Hospitality Archives

Recipes for Cheesecake, Banana Bread, and Lasagna

Someone asked me for one of the following recipes, and I noticed that these 3 recipes were in my first book, but I failed to put them in my second book.

Italian Cheesecake

1 lb. ricotta cheese
1 lb. cream cheese
1 ½  cups sugar
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 t. vanilla
1 t. lemon extract
3 T. flour
3 T. cornstarch
½ melted butter (cooled)
2 cups sour cream
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 T. chopped lemon peel

In large mixing bowl cream ricotta and cream cheese. Add sugar, eggs, vanilla, and lemon extract; Mix well. Add flour and cornstarch. Add melted butter. Fold in sour cream.

Grease 9″ spring form pan and sprinkle generously with graham cracker crumbs. Pour cheese mixture into pan. Bake in a preheated 325 oven for 1 hour. Turn off the heat and leave cake in oven for 2 hours. This is very important. Do not open the door for 3 hours after the cake is placed in the oven. After 3 hours, remove cheesecake from oven and cool completely.  Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Best Banana Bread (350º for 60 minutes)

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 bananas, finely crushed ( for a very moist bread, use 4 bananas)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and crushed bananas and blend well. Sift together flour, soda and salt, add to creamed mixture, and add vanilla. Keep well if refrigerated.

Santino’ Lasagna 

8 oz. olive oil
2 large diced onions
2 lbs. chopped carrots
3 lbs. ground beef.

Cook ground beef, onion, and carrots in olive oil until done. Add 5 cans of kitchen ready pastene tomatoes and 3/4 T. salt.

While this mixture is cooking in an open pan, make a roux with 2 sticks of butter, 4 T. flour, and 2 cups milk.

Have a pot of water boiling for noodles. Dip noodles in and out of boiling water. Layer noodles, spaghetti sauce, and milk sauce in pan.  Bake for 20 minutes and then add mozzarella cheese on top. Continue baking another 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

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Helpful Tips When Preparing for Guests

Being a good hostess does not require a formal education, but it is helpful to know a few basic tips. Some of the following tips I have learned by trial and error.

Several years ago, my husband and I became stewards of a large home. After we moved in, I was so excited about having the room to entertain, I invited twelve pastors and their wives over for dinner.  Since I had moved from a house that had one bathroom to a house that five bathrooms, I did not bother to check the supplies in each bathroom. During the evening, a distinguished pastor sheepishly had to come to me to ask for toilet paper…number 1 rule…make sure all your bathrooms have plenty of toilet paper, hand soap, and air freshener.

  •  Supply feminine products to guests by putting those items in a pretty box or bag and place on the back of toilet.
  • Clean house before guests arrive. Do not rush around cleaning parts of house while guests are there.
  • Chill drinks and make extra ice.
  • Arrange furniture to maximize seating for everyone.
  • Make sure table is set before guests arrive.

 Overnight Guests

 Overnight guests can sometimes feel uncomfortable being in an unfamiliar room. Try to make your guest room as comfortable as possible.

 Items Needed for a Guest Room

  •  A clean bed with extra bedding
  • An iron and ironing board
  • A comfortable reading chair
  • A good lamp and good selection of books
  • A good mirror
  • A clock
  • A box of tissue
  • A small sewing kit
  • A small trash can
  • A good supply of plastic hangers in the closet
  • A writing desk with pens, pencils, paper, scissors, and envelopes
  • A power strip for guests to plug in cell phones and other electronic devices
  • An index card with the code for wireless internet placed in desk drawer.
  • A welcome packet with information about the area
  • A folding luggage rack (this makes a convenient place for a guest to put his suitcase) 

Tips to Make Overnight Guests Feel Special

  • Leave a welcome gift and note.
  • Leave two Hershey kisses or Mint Patties on pillows.
  • Have a basket of fresh fruit, two stemmed glasses, and two bottles of water.
  • Keep a snack tray available in the kitchen. This tray could include microwave popcorn, oatmeal bars, and individual bags of peanuts, hot chocolate mixes, and herbal teas.
  • If your guest room is large enough, keep a compact fridge and stock it with waters, sodas, juices, and other snack items.
  • If your guests have to share a bathroom, you might keep large terrycloth bathrobes in the closet.
  • Place a TV with a DVD player and inspirational DVDs in guest room.
  • Place a stuffed animal on a child’s bed to make him feel more secure.

