The most wonderful time of the year is here, and that means gathering with family, sharing stories, and eating delicious food. While these moments are so precious, they can also be an undeniable headache. This is especially true if you are filling your house with guests.
Before you worry about your mother critiquing your centerpiece choices or your sister’s dog eating the throw pillows, take a deep breath. With the right preparation, you can be ready to host any number of houseguests. The key is to start getting ready early and to truly find joy while your guests are there.
This guide will teach you how to be the host with the most, helping your guests feel right at home.
Before your guests arrive…
It’s never too early to start getting ready for your houseguests. By prepping ahead of time, you can get the details out of the way and handle any last-minute crises with poise…and a glass of wine. Add these tips to the top of your checklist to get started.
- Prep the necessities. Get sleeping arrangements, towels, blankets, snacks, and extra hygiene items ready before your guests arrive. This way, they will have all of their basic needs met from the beginning. And if someone needs something extra, it will be simple to help them out.
- Ask about dietary needs. If you are planning a menu for your guests, be sure that you are aware of all dietary restrictions. For example, about one in 133 Americans, or 1% of the population, has celiac disease. Other restrictions may include lactose intolerance, nut allergies, and vegetarianism. Knowing these will help you cook for everyone.
- Clear out some space. Depending on how many people you are packing into your home, you might need to clean out some areas for lounging and sleeping. This could mean putting furniture into storage or into the attic temporarily. Do this far in advance so you don’t have to scramble to haul tables and couches out of your living space.
- Child and pet proof the house. Since 46.3 million U.S. households have a dog, there is a chance that one of your family members will arrive with Fido in tow. Add a furry friend to a tiny tike, and your house becomes a hazard zone. Remove low-hanging decorations, wires, and other hazards from the floor area. And of course, keep food up high.
While you are hosting….
Nice work. You prepped your home like a pro and now your guests will soon be arriving. Now it’s time to put on your host hat and turn on the charm. Here are some tips to help you accommodate your loved ones while they are staying with you.
- Open your home. The phrase “my home is your home” goes a long way. Tell your guests to truly make themselves comfortable. This way, they won’t need to ask you if they need a snack or a towel. They can get their needs themselves and you can relax.
- Ask for help. Feeling overwhelmed? Remember that you don’t need to do it all. Ask your partner, siblings, and other family members to help you out with cooking, cleaning, and other hosting tasks. While you may want to be a holiday hero, you don’t have to wear the cape on your own.
- Plan some activities. Especially if you have little ones running around, have games and crafts prepared. Get a pack of 1.5 x 1.5″ holiday tattoos, as they are super cute and fit easily on hands and cheeks. Holiday card crafts, scavenger hunts, and other themed activities can also be fun. For the adults, get some games together and maybe even plan an outing.
- Simply enjoy their company. While you are hosting and making your guests comfortable, remember to cherish this special time together. You don’t want to miss the laughs and conversations while you sweat the small stuff. So, put on your slippers and kick back with your loved ones.
While holiday house guests can be a handful, your effort will be rewarding. As long as you balance hosting duties with relaxing, you can have a joyful and fulfilling holiday. You might even love hosting so much that you’ll want to do it next year. Crazy? That’s for you to decide.