Meet Lisa Lou
Some of my fondest childhood memories occurred during holidays when my mother allowed me to choose the place settings for our dinner parties. I felt grown up, that my opinion mattered, and that my mother had confidence in my ability to pull off the most important part of the event…the table! I would plop myself on the floor and meticulously examine each plate before placing it in front of the designated chair. After my tablescape was completed, I would don my clothes in preparation for the coming gathering. Impatiently waiting for everyone to arrive, I could feel my heart race while searching for the first signs of guests pulling into the driveway. Hearing car doors close I would race to the entryway, waiting for the Ding Dong that signaled the party was about to begin. The excited voices, the bear hugs, and the exchange of kisses represented the pure joy that came from seeing friends and family. When it was time to share a meal, I beamed with pride when our guests took their seats, at my table.
Looking back on those special moments, I realize it was not the elaborately decorated entertaining pieces that created my joy. It was what each setting represented. A celebration was about to occur which allowed my family to extend hospitality to the world around us. There is a difference between hospitality and entertaining. Hospitality is how we show love to those around us. Entertaining is how we choose to show that love.
In my home the table served as an anchor where memories were shared, lessons were learned, and fun was had. Hospitality meant the warm gathering of friends and family at Christmas; the Halloween parties where we laughed endlessly around a table of ghoulish treats; watching my father nostalgically listen to patriotic music during Independence Day parties, remembering his time in military service. Although my parents loved entertaining, it was their intentional act of hospitality that shaped who I am today.
The real gift that came from gathering at the table were the decades of wisdom I internalized by immersing myself in the words spoken by the adults around me. I observed. I learned. And I saw the woman I wanted to become through the role models at my table. I learned another important lesson. Entertaining was a vital tool used to teach the next generation.
I believe when families gather around the table and break bread, something indescribable happens. Healthy families are created. Healthy families lead to strong communities, and strong communities create a strong nation. It is why gathering at the table is so important, and why at Celebrate we are on a mission to bring families and friends together, one celebration at a time.
Together with you,