 Tips for Supplying a Guest Bath

When preparing for a guest bath, think about things that you might find in a nice hotel or an upscale Bed and Breakfast. You find nice plump towels, great toiletries, and fresh, clean smells.

Items Needed for a Guest Bath 

  • Towels and washcloths
  • Extra toilet paper and tissues
  • Disposable cups
  • Fresh soap
  • Extra toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Body lotion and moisturizer
  • Shampoo, conditioner, hair spray
  • Deodorant
  • New toothbrushes ,toothpaste, mouthwash
  • Waste basket
  • Air freshener
  • Razors
  • Bubble bath or bath oil (always a special treat)
  • Plunger under the sink
  • Night light

You might also consider keeping common medicines such as aspirin, anti-diarrheal pills, acid reducers, and a first-aid kit in your guest bath.

Encouraging Others through Hospitality

Hospitality Is a Tremendous Tool for Encouragement and Edification  written by Terrie Chappell  June 20, 2014

One of my first official attempts at gracious hospitality came early in our family’s ministry, and it was not what I imagined it would be. My husband had just started a couples’ class, and he was so excited the Sunday our first visiting couple attended church. Imagine my shock when, right in the middle of class, he invited them over to our home for lunch!

I was expecting our second child and was not feeling very pleasant or hospitable. We also did not have any food at home! (In fact, I was praying someone would have us over for Sunday lunch that day!) By the time our class was over, I was convinced that he had not been serious in his invitation.

As we walked home from church, I reached for my husband’s hand and said, “I’m so glad you were teasing about having people over today.” It was when he assured me that he was not joking that I looked behind my shoulder and saw the visiting couple following us to our apartment.

I quickly began to formulate a plan. The closest store was a 7-Eleven on the corner of our street, and we only had seven dollars. I ran to the 7-Eleven with the little money we had and bought a package of spaghetti noodles, a can of green beans, and a half gallon of ice cream. So, our big Sunday afternoon meal and my first debut in hospitality consisted of buttered noodles, green beans, and ice cream. To my surprise, the couple joined the church the next Sunday! (I think it was the ice cream!)

Hospitality is a wonderful opportunity to encourage others in the Lord! First Peter 4:9 admonishes us, “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” Why don’t you take some time this summer to be a blessing to others in this way, and do so with a joyful spirit? Here a few quick reminders that may help:

• Your meal doesn’t have to be fancy. There are many affordable and fun options (popcorn, ice cream, brownies, etc).
• Your home doesn’t have to be perfect. If you wait until you have every upgrade or decorative item on your wish list, you may never have anyone over!
• Once the food has been served, focus on your guests and enjoy your fellowship with them.
• Ask for help! If you do have a more extensive menu planned, recruit help. It gives others the opportunity to serve and be a part.
• Don’t stress. Be thankful for the privilege of Christian fellowship and savor the time spent with God’s people.

The rule of thumb when planning a banquet is, if you are honoring someone, you usually plan a sit-down dinner. If it is more of a casual get together, plan a buffet.  If possible, always opt to do a buffet. Sit-down dinners are more work and more expensive.

Tips for Planning Buffet Meals

• Get friends’ recommendations for good caters. Independent caterers are usually cheaper than large companies. Don’t be embarrassed to negotiate for price break or ask if they’ll throw in more appetizers for the same amount.
• Keep a laminated copy of proper placement of food for buffet settings on hand.
• Before food arrives, label area where want your food placed. You can do this by putting a slip of paper where you want each dish placed. This also helps others know where to place the food.
• Decide if you want to set up a for one or two-line buffet. For a one-line buffet, guests move around all four sides. For a two-line buffet, set table with twin arrangements of plates, food, silver, and napkins on each side.
• Use warming trays or crock pots to keep food hot.
• Don’t serve everything on buffet table. Use a different area for appetizers and another area for coffee and desserts.
• Make sure to leave space between dishes so that people can put their plates down to get food.
• Use small frames to label items such as decaf coffee, various flavored coffees, and sugar free desserts.
• Do not be afraid to use prepared foods when necessary; just display in a beautiful way.
• If serving a bland food, serve a tart or spicy food to complement it.
• Serve a cold dish with a hot dish. (Use crushed ice to keep certain foods cold)
• Serve a soft food with a crisp one. Bread sticks are an example of a crisp food.
• Use color in planning meals. If color is drab, consider garnishing with parsley, cherry, tomatoes, or beets.
• Plan a variety of foods by considering flavors, textures, and temperatures.
• If you use prepared foods, display them in a beautiful way.
• Plan an entree, a vegetable, a fruit or vegetable dish, and a dessert and beverage.

