At feasts, remember that you are entertaining two guests,
body and soul. What you give to the body, you presently lose;
what you give to the soul, you keep for ever.
So when I clean the house so that it looks like I always live like that (hah!), and pick out a menu that suggests I always eat like that (double hah!), I have to remind myself that what's important is how they feel when they get here, how welcome, how comfortable. How the conversation goes, who is honored when they talk, who is given a chance to shine, who is urged into presenting their life and opinion so that it is as important as all others'. I want to be sensitive first of all that all can be entertaining and enjoyed, whether their talk is witty and quick, or mild and quiet. If their life has been sad this year, then all should be of a frame of mind to weep with those who weep, and if their life has provided accomplishments, to rejoice with them too.
This probably has more significance to me than to you, but I have some wildly disparate sets of friends, and if I can make them comfortable with one another by my hospitality, then all will be well. This will take some patience and shutting up on my part, although I admit it's easier to spot-clean the carpet, put a little curry in the sauce and choose the fashionable wine.