Our Under-construction Christmas

Discover ‘True Hospitality’ and Never be Intimidated Again
What kind of friend are you: the one who hosts or the one who’s often the guest? Sometimes we let self-doubt, fears, intimidation, or an imperfect environment inhibit us from having people over. We can easily confuse the food and presentation with the art of hospitality.

When you’re a guest, what’s more important: Gourmet food or feeling welcome and included? A well decorated environment or feeling loved by your host who is so glad you came? You see, hospitality is how we make people feel when we have them in our home.

construction-christmas-2Our last Christmas gathering is one I’m sure my family will never forget. Not because it was ‘perfect,’ but, because it wasn’t. We call it our Construction Christmas! We recently acquired a little cabin that needed a wall moved and new interior paint. We hoped to have it finished by Christmas, but, instead our place was covered in painter’s tape and cloth. I texted our family to bring their own camp chairs and dress casually, “It won’t be fancy, but, it will be fun!”

construction-christmasWith sunlight filtering through the plastic-covered windows and the smell of texture drying in the air, we ate our meal full of chuckles and excitement. It didn’t matter that dinner plates balanced on our laps and cups rested on paint buckets. It was fun!

Being there at the ‘start’ and anticipating the changes was part of the fun. Looking back, we will remember fondly, our Christmas ‘under construction!’

As our children have more children, we hope to have many celebrations there. Messy or not, I hope they will all know and experience the true blessing of hospitality: feeling loved, valued and enjoyed!

Hosting from the heart,


olivia and stephanie
Stephanie Allen is Co-founder and President of Dream Dinners and a New York Times best-selling co-author of The Hour that Matters Most. Naturally a visionary and optimist, Stephanie hopes to inspire America through her nurturing voice of encouragement, assuring families…    

“You’re doing a great job!”