Entree -This is usually a meat dish. It could also be meatless pasta dish.
Vegetable -Fresh or frozen vegetables are the best for color, texture, and flavor.
Fruit or vegetable salad –This will also supply the color and flavor.
Dessert– They can be elaborate or simple.

Tips to Help Feed Large Groups

• The best meals to cook for large crowds are spaghetti and meatballs, soups and salads, and casseroles.
• Have everyone bring a dish and create big buffet.
• More selections equal smaller portions.
• Stick to easy recipes with simple ingredients.
• Use 6 oz. protein per person meat selection.
• Use 1 # 10 can of vegetables per 5 person.
• Use 1 potato per person.
• Use 1 head of lettuce per 5 people.
• Use a 9×12 main dish to serve 10-12 people.
• Add plenty of bread when feeding large groups.
• If you are not using chafing dishes, choose foods that taste good at room temperature.
• For an inexpensive meal, prepare 2 kinds of soups and 2 large salads. Add chips and cut-up veggies.
• Do not serve tough meats if using plastic utensils.

Tips to Help Prepare Drinks for Large Groups

• Use 1 lb. coffee for 50 8 oz. servings (2-cups cream).
• Use 1-cup tea leaves for 50 8 oz. servings.

Is “Hospitality” a True Ministry?

Although hospitality today seems to be a lost art and not considered to be a true ministry, the Bible still commands us to use hospitality and not to complain about doing it.

Romans 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality…
1 Peter 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

The stresses of everyday living can be very demanding to God’s servants. We must lift up our eyes and see the needs of those hurting around us. We must look for opportunities to provide special times of relaxation for the discouraged and weary.

Many times in this self-centered society, not only unsaved women, but also Christian women, make excuses for not opening their homes and exhibiting hospitality. Today very few people invite you to their homes for a meal or just fellowship. Maybe it is because of the fast paced lifestyle people live. People become so wrapped up in their own lives that they don’t seem to have the time to reach out to others.

What are some of the excuses women use for not practicing hospitality?

My home is not good enough.Through the years, it has not been the women who had gorgeous homes or who prepared  lavish meals that made the greatest impact on me. It has been the women who genuinely loved the Lord and offered me simple gestures of friendship and love  by offering me simple acts of hospitality. One of my fondest memories goes back many years ago when my husband and I were in Bible College. On weekends, we drove back and forth to Arkansas to minister in a small church. We stayed in the home of a widow woman named Mrs. Medlin. Although she lived on a small pension, she loved God’s servants and wanted to be a blessing to them. Many Sundays, our dinners consisted of only oxtail soup. Even though those were just simple meals, she made them seem like feasts. She willingly shared what she had with us. She did not try to impress us; she just wanted to make us feel special.

It is just too expensive. Hospitality does not have to be costly.

• Invite someone over for just soup and salad or just coffee and dessert.
• Invite several couples for dinner. Ask one lady to bring a dessert, another to bring a vegetable, another to bring a potato casserole, and you provide the meat.

It takes too much time and effort. Hospitality does not have to take a great deal of time and effort. We have time to do exactly what we want to do. We have time to shop, to watch our favorite television programs, to garden, to craft, or even to read good books.

• Stick to meals that are easy. Make things the day before, such as lasagna, and then put it in the oven.
• Forget complicated recipes! When you make a dinner for your family, make a double batch and stick the other one in the freezer.
• Use your crock-pot.

My house is just not clean enough. People are not coming to your home to inspect the dust bunnies under the bed or do the white glove on your furniture.

Here are some simple tricks to practice to always have your home ready to minister.

