It’s the time of year to roll out the welcome mat for family and friends to come on down for the holidays. Are you ready? Are you sure? Here are a few tips to get your home, hearth, and heart ready for visitors this season.
If you will be having overnight guests, make sure to have clean linens, fluffy pillows, and several layers of blankets available. Some people shiver and some are natural heaters, so options are best. Check to make sure they aren’t allergic to any down comforters or pillows you may have or have backup polyester just in case. To go the extra mile, make sure there is a plug next to where the bed is situated and some nice ambient lighting available for phone charging and reading at bedtime.
If guests will be sharing a bathroom, stock it full of towels. Some people tend to use more than one (one for hair, one for body, etc), and others may not reuse. Don’t make them feel awkward about their style, just pile up some fluffy clean towels so they feel taken care of. Don’t forget the washcloths too, unless you want to up the ante by providing some new loofahs or poofs for your guests. Be ready to offer toothpaste or anything else they may have been left behind. I’ve seen great guest setups in which the host has collected hotel size beauty products and cosmetics and put them on a tidy basket for guests to choose from.
Remember…everybody goes. Consider adding a small bottle of Poo-pourri or a nice smelling candle to keep the environment hospitable, and throw a couple extra rolls of TP under the sink.
Most houseguests hate having to put their hosts out for any reason, so try to anticipate needs ahead of time. For example, posting your Wi-Fi name and password around the house, whether on the bedroom or in a central location will help them connect to their email, work, online shopping, or netflix account without having to feel like a bother.
Everyone has different meal times and snack times. For me, I could always eat, but for many people a strict late breakfast, early dinner schedule is all that’s necessary. Make sure to plan for your guests’ hunger pangs by providing snacks and bottled water; extra points if you stock their favorite beer or cereal!
If I come to your house, I bring my own coffee because no one needs to be exposed to me without it. However, you don’t want to count on your guests to do this. Have a coffee station with a full pot or single-serve coffee maker ready to go and easy to access, including all the fixings like cream and sugar, for those early risers.
That Lovin’ Feeling
The last thing a guests wants to feel like is a burden, even if you would rather be taking a nap or reading a book than showing them around town. Consider yourself lucky that someone likes you enough to want to travel over distances and spend time with you. Plan a couple of outings or occasions for spending quality time, so your guests feel truly welcome and valued.
On the flip side of this, don’t schedule your guests within an inch of their lives. Travel is exhausting and they may need down time (read: nap time).
One of the most giving things we can do this holiday season is open our hearts and homes to friends and family. Remember, it’s not about what you do, it’s about who you are with. Enjoy each other!
PS: What if I’m the guest???
DO make your host(s) aware of any environmental or food allergies you have ahead of time so they don’t find out the hard way and end up feeling horrible for having to stuff you full of Benadryl.
DO bring a small host gift as a token of appreciation. A candle, tea towel, gift certificate, or bottle of wine is a great choice.
DON’T intrude on personal space. Stay in the places that have been made welcome to you like the guest room, bathroom, living room, etc. The master bedroom and children’s bedrooms are off limits unless invited in.
DON’T expect your host(s) to keep you occupied. Make plans to go sightseeing, or have a plan of action in case there is downtime.