell and their 4-year-old daughter, Ava. Casey is a gifted musician and worship leader and Anisa is a brilliant designer with a knack for making all things beautiful. (You can check out her work at milkandhoneyhome.com.) Ava, of course, is a Disney Princess. We made it to Casey and Anisa’s by midnight in the cold and rain looking like a couple of war torn travelers. Tottering between tears and utter delirium, we pulled up to their beautifully decorated home with Christmas lights and wreaths. Their smiling faces greeted us as though it were 2 in the afternoon rather than the middle of the night. I felt like the odd relative who arrives at Clark Griswold’s house with his RV in Christmas Vacation and announces he’s staying for the holiday. But they didn’t make us feel like imposing intruders. In fact, it was quite the opposite. When they showed us to the guest room, and I could have cried. Perhaps we were just that road weary, but this is what greeted us.

A welcomed sight after a long day of travel

So simple and yet so thoughtful. I plan to start snagging those mini-toiletry bottles from my hotel room stays to add to my hospitality baskets.

It was a space to retreat complete with hanging bath robes and furry slippers in the closet, and stacks of books and magazines to help guests to unwind. The brown paper bag was filled with snacks and activities for Salem. I am so grateful when others give the extra effort to make my children feel loved and welcomed.

Thank you, Anisa! You reminded me that when it comes to hospitality, it is the little things that go a long way.

What do you like to do to make your guests feel welcomed?