• Don’t go to bed at night until you have made sure your living room and bathroom are picked up.
• Always put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher instead of the sink.
• If you have children, assign a various job to each child.
• Keep a designated play area, other than the living room, for the children to play.
• Do designated morning chores every morning. (Empty bathroom trash, make beds,  put clothes away, and put dishes in dishwasher)

Texas Place Setting

 

Proper Place Setting

1. Salad bowl 2.Napkin 3. Salad fork 4. Dinner fork 5. Dessert fork 6. Dinner plate
7. Knife (blade facing plate) 8. Teaspoon 9. Iced tea spoon 10. Coffee cup
11. Iced tea glass 12. Water glass

If you want to make your guests feel more comfortable, place dessert forks on individual dessert plates.

If you are not going to serve iced tea, skip placing ice tea spoon next to teaspoon.

Do Your Part to Make Your Church Friendly?

Today many people have given up on church because  when they do attend, they don’t see a genuine love and acceptance for visitors, new members, or even each other. 

Visitors come into our churches hoping to find love and acceptance, yet in many churches all they find is isolation and rejection.   Not one person  reaches out to them. Think of the difference you could make in someone’s life if you would just reach out and welcome that visitor or new member.

 Too often we leave the job of hospitality to the pastor, who is usually already overextended.   We walk into our church, sit on our same pew,  and talk to our same friends.  The excuse that many Christians make is that “even Jesus himself had a close, inner circle of friends. We just can’t get around to everyone.  Too many Christians seem to be drawn to those who are their friends and those who are like them.

What should we be doing?

  • Be friendly to visitors: “Welcome!  It’s so good to see you this morning.”
  • Be friendly to the poor and outcast. (Even if you don’t feel like it)
  • Be a friend to a visitor.  Invite him to lunch or to your house for coffee.
  • If someone comes in alone, sit with him and make him feel welcome.
  • Sit on a different pew and visit with a different member.
  • Avoid just visiting with your clique.
  • Request phone number of a visitor; send him a friendly text during the week.
  • Next church fellowship, sit with someone you don’t know.
  • After services, go up to someone you don’t know and talk to him.
  • Don’t make anyone feel like he doesn’t belong in your church.
  • Send an encouraging email or note to a member you didn’t see last Sunday.

Set Some Organizing Goals and Deadlines

If you do not  set any personal goals or deadlines, it can rob you of  your time and keep you from being productive.

  • Decide on areas of your life where you want to be more productive and write out some goals.
  • Keep your plan simple. Do not want waste valuable time updating charts.
  • Set definite and obtainable goals. Write down a plan of action to achieve that goal. (I want to lose 50 pounds this year—I will join a gym)
  • Set a deadline to reach your desired goal.
  • Set a goal to organize seasonal  and party items: (Buy nine large plastic boxes that you can stack. Store boxes in a closet, basement, or attic. Label boxes according to your needs)  The following is a sample of labeling:
  1. January-February (winter decorations)
  2. March-June (spring decorations)
  3. July-August (Patriotic decorations)
  4. September-October( fall decorations)
  5. November (Thanksgiving decorations)
  6. December (Christmas decorations)
  7. Birthday party decorations
  8. Gifts (small gifts when you need a quick gift for birthday, shower, or anniversary)
  9. Tea party books, pots, and dishes

                 Miscellaneous Organizing Tips for Your Home 

  • For a large family, color-code children’s items. (toothbrushes, towels, and file folders)
  • De-junk! Give away clothes you do not wear, broken toys, and kitchen gadgets you do not need.
  • Rule to control clutter: One item comes in; one item goes out. (Give to Goodwill or to a friend)
  • If you have limited space for storage, rent videos and books instead of purchasing them.
  • Keep a file drawer or box in the kitchen with each person’s name on a different colored folder. Put coloring papers, notes from school, and future homework assignments in assigned folder.
  • If possible, do all house chores in the morning.
  • Do quick bathroom wipe-down of tub, shower, toilet, sinks, and faucets with disposable cleaning wipes.
  • Make your bed as soon as you get out of it. (It only takes two minutes to make a bed)
  • Teach children to make their own beds. Instead of  children having to struggle using many sheets and blankets, make it easier for them by using duvet covers. (To make an easy duvet cover, use two flat sheets. Place sheets back to back and sew around the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch seam opening at the bottom. For the closure,  make two ties or use velcro tape around  inside edges)
  • When preparing meals, fill sink with soapy water and wash preparatory dishes before sitting down to eat.
  • Immediately do dishes or place them in dishwasher.
  • If you have small children, keep a basket handy to pick up small items such as small toys, clothing, and clutter.
  • When picking up the house in the mornings, give yourself a deadline.
  • Pick up the rooms that visitors will see first.

