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Southern Hospitality


Southern hospitality: a feeling of being sincerely welcomed as a guest or long lost friend. A unique friendliness. A way of embracing strangers with total ease and making them feel warm and cozy.

Okay, so it's not in the dictionary, but it may as well be and that's my definition.

You don't have to live below the Mason Dixon line either to show a little southern hospitality. It doesn't take a big gesture to show someone you care. This is when a little goes a long way.

Here are a few gestures, quite honestly, polite gestures in my opinion you can do for others. Because who doesn't want to feel sincerely welcomed and warm and cozy inside?

PS. My intentions aren't to teach basic manners in the post, although some people could use just that. My intentions are to maybe remind you to be aware of your actions and how they affect people. Whether it's paying it forward or a simple gesture, it goes a long way and could change someone's day.

Go change someone's day.

// Make a treat for a new neighbor. It's like starting at a new school and being the odd kid out. Extending a welcoming hand is such a sweet way of saying, "You may be new, but you are accepted." We all need a little acceptance from time to time.

// Don't show up empty handed. It's so rude to show up empty handed to an event or party you've been invited to. Even if the hostess tells you not to bring anything, ignore it. A bottle of wine, a plate of cookies, a small candle for the hostess. Something.

// Write a thank you note. It's so simple, so sweet and so cheap. I like to hoard the cards from the $1 bins at Target because they are cute, fun to have on hand and hellooooo, ONE DOLLAR. If someone house sits for you, brings you a meal when you are sick, watches your kid, etc. write them a thank you showing you appreciate them and the gesture they made to go out of their way for you.

// Clean up. When you have guests coming to stay with you, wash their bedding and towels. Clean the bedroom and bathroom they are going to be using. Stock up on items they may have forgotten such as cottonballs, q-tips, hairspray, etc. You can even go above and beyond and leave them a little "guest basket" with tissues, a magazine, lotion, chapstick, water. You know, the amenities.

// Keep beverages on hand. Who doesn't love a good pop-in? Yeah, not so much. Family tends to do that though don't they? "Hey I'm driving through town and thought I'd stop over, be there in five!". It would be rude not to offer them a cold beverage when they arrive so it's moments like this that it's great to keep a box of sweet tea or a lemonade mix on hand. That way you can whip up a pitcher in a matter of minutes while you tell your husband to sweep the house and hide all the toys, shoes, dog bones, etc. reaaaaaally quickly. #teamwork

Southern hospitality doesn't have to exsist solely in your home either. Here are some examples for every day life in public.

// Let someone go first in line. When I'm at the grocery store and standing in the checkout line with a full cart, if I happen to look behind me and see something with only a couple of things I will let them go ahead of me. Why not? Yes, they chose to stand behind me. Yes, they may have ignored the 10 items or less line and a couple aisles over. So? It's a gesture of kindness.

// Don't use your horn. For Heavens sake, don't blow your car horn unless you are about to be in a dangerous situation. Why blow it at someone who doesn't notice the light turned green right away?

// Hold the door. We've been raised to hold the door for elders, but it should be done for everyone! Pregnant woman, children, the person walking in the door behind you.

Do you have other ideas of how to be hospitable towards others? I'd love to hear them!
10 comments on "Southern Hospitality "
  1. Love these! A good reminder to add a little kindness to your day!

    Her Heartland Soul

  2. Very nice list, but I respectfully disagree with two of these. Sometimes showing up empty-handed is a good idea. It sounds weird, but I have some friends/family who get stressed out when people add surprise dishes or beverages to their already-planned menu. Most of the time, I think they're being silly (what's the harm in more food?), but the last thing you want to do is be the guest who upsets the host!

    I also disagree with using your horn. If someone is spacing out because they're on their phone while driving, I have zero qualms about honking at them to remind them to not be a reckless idiot.

    Overall though, this is a sweet list!

  3. Holding the door was just always something we did everywhere growing up and when I moved to college it was like a foreign concept to me that people wouldn't hold the door!!

  4. SUCH a great post! Isn't it sad how many people don't have basic manners anymore?! Little things like thank you notes and holding the door go a looongggg way!

  5. love this! im crazy about writing thank you notes! i totally want violet to be the same way when she's older. xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  6. I love this. I think that is a great thing about the Midwest/Great Lakes too. Everyone is so friendly, but in little ways that i definitely take for granted. I don't realize how good we have it until we travel. Ugh, even just driving in some of the places we've been is so much less pleasant simply because people are less considerate about it. I love these ideas. I like to give new people at work recommendations on places to eat etc. in town. We occasionally pay for the person in line behind us at the Starbucks drive through too. :) When we visit friends from out of town we always either bring something from home for them, local beer etc. Or we treat them to a dinner out while we stay with them. I love sending mail of all kinds, people are really loving that. :) I don't have any other ideas right now, but I just love this post. :) XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  7. I wish that people across the PLANET would participate in Southern ways! I think that the world would be a much, much better place.

    Ps. That drink looks DIVINE.

  8. Such a great list, it sucks sometimes that people don't have basic manners or do some of these things. I mean holding the door open for the person behind you or sending thank you notes/cards doesn't take all that much time or effort and the person who receives the gesture is always thankful and you feel such a sense of gratitude after doing those things.

  9. So funny. My fam has lived in the north since Italy and yet my mom has taught and instilled in me all of these things and I love that and her for that.


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