Greetings and farewells are important. It may seem easy and natural when you’re hosting a party or have company. Warm greetings may also come easier when you’re in the middle of the Christmas season or if you’re a person with an naturally outgoing temperament.
But usually, in the midst of everyday life, people come and go from home with very little fanfare. One simple step to a more loving and joyful home is “warm greetings and farewells.”
I read a little book called Happier at Home, a sequel to the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. In her chapter on parenting, one of the sections was about these greetings and farewells.
From experience, I know how easy it is to get into the rut of hollering out, “I’m leaving!” as we walk out the door. And how easy it is to wait while someone comes all the way into the house before greeting them.
When I pull into the garage, it’s always a warmer feeling when I see the house door open and those inside are waiting for me or want to tell me something. What if we made that a practice in our home each day – to take thirty seconds before someone leaves or as someone comes in for the family to focus on them and let them know they are appreciated.
Dolly Madison, the wonderful white house hostess, was asked how she made each person feel so important even at large gatherings. Her response was that she used two phrases. When someone arrived she said, “Ah, you’ve finally arrived!” And as someone had to leave she’d say, “leaving so soon?”
Warm greetings and farewells can change the level of happiness and connection in your home, with kids and your spouse. But, I’ve also known that it works wonders in the workplace and community.
When you warmly greet the bank teller or the postal worker, it seems like the interaction is quick and efficient. When you take a few moments as you arrive to work to greet those around you, it sets a great tone for the day.
I once wrote about the three greetings every worship leader should make on Sunday mornings. Warm greetings and farewells matter.
For a happier home, give this a try. It’s great advice that I’m going to begin adding to my day.
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