GOOD RULE TO FOLLOW: LEAVE YOUR HOUSE AS IF YOU ARE EXPECTING GUESTS!

A few years ago, a group of seniors from our Christian school invited us to join them for dinner at a nice restaurant. They had hired a limousine for the evening. After they had eaten, they had a few hours to spare. Since they wanted to stay together, I invited them to our home. If I had said, “Oh, my house is not clean enough,” those teens would have missed out on having a fun time together and making a great memory.

Teaching Manners to Your Children

If you study the meaning of the two words manners and etiquette, you will discover that the two words have completely different meanings.  Manners are the way people do things, the way they behave.  Etiquette, on the other hand, is more like a set of rules to govern polite behavior. 

A person may have perfect etiquette but have very poor manners. You might have heard someone say, “Boy, is that woman rude!” The woman might know all the correct rules of etiquette, but if she is rude and not kind to others, she has poor manners.

Etiquette is not just eating with the proper utensils or putting on an act in front of other people in order to impress them, it is displaying genuine kindness toward others. Good manners and proper etiquette is really just being kind and unselfish. It is treating others the way you would like to be treated.

Matthew 7:12 says, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

A good manner to teach a child early is: Do not interrupt other people when they are speaking. One way to teach a child this principle:

If the parent is speaking, and the child wants to speak to him, the parent should instruct his child to touch his arm. The child’s touch on the parent’s arm signals the parent that the child wants to speak, and it signals the child that his parent will speak to him after he has finished his conversation.

If a parent fails to teach his child good manners at home, he should not expect that child to have good manners in public.

The greatest manner a parent can teach a child is treat everyone with respect and dignity. 

Many times parents teach a child a lesson when a various situation arises. If his child stares at a handicapped child, the parent says, “Don’t stare! It is not nice to stare!” It seems it might have been better to teach the child in advance. The following are a few manners that you might like to discuss with your children.

Manners when he walks on the street: 

  • Do not walk in groups so that you block others.
  • Do not stop to talk in the middle of a sidewalk. Step to the side to allow people to move around you.
  • Do not stare at or make fun of anyone, no matter how strange he may look.
  • Do not be a litterbug.
  • Do not mark on buildings or other public property.
  • If you bump into someone, say you are sorry.

Manners before he spends time in another person’s home:

  • Do not open a closed door until you have knocked and waited for permission to enter.
  • Do not go through anyone else’s belongings without asking his permission.
  • Do not read another person’s mail unless he asks you to read it.
  • Do not discuss the private affairs of your family with outsiders.
  • If you make a mess, offer to help clean up the mess.
  • If you spend the night with someone, make your bed and straighten up after yourself.
  • Be sure to say thank you for a meal or if he spends the night at his friend’s house.
  • Do not listen in on private conversations.
  • Do not whisper in front of another person.
  • Do not whine, tattletale, brag, or say mean things about others.
  • Do not ask personal questions like, “How much did that cost or how much do you weigh?”

Manners at the table:  Children do not learn proper table manners overnight. It takes years of repetition and training to teach them. Constant repetition and practice of good manners are the best teachers.  The best way to teach children good manners is by example. One of the benefits of families eating meals together is that it gives parents an opportunity to teach their children good table manners.

  • Even if you have a busy family, you should find times during the week to sit down with your family and enjoy meals together.
  • Use proper settings for table even for take-out meals.
  • Give young children the responsibility of setting the table. This is the best way to begin teaching them good table manners. Put place mats, napkins, silverware, plates, cups and bowls within the reach of your children so that children can easily reach the items to set the table.
  • For small children, buy dishes that do not break. If he drops a dish, it will not matter.
  • Demonstrate to children the proper place and use for each piece of utensil.
  • Demonstrate to children the correct way to hold their utensils.

If parents begin teaching manners to their toddlers, they will have a grasp on basic manners when they get older.

