No Ordinary Guest Book
"The ornaments of your house will be the guests who frequent it." - Unknown
Growing up I had a friend whose parents made their guest bathroom a graffiti wall. Everyone LOVED going to their house and leaving their mark in the back bathroom. The only rule was no curse words and no defacing someone else's drawing.
In a similar way, I have friends here in Georgia who have a "party barn" and have their guests sign a pole in the middle of the room with a sharpie. One of my favorite things to do is to check out what people write!
I LOVE these traditions because they not only are unique ways of remembering who has been to visit, they also honor the guests by incorporating them into your life permanently.
When Billy and I were first married we wanted to have a unique "guest book" of our own, but we weren't sure what to do.
[ Disclaimer: By "we" I mean the "me" part of the "we." Not that Billy was against it or anything, but I don't think he gave it a thought for even a second. But I digress...]
Fortunately, my mom told me a story about a professor who hosted an annual dinner for incoming freshman and he had a table cloth that everyone signed. After the dinner his wife embroidered everyone's signature and put away the table cloth until the following year.
With two tweaks (I opted to use a table runner rather than a table cloth and I pulled it for EVERYONE who ate a meal at our home) and a quick embroidery lesson, we were off to the races. Whenever I put the runner out, people hunt down names until they find someone they know.I let family sign JUST their first name, but otherwise I asked for first and last. I also "disallowed" almost all extra marks, (an occasional heart or smiley face slipping through), but some friends pushed it with extra large letters! Our first table runner was pretty full after five years, so I decided to buy a new runner every fifth anniversary. The runner from marriage years 6-10 had a little "staining" incident. During one Christmas party one of our guests pushed the runner into a bunch inadvertently pushing the fabric into a lighted candle. The runner caught on fire and another guest ran it outside and threw it into the dog's water bowl, drenching it. I couldn't save the fabric, so I cut out the burned portion and sewed a matching section into its place. Although I couldn't get rid of the stain, I enjoy the story it represents. I only lost one partial signature (Clay Scroggins, below), but I had him "fix" it the next time he was over!We're now on our fourth runner and after having sewn a couple of hundred names, I promise you it's one of "our" favorite things to do. William & Monica (and the rest of our small group), you're up next!
What are some other fun ways to remember company?