I am thinking here of welcoming people to our homes and particularly when we have guests over for a meal or some time together. Now there can be no fixed formality about how we welcome people and what we do will depend upon our relationship with them and the context in which they are visiting. However, notwithstanding the flexibility involved I do wnat to offer some thoughts:
Informing your visitors, upon their arrival, that it is good to see them and to have them with you makes them at ease and aware that they are welcome in your home.
As a general rule, whenever guests arrive we must make it clear that they are welcome. To just carry on with what we are doing and give them a nod and a grunt seems to be impolite. As a parent it is good to get your children into the habit of coming from their rooms and activities to welcome people. They may return from whence they came after the welcome. But in doing this they have given some honour to your guests who are visiting. This would be similalry doen when your guests leave.
Mr Hinton, who i referred to here, used to have the unique way of using his handshake to pull you into his house when you visited. This was actually quite endearing and expressive of him welcoming you. He would also move you away from the house through his handshake when you left. I never thought that this was a “glad to get rid of you gesture”, but rather that he was sending you lovingly on your way.
This leads me to how we send people away. When your hosts send get you out of the door and immediately close the front door behind you always leaves me a bit dismayed. No ill-will may be meant by this. However, it does convey the “glad they are gone” impression. Accordingly, when people leave it is good to exchange wholesome words relating your pleasure in having them with you. You express this in a way without lying, of course. Then when you have seen them through the door you wait until they have walked away from your house or departed in their car. If they specifically say that you should go inside then that makes the matter different.
All in all it is good to show politeness and courtesy so as not to needlessly offend people.