As seasons change and holidays beckon us to gather in cozy homes with family and friends, our thoughts turn toward togetherness, comfort foods and feelings, warm aromas and twinkling lights.
As you swoon over dreamy banquet settings and lavish holiday affairs, thinking “I wish,” have you considered that exquisite events need not be expensive nor excessive?
How can you create impressions that inspire and bless your guests in a memorable way?
Some people are just gifted when it comes to hosting and setting a delightful atmosphere. For others, experience or economics may feel like a setback to setting the table of their dreams. Some basic cleaning, thoughtful preparations and intentional, joyful living sets the scene for memorable gatherings.
“It smells incredible in here.” “What a lovely home you have.”
“It’s so peaceful here.”
“I like that music, what are you playing?”
“I laughed so much tonight!”
“Wow, look at that feast!”
“This was a really special time.”
These are the comments you want to hear from people who enter your home. If you invited them, they are important to you, and you have hopes and expectations for the time spent together. You want it to be enjoyable relationally, and you also want to make a backdrop for this event that speaks value, intention and care without words.
Do you need a home makeover and a big budget to set this stage? I suggest not.
Enter the art of ambience.
Ambience is the character and atmosphere of a place, most often experienced as the mood that comes from your surroundings.
The heart of ambience precedes the art of ambience. Your attitude, manners, and way of welcoming your guests sets the tone for any gathering. It makes or breaks your guests' experience. Be sure to relax, enjoy, and let love shine through all you do.
Ambience goes beyond food to invest your interests and talents into an experience that will please your guests. It is a reflection of diverse people coming together in harmony. It is an expression of generosity and care.
I became attuned to the pleasure of ambience as a small child. After enjoying rich and elegant holiday feasts at my aunt’s house, I would go home to my simple little bedroom, arrange my few belongings and recreate the mood she had so gracefully supplied. I played with soft lamplight and peaceful strains of Christmas hymns, soaking in the cozy feelings of red winterberries and feathery pine branches dancing shadows on the wall. I noticed how a careful sensory arrangement could make me feel.