Hostess Journal : A Lovely Keepsake To Cherish

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This weekend my family is having their Christmas get together. Although we aren’t an overly large family (about sixteen of us when all assembled at my mother’s house), it isn’t often that we are all able to get together at the same time, usually no more than two or three times a year. With many of you having company over for the holidays, I thought this would be a perfect time to bring you a little information on starting a hostess journal, which is sure to be cherished by you and your family for generations to come.

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I have always wanted to do this but only just now did. I simply purchased a journal, lined or plain, it makes no difference.

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My journal is for Bountiful, our new home.

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Whenever we have company over (What a gift it is to be able to entertain friends and family!), I write the date at the top of the page, the names of our guests, what we served, and any special memories or a little summary of the gathering.

My first entry was for our impromtu Christmas party.

(I really do have horrendous handwriting but I know my children will be glad I wrote this in my own hand one of these days. They may also wonder why I didn’t go into medicine…)

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The second entry was when my Mother, Father, and Grandmama came over with my nephew and niece for dinner.

Their anniversary was coming up and so we gave them a gift and I wrote down what it was in addition to the other information.

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That time,. I had everyone sign the book. Katy especially enjoyed this.

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We took some special photos, so I placed them in an envelope and tucked them inside.

Of course, this would be a lovely idea for a scrapbooker to expand on but I prefer to go with the lesser pressure option right now, you can always go back and scrapbook later.

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My niece, Elle is just a few months old, so I traced her wiggly hand on the page. :)

I know I’m going to cherish this and it is such a simple idea.

What a wonderful keepsake to pass down to my kids, too!

Special thanks to my dear friend, Maralee McKee, for taking time to talk with me yesterday about the wonders of keeping a Hostess Journal. I just knew she’d be a wealth of information and she has been keeping one for about fourteen years now. I’ve heard of other ideas where folks kept a special table cloth and had each guest sign it in permanent ink. I love that idea but the journal is something I can pick up and flip through, remembering what I served to people and drawing ideas for future guests.

Just a simple, lovely idea I thought I’d bring you in time to make your Christmas entries. This would make a lovely hostess gift as well.

Merry Christmas. Take time to draw joy from the simple things!

Gratefully,

Christy :)

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Grandmama, Katy Rose, Mama, and niece, Elle.

Joy is not in things; it is in us.

-Richard Wagner. Submitted by Sara. Submit your quote here.

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Comments

  1. Betty L. in Tn. says

    Oh Sweetface, you amaze me how much you accomplish ..”groan” I am either lazy or slow . I have those days when I accomplish zero. But I am sure on the ball today . I HAVE to get my cards out today. I am ready to go the post office , so now I only have to address my cards. LOL I am working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Someone
    has to take care of the sick and afflicted. I work so the ones with
    children at home can be with them. A lot of snow predicted here ,so I am packing some extra things in case I can’t get home from work tomorrow. Love , Joy, and Blessings to you and your family.

    • Mrs. Welch in TX says

      Dear Betty L.,
      Thank you most kindly for being one of the ones to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! You can’t close up the hospital and send ‘em all home on holidays, so somebody’s gotta be there – and kind folks like you make it easier on people with little kids whose Christmases with their parents fly by so fast!

      (Thank you, Christy, for allowing me to thank Betty here!)

  2. Michael says

    I never was one for sentimental things such as this when I was growing up nor when I was a younger adult. However, as the years have flown by I’ve begun to learn how important it is to have some sort of record, whether it be a journal like yours or just some photographs, to help jog the ol noggin so the memories can be as fresh as the day they were made. Such a great and wonderful idea Christy!!

  3. says

    I love this idea! Of course I love all your ideas and I’m copying lots of them. My poor hubby thinks I’ve lost my little mind!

    We have a Grandmama too! My children call my Mama Grandmama – except for the 2 yr old who calls her G Mama (grin). She tells them she’s the queen and they are the princesses. I have three girls and one boy, he’s too old for that stuff he says.

    I am so inpsired by the pictures of your home and your posts on this blog! I am on a quest to make my modern subdivision house into the little old farmhouse I’ve always dreamed of. I even gave it a name – Gentility. I wrote about why I picked that name on my blog this morning. Hope you’ll check it out!

  4. Lisa Botts says

    What a wonderful idea! How I wish I had been doing this all these years. My thing now is to make sure I take pictures everytime we have a gathering of any size. We’ve lost both of my parents and my husband’s father in a 3 year time frame and the last pictures we took of them are cherished ones. I encourage everybody to take pictures because you just never know. People may get annoyed with you but in years to come, they’ll appreciate them.

  5. says

    What a wonderful idea!
    Growing up, we’d have in excess of 30 people at our home for Christmas dinner… I think back now and wish I had done something like this before my mom, and almost all my aunts and uncles passed away.
    Another fun keepsake idea is to take a plain tablecloth and let everyone sign it. Sharpie markers work, and if you’ve got someone who is able (and willing!) to embroider all of the signatures and notes, it will become a permanent memory and keepsake to hand down.

