Hosting holiday festivities can be trying no matter who the guests are. The idea of having all your friends and loved ones close by to share the Christmas season with is one that few can refuse, but once preparations begin, stress starts to overtake excitement. Though we can’t promise that your mother-in-law won’t bring up that one time yet again, we can provide some tips on how you can stop some of the holiday stress in its tracks with a few simple preparations. Here’s a quick and easy list of ways to prepare your home for the people you love most without putting too much stress on yourself, the host!
Family members take up space – space your home and current layout probably aren’t used to providing. Create some extra room by determining which parts of the house are off-limits to guests and using those spaces to hide belongings that might make your living space feel a bit more cramped. If no one has any reason to be in the garage while at your place, use that space to stash decorative tables or furniture that you need to entertain. This is also a great way to make room for group seating arrangements. Recruit some strong arms and move that couch into the den for the night so that you can line up your tables end to end for a grand dining space that can seat everyone. You can also use this technique to pull the classic shove-everything-in-a-closet-instead-of-actually-cleaning routine. Probably not the best idea in the world, but it gets the job done! Toss smaller items into canvas storage bins that can be stacked out of sight now and dealt with later.
There’s no better way to learn if your lodgings are up to snuff than to give them a test run yourself. Your guest room and extra bathroom might not see a lot of use between family get togethers, there might be some upkeep that needs to be done that you don’t know about. Before everyone comes together for the holidays, spend a night in your guest room and see if it lives up to your expectations. If there’s a problem with the heating, the mattress needs replacing, or the shower is impossible to turn on without a step-by-step guide, you’ll know. If the guest towels are looking a bit ragged or have faded with disuse, consider replacing them with super soft monogrammed bath towels that will give your guests a taste of professional hospitality without the high hotel prices.
Keeping the guest room stocked with everything your guests might need is a great way to show them that they are honored visitors in your home and that you’ve been eager for their arrival. Stack up the towels they can use in a neat little pile on the end of the bed, toss some little toiletries and hair ties onto the dresser just in case. If you feel like going above and beyond, load up a bowl with individually wrapped snacks that guests can nibble on while unpacking or if they are in need of a midnight meal. Not only does this show your guests that you’re thinking of them, it also keeps them from digging through your things in the bathroom in search of some lotion or bobby pins. Some family members might feel a little guilty about taking up space in your house during the holidays, so giving them an opportunity to take care of some needs on their own will make them worry a little less during their vacation.
Like most vacations, you’ll most likely get home from Christmas with a lot more stuff in your suitcase than you left with. Help your guests cart their gifts and souvenirs home with personalized canvas tote bags that are up to such a large task. Extra bags are also great for storing bulky winter outerwear, dirty laundry that you don’t want to accidentally mix with the cleans, and the Tupperware of leftovers you know grandma will be sending home with you. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, as your friends and family will be able to use this tote bag for presents of Christmases future and for countless other things during the year. And, with each bag personalized for the person or family it was given to, there will be no risk of a mix up!