More than Feathers

DSC06472I’m taking a break from Alaska this week to write some Christmas thoughts. No doubt many of you will be entertaining visitors or perhaps being a guest in someone else’s home during this season.

Every year at our home between late fall and early winter some of our guests have fluttered in on a wing. A large flock of cedar waxwings used our old apple tree as their landing pad. They fed on the dried apples clinging to the tree’s upper most branches, but never fed at our bird feeders or bathed in the birdbath.

Unfortunately, we had to cut the tree down. It had become a hazard of broken branches. I mourned its loss and wondered where the cedar waxwings would get their layover lunch.

I asked God to care for their needs and if we would ever see them again without the apple tree to attract them.

When I looked out the window the other day, a large flock of cedar waxwings fought for a place at our birdbath. Dozens and dozens of them—more than we’d ever seen on the tree, drank their fill.

Then as quickly as they’d come, their flight was called and off they flew.

God promises to care for the sparrows, he can certainly care for the cedar waxwings, too. The gospel of Luke records Jesus words: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” ~Luke 12:6-7

Did you catch that? You are worth more than birds.

With that in mind, here are a few ideas for those of you hosting and visiting this season.

Travel Tips for Hosts – Make your human guests feel welcome:
• Roll fingertip towels and arrange them in a small basket on the bathroom counter.
• Bath towels and washcloths can be rolled and placed in a large basket
or folded and laid on guest beds.
• Provide a container of hand soap near the sink and bath soap in the shower.
(Although bar soap might be cheaper to buy, liquid bath soap scrubs off tile easier.)
• Travel size bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and hand or body lotion are thoughtful touches.
• Be sure to have extra toilet paper within reach.
• Night-lights in the guest bathroom and hallway or stairs leading to it offer security.
• A lamp and a few books or magazines in the guestroom are helpful
for those having difficulty sleeping in a strange place.
• If you don’t have an end table, a chair beside the bed will do.
• Don’t forget a box of tissues for their room and the bathroom.

Travel Light Humor – “Fish and visitors stink after three days,” so goes the old saying.
To insure you don’t stink:
• Practice your good manners. Remember to say Thank you.
• If you’re unsure what’s appropriate, ask…politely.
• Would the cook appreciate some help in the kitchen? Or would he/she prefer no one came near?
• If you’re a night owl and your host isn’t, or conversely, if you’re an early riser and your host isn’t, what changes could you make to your routine?
Example: I’m usually up and hungry well before anyone else is ready for breakfast. I bring snack bars along to ease my hunger and something to read. Plus, I’m very quiet so I don’t wake anyone else.

In older times, a guest candle was lit. It was understood when the candle burned down it was time to leave. Although this custom is no longer observed there are other ways. Agree on a predetermined departure time.

Even loved ones can get on each others’ nerves. If patience is running thin, it eases tension to know it’s only for a short while.

Be sure to pack your sense of humor and remember the value of each person. They’re worth much more than feathers.

Until next time…Travel Light,
©2015 SuZan Klassen

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