Teaching Your Children to be Gracious Hosts

By Ashley Allgood
I have always loved the movie Anne of Green Gables. I will never forget when it originally aired on PBS when I was ten years old. Anne fascinated me! She had a strong spirit, and was dramatic and creative. One of my favorite scenes from the movie is when Anne has Diana over for tea while Marilla is away. We can learn a number of lessons from this vignette, but one thing I take away is that you are never too old for a tea party!
I was one of the kids whose mom allowed her to serve only air because she didn’t want me making a mess. But, I had a few friends who would serve everything from Kool-Aid to Coke or even real tea. I found it great fun drinking out of the little cups and pouring my own drink from a kettle.
When we think of tea parties we think of little girls, stuffed animals, and fancy clothes. We seem to forget the real reason for a tea party: serving others. Before Diana arrives, Anne frets over the responsibilities one has when keeping house, and she is determined to be a great hostess to her best friend. She wants everything to be perfect. Anne feels very grown up and excited about the idea of being the hostess to her friend.
When we sit down to have “tea” or a meal with friends, we are teaching our children simple but important things such as manners, serving one another (hospitality), and kindness. We take joy—just as Anne did—in making snacks or a main dish to serve. We want our guests to enjoy our company and food.
My family lives in the south and many of us drink sweet tea daily. So, I guess you can say every day is a tea party for us, but how do you host a “real” tea party?
You can go fancy and all out with lace table clothes, center pieces, and cloth napkins or … just wing it. You can invite friends along with their favorite stuffed animals or invite a whole family over. Let your child or children come up with a simple menu so they can take part in helping make what will be served.  
There is no right or wrong way to do it. The most important thing to keep in mind is why you are having the tea party. You want to teach your kids to be gracious hosts, with good manners, who joyfully serve others in their home.
Ashley Allgood is a Christian wife married twenty-three years to Michael. They have three children ages 20, 17, and 15. They live in Georgia where they homeschool their children. Ashley is a distributor for Young Living oils. Ashley has always loved writing and storytelling. Read her blog, Thoughts Of Faith at http://mythoughtsoffaith.blogspot.com/.

3 thoughts on “Teaching Your Children to be Gracious Hosts”

  1. This is a sweet post! I love that scene with Anne & Diana too – hilarious misadventure… Your post reminds me that I need to have a tea party with my kids again – soon! We used to enjoy them when they were little – but they aren’t too big, so I need to do this again!

  2. I find myself unable to leave your blog! I can’t stop reading it! I must say you have a very unique voice in writing, which I personally appreciate. Thanks again!

Leave a Comment