(for JoAnn, et all)
I'm starting to think that hospitality is not so much about "doing tasks" (aka Martha Stewart) but more about clearing a physical and metaphysical place for community to happen inside. Community bonds don't just "happen". The bonds between church members, family and friends are encouraged to grow when they have the right conditions of time and of space.
My First Communion Party was totally stripped down. I literally cleaned my house for 25 minutes at 10:30 PM. The only thing I could offer in the way of hospitality was a shell of a "house". Yet that space was enough. Two families had a place to go after an important religious experience.
There's a lot of negativity about throwing parties, especially for First Communion. Some people believe it detracts from the main event, etc. For me, I thought a simple party highlighted the importance of this day for my son. We got him a new blue blazer as a symbol of the importance of the Eucharist. He's a young man now. He's privileged to eat God. He needs to dress in a blazer and tie now when he attends Mass. In the same way, we didn't just go home and eat donuts as usual after Sunday Mass. We had a party! With new friends from church! We anticipated the delights of the heavenly banquet after celebrating the summit of Christian life, the Eucharist. Now its time to go play some basketball!