I entertained this holiday season. I know, duh. But my crown roast of pork had to be zapped in the microwave for the last 5 minutes (more on that later, as I hold the New York Times responsible) and so I was having a controlled melt-down in the kitchen on Christmas night, hustling to get the plates out before the stuffing became like wall paper paste. All 5 courses went fairly well, except for the main event. I was not a happy holiday host, although I faked it really well, and by the time the dessert wine was served I was well on my way to believing the accolades from my guests, or perhaps just not caring. (Not really. We always care. It just sounded good for me to fantasize for a moment that I did not.)

My guests, either because they realized my angst or read my book, did a very cool thing: they sent Thank You notes. Every single one. That’s right, my friends, the old fashioned kind that arrive in the mailbox as opposed to the inbox. Shocking, right?

The truth is that there are few people more dedicated to email for correspondence than me, to the point where I often don’t talk verbally to family members for months. I have one girlfriend to whom I have not spoken a word for several years, but we email each other a few times every week. I like it. It’s efficient, and I can collect my thoughts and zap one off quicker than I can find and hit the cell phone send button. But there are times when we should go beyond the standard, the easy, the everyday and here it is:

If you were a guest anytime this holiday or last night, and the food or party was great, and especially if it was not, take the time to tell your host “Thanks”. Yes, I know you did it as you were leaving, but it’s not the same. Until you actually FEEL a note in your hand from someone who cared enough to take the time and put on a stamp, you have not lived. Make one yourself if you’re creative, or buy some and keep in a drawer. The person who receives this special kindness will not only be impressed, but may get a tear in their eye thinking that they really did do a good job. And I hope in your hosting life you have either received one or will soon. It’s a special gift.

Guest Chpt 3

Love, and happy visiting. – Kathy