  6. Sara says

    Wish I had started that many years ago. What I did do, was serge a piece of muslin for a table cloth, get permanent fabric quilt makers, and let everyone sign the table cloth. We’ve done that for several Christmas’s and Thanksgivings, and it is fun to go back and see drawings or thoughts family and friends have made. I guess this can be done for each child’s birthday as well. Enjoy!

  7. Terri go Dawgs says

    Thank you Christy. What a wonderful idea! I guess there is no time like the present to start one. I do wish I had one waaay back when, as all the grandparents and my mama were still around and my kids were little. Thanks to Maralee, too for all the wonderful things she does too.

  8. petra says

    We have some memory books too. We move quite often and everytime we do (or friends do) we have friends write something into the book to remember the good times. This could be something funny that happened with us or just a real good memory.
    for my boys i started a memory book when they started with school. At the end of the school year i asked the teachers to summerize the year with them and what they will remember the most about them. I also asked the teacher (up to about 4th grade) to use maybe part of an english class to write something to the boys. they went to a british school for 5 years and had the same kids in class all these years. it is amazing to look back and see the growth they had and how they developed. There was a time when it was me initiating this because they did not see the need at some points but when they turned about 14-15 they loved reading them and looking back.
    I am sure your family will enjoy to look back at the memories you create.
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

  9. Rae Wilson says

    Christy, my mother in law started keeping a journal book like this the year they built their lakehouse, and at every gathering all the guests write in comments about the visit. She has been gone for several years now and my husband and his siblings have kept up the tradition. Since the lakehouse is a family owned property, different people visit throughout the year with individual family members as well when the whole family clan of 40 descend there on holidays. It has such precious memories throughout the years. I believe that there are now around 40 journals of the past in the collection. It makes you remember things you have totally forgotten when you take a vist down the memory lane reading through a past journal.

  10. Ann says

    I recently started doing this, only I call mine a kitchen journal, because I write recipes in it too. I have all of our favorite recipes typed and put in sheet protectors in a binder, but this is more personal-recipes I’ve made up and menus, timelines, and guest lists, plus my thoughts on some things. love your site!

  11. Mrs. Welch in TX says

    We ended up with one of these by default – and it’s precious! I started writing down what I gave people at the winter holidays because I can’t trust my memory NOT to give them the same thing over and over, and I started writing down what kids got for their birthdays, to make the thank-you note writing easier … and then it became a place to put the guest lists for the parties … and then it became a place to write down the funny things little kids said at the parties … and now it’s a raggedly old spiral notebook but more precious than gold. What a good idea to start with a sturdy and beautiful book to begin with! Thank you, Christy and Maralee!

  12. Jean says

    I made the Elvis Presley cake for our Christmas lunch today. It was a hit and an empty pan to prove it. I am going to check out the Hamilton Beach coffeepot-looks like something to tell Santa.

  13. Linda M. says

    I hate when I’m so late getting caught up with your posts! This is a wonderful idea that I plan to start today! I actually have a journal to use. I’ve always been one to have journals & little books that I write in……but of course, I wasn’t quite smart enough to think of this.This would be a good time to tell you…..again….how happy I am to have found you & to wish you & your’s the very best this wonderful season can bring! I look forward to the year ahead with all your recipes & great ideas…..I’m going to try to keep more caught up! Afterall, I have you on my homepage! My family has been going thru a very tough time,we lost my nephews baby to crib death. My Mom is just a mess, him being her first Great Grandson. We bury our little Angel today.Then I pray we can begin to heal.

  14. Melissa Hand says

    Oh, Linda, I am so sorry for your and your family’s loss. There is nothing more devastating than losing a child…I know, because I lost my son when he was 26 years old and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. It is every parent’s worst nightmare to lose a child. There is no pain, grief or loss like it. I will pray for you and your family during this difficult time. Just know that the Lord is with you, He understands your pain and loss and He loves you. There are two Biblically-based resources I would like to direct you to: A book called Through a Season of Grief by Bill Dunn and Kathy Leonard (I carried it around with me for over a year after my son’s death); the other resource is Caleb Ministries, a website and support group for those who have lost a child. It was founded by a young woman at my former church in Charlotte, NC (I now live in Florida.) You and your family need prayers, love and support right now. Just know you and your family will be in my prayers. May you feel God’s abounding love now and through the coming year.

  15. Betty L. in Tn. says

    Linda, I know this is a sad day for your family. I can say that I
    do understand as I buried my husband on the 23 rd of Dec. several
    years back and it was the saddest thing ever for me and our young
    children. You and your family will be in my prayers. May God bless
    all of you.
    Betty L. in Tn.

  16. Barbara says

    Dear Linda,
    I am so sorry that your family has suffered such a loss. I cannot fathom the pain and sorrow you all must feel, but you are in my prayers today, that you will draw strength from God and will realize that you will see that precious baby again, someday. God Bless and keep you all.
    Barb in Az.

  17. Betts says

    Dear Linda,

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I know how hard it can be because we lost my nephew to SIDS (crib death) when he was 6 months old. It just didn’t seem right that we had so little time with him. However, it was comforting to know that he was somewhere that he was loved and cared for in the highest manner. It may take some time to come to terms with it but know that you are in my prayers. May God grant you the strength to get through each and every day during this very sad time.

    Betts in MI

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