new wreath I made for the holidays

How do you welcome people?  How do you make people feel welcome?

taken with iphone

The above photo is of

this poster

 that hangs outside the play therapy room at the

Appalachian Play Therapy Center

at Lindsey Wilson College.  It is hung low at the child's level.

Sure, at holiday time we do lots to welcome people into our homes: special invitations, decorations, and food.  But what about the everyday kind of day?  A smile, a warm hello, a personalized greeting to show you care.  My shy, reserved self sometimes just wants to go hide away from people and read a novel; yet, it's those genuinely thoughtful, welcoming people to whom I feel attracted rather than repelled even on days when I'd rather be left alone.

As a play therapist, I pay particular attention to how I welcome new child clients.  I am a stranger to them.  I am careful about entering their physical space.  I bend down to their level, smile, say "hi," and tell them my name.  I am unhurried and patient, waiting for the child to warm up to me.

The playroom itself is so welcoming with its colorful toys and materials at the child's level.  How could a child not want to enter this room and experience this special time with me?  I am all too aware that it is a privilege to spend time with the child in this way.

How do you welcome others through the physical environment, your body language, and your words?

How will you welcome others this holiday season?