Hosting friends and family for the holidays can be a daunting task. Whether it is the first holiday you have ever hosted or the first holiday in a new place, having some tricks up your sleeve for those busy days can help cut down on your stress and the number of things to do. Being a gracious and kind host for your guests isn’t always easy, but it can be less stressful with some tips and tricks that fit your home, budget, and lifestyle.
Know Your Plan
Are you planning a light snack before the main meal? What about a movie the night before? Are you taking your sister's kids to the park? When family or even friends come to visit, having a plan in place is important. Take time to write out who is coming and what needs to be done and when. This way you can communicate with your guests and let them know what’s happening at every turn. It may also help you sneak away for a few precious moments of “me time,” even if it’s just to set the table or make some mashed potatoes.
Double Check… Well, Everything!
From who is sleeping where, to what day and time your guests are arriving, make sure you double check all those details. The last thing you want is your friends from the next state over to think she’s sleeping in your guest room while your grandmother has already claimed it. Call each guest personally a few weeks before to ask what time and day they are expected to arrive and what they will be doing for accommodations. By checking in, you ensure that there will be no last-minute mishaps, requiring you somehow squeeze three more people into your tiny living room.
Set the Mood
From décor to lit candles and scented pine cones, a few decorations go a long way for the holidays. Those warm fall and winter scents like crisp apple or pumpkin will make guests feel at home. Dimmed lighting and seasonally appropriate decorations will help you put everyone in the festive spirit and impress those you have invited over. Whatever you do, never skimp on things that set the appropriate holiday mood.
Set Up the Guest Room
A few days before friends and family arrive, set up the guest rooms and bathrooms as well as the in-law suite. Make sure towels are clean and within reach, stock paper products, and ensure that the beds are made, and sheets are clean. Make sure that all the rooms have received a nice dusting as well as vacuum before anyone settles in for their stay.
Expect the Unexpected
No matter how much planning and meticulous detail perfecting you do the holidays will never go 100% according to plan. From accidentally lighting the table runner on fire, to simply forgetting to cook the broccoli; there will always be a mishap or two. But, that’s what makes the holidays great! Simply embrace the craziness and the holiday will be wonderful.
Hosting the holidays doesn't have to be stressful. Some basic preparation and planning can go a long way in ensuring that the holiday goes off without a hitch!