The following is a list of table manners that children should know: 

  • Wash hands and face before sitting down to the table.
  • Sit down in proper seats and put napkins in their laps.
  • Do not begin eating until everyone has sat down and been served.
  • Stay in seats without wiggling in chairs, going under the table, or getting up and down.
  • Say, “Excuse Me,” and ask permission to leave the table.
  • Do not put elbows on the table.
  • Keep mouths closed while chewing.
  • Do not put large pieces in mouths; pieces should be bite sized.
  • Never reach for any food that is not directly in front of you. Ask someone to pass it using the words, “May I please” and “Thank you”.
  • If you are passing food, do not help yourself first.
  • Participate in conversations during meals, but do not interrupt others when they are talking.
  • Do not make slurping, burping, squealing, singing, humming sounds at the table.
  • It is never kind or polite to make negative comments about the food.
  • When finished eating say, “May I please be excused?”
  • Thank the Cook.
  • If your food is too hot, wait for it to cool. Do not blow on it.
  • If you put food in your mouth that is too hot, do not spit it out. Reach for water and take a quick swallow.
  • Bring your food up to your mouth rather than bending over to reach it.

Manners for formal restaurants:

  • Do not be upset if you spill something. It happens all the time. The waiter will clean it up.
  • Do not pick up your silverware if you drop it on the floor. Ask the waiter to replace it for you.
  • Spread your napkin on your lap as soon as you sit down.
  • For different courses, use silverware farthest from your plate first.
  • Do not comb your hair at the table.
  • Never place handbag, glasses, or keys on the table.
  • Never blow your nose with your napkin.
  • Do not use a toothpick in public.
  • Avoid the tendency to mix your foods together.
  • Place used knife or fork on the plate not on the table.
  • Use the tip of a knife or a small piece of bread to push small pieces of food onto fork; never use your fingers for this job.
  • If you need to leave the table say, “May I be excused for a moment, please?” Fold your napkin and place on your chair until you return.  

When I receive a thank-you note from a child, it makes me respect his parents even more for taking the time to teach that child to be thankful.   It is never too early to teach  a child to write a thank-you note.

For many years, my mother sent each of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren a small monetary gift  in cards for their birthdays and in Christmas cards. Because the amounts were very small, none of the children bothered to send her thank-you notes. In my mother’s later years, she lost her sight, and she could no longer send those cards. I  recently was visiting with my mother,  and she shared with me that my granddaughter had sent her a Christmas card, and in that Christmas card, my granddaughter thanked my mother for all those years that she had sent her birthday and Christmas cards. That small expression of thankfulness from my my granddaughter was a real encouragement to my mother.

I read an illustration of a woman who received a sweater from her aunt. This woman failed to send her aunt a quick thank-you note as soon as she received the sweater. Since the woman was somewhat of a perfectionist and wanted to write a perfect note, she postponed writing it. As the weeks passed, she began to worry about how to word her late thank-you. She began to think, “What will my aunt think of me for not writing sooner?” By  postponing writing the thank-you note to her aunt, she felt guilty and dreaded writing it.

Writing thank-you notes  does not have to be difficult. Sometimes we put off writing them, because we do not know what to say. Our words do not need to sound formal,  but they should express our feelings of thankfulness.  Here are a few tips to remember when writing  a quick thank-you note.

• Keep a supply of paper, cards, postcards, and envelopes near your desk.

• Hand write thank-you notes unless your handwriting is illegible.

•  Send a thank-you to someone who does something nice for you such as treating you to a meal or taking you to the airport.

• Send thank-you notes within two weeks. Even if the note is late, always attempt to send one.

• Thank-you notes do not have to be long but they should be sincere, specific, concise, clear, and positive.

• Always mention the gift and your plan to use it.

• Teach children as soon as they can write to send thank-you notes for gifts.

Always send thank-you notes for wedding gifts. (Try to send within three months)

• If someone mails you a gift, mail a thank-you within two to three days. The sender will want to know that their gift arrived safely.

• If you receive flowers of condolences after a death, always send a thank-you.

• If you receive a birthday, Christmas, or shower gift, send a thank-you within two or three days.

• Send a thank-you to someone who helps, provides food, or gives you a gift during an illness.

• When you stay overnight in a home or a mission’s apartment, leave a thank-you note in the home or apartment before you leave.

• To thank good friends or close family members after you have stayed in their home or enjoyed a nice meal, you can give a thank-you phone call or email, but it is always good to send a card.

• Leave a small gift with a thank-you note if you stay with family or friends more than one night.

• Consider sending informal cyber thank-you cards with personal notes. Although if you receive a beautiful gift with a hand-written letter, do not send a quick e-mail; respond with a nice handwritten thank-you.

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