Entertaining Journals: The Guest Book

Call me a traditionalist, but I adore reading guest books and leaving guest comments. However, the tradition of having a guest book in your home disappeared with the milkman. Traditionally, the timeless guest book is a catalogue of your guests' names, address, date and comments... However, there are many ways to update this classic memory journal for modern-day entertaining.


We keep a few variations of the guest book in our home to remember those who come through the threshold:

1. The wine journal: My family loves trying new wine, and knowing what our guests think of the bottle we share helps us in deciding our wine menu for our next dinner party.

2. The conversation journal: We were recently at a party where the hostess passed a book around and we were asked to write down funny and quirky comments made on the night. As well, this acted as a great ice-breaker and really opened up the conversation. We enjoyed it so much that we have adopted the same practice this holiday season.

3. The joke journal: We bring out our joke journal for cocktail parties where guests are encouraged to write their favorite joke inside. 

4. The creative journal: We bring out our joke journal for family parties and up the ante, inviting guests to draw a picture of the gathering or the people attending. It keeps the younger guests entertained, and surprisingly, after a few glasses of wine, the older guests get a burst of creative genius, too.

5. The recipe journal: Everyone has a recipe they love to make and share, and this journal is the perfect opportunity to not only collect new recipes but allow your guests to share their culinary talents. I often have this on hand for those morning gatherings with friends over coffee, and it gets a lot of attention around the holidays.


Our guest books have become so common place that our children have started asking for their own guest book, demonstrating that this timeless classic has room in our modern busy lives. We just have to adjust the content to fit our lifestyle.