We all love family – but even we have to admit that hosting for the holidays can be trying. As if the holidays weren’t stressful enough, having lots of additional aunts, uncles, cousins, children and elders in your home can really add to your stressors. Let’s take a look at our quick and easy list of ways to prepare your home for the people you love most, but who maybe need a little extra preparation from you, their loving host.
Family members take up space – space your home and current layout probably aren’t used to providing. Rent a storage unit to keep your extra knickknacks and collectables, anything fragile your sister’s kid might knock over and break. You might alternatively get one of those rent-a-pods you can stick in the driveway or in front of the house. What you will need is some seating for all of these extra folk, so keep the chairs and couches, but maybe swap some of them out for more efficient seating – those retractable bleachers like in a high school gym would do the trick. When they’re not needed, you can just fold them up against the wall and clear up some elbow room for everyone.
Label everything. Just like when you were a kid and you used a cubby for your backpack at school, labeling everyone’s things is going to help make sure it all stays organized. Get a bin for everyone and label them. Make the bin a hard limit. Have extra stuff, Aunt Myrtle? Leave it in the car.
While you’re at it, go ahead and get a bunch of monogrammed bath towels, one for every person in the family. No one wants to find out they’ve accidentally used Grammy’s towel after taking a shower. Prevent that awkward moment by getting everyone a bath towel and washcloth bearing their name. Plus, they’re great gifts that your family members can take home with them.
Another personal touch you can make for your guests is a classic and fun personalized needlepoint Christmas stocking. We love the classic feeling and beautiful spirit of the needlepoint stocking, and the best part is you can have them monogrammed for free for each person. Again, the personalized monogramming helps everything stay nice and organized.
So, you have one master suite and a guest room with a trundle bed. Where will all of these people sleep? Here’s where you may have to get a little crafty. Maybe clear out a room and get a bunch of memory foam mattresses. No need for bedframes here – they just take up more room. We’re doing this barracks style. Oh, there’s an idea! Maybe bunk beds. Look into renting bunk beds from one of those rent-a-room places.
Regardless of how and where you keep all these various cousins, aunts and nephews, you’ll need lots of blankets and sheets to keep them cozy at night. Flannel sheets are a great option, and are the warmest sheeting option by far. They’d be especially good if you’ve set up some cots in a drafty attic space. Why not throw a down comforter on top of those flannel sheets? Down is the warmest nature has to offer, after all, and your little cousins will be so cozy they won’t even notice all that exposed insulation up in the A-frame.
You don’t have the capacity to feed all these extra people, and if any of them offer to help you, well, you know what they say about too many cooks in [your] kitchen. Have your meals catered by a local restaurant you love, and send someone out every morning to pick up bagels and schmear. Your kitchen? It’s mostly for looks as long as you’ve got company in the house. Hang up some monogrammed hand towels in seasonal colors and call it a day.
Family time is bonding time, especially when you’re all crammed in the same house for the holidays. Take a breath – you’ve got this. Do a little prep, follow these steps, and you’re sure to have a happy and joyful holiday visit with your family.