Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays

Focusing on gratitude has been a rewarding experience this last month.

  I hope it was for you as well.

Now we are on to Christmas, and regardless of which (if any) holidays you celebrate, you can feel the excitement in the air.  Do your plans include having family stay at your place?

Well then, let’s talk “Home for the Holidays.”

We did a mini survey at work asking our employees to share treasured memories of visiting during a holiday.  The results, combined with tips from last December’s blog, are listed below.   As you scan our list, be sure to keep in mind your parameters.   Do you have a room for your guest(s), a bed,  a sofa, or a space on the floor? Do your guests have allergies such as pets, food or scents? Do they have special needs to factor into your planning?


List One: Basic Needs

Sleeping arrangements (Is there a spare bedroom or an area?)

Divide the space into a sleeping area as much as possible.  You can use furniture, plants, or a screen, just get creative. Always start in the corners and near walls as to utilize as much space as possible and try to keep the middle section area of the space open and clutter free for walking space and socializing.

Do you need to purchase or borrow air mattresses, sleeping bags or cots?

Gather sheets, blankets and pillows (2 per person per bed) as needed.

So, which bathroom will they use, and is it stocked with extra towels, toilet tissue, new toothbrushes and paste, wrapped bar  soap (a used bar of soap is gross), body soap, a razor, neutrally scented shampoos and lotions? (Most of us forget one or two small necessities when traveling, and nobody wants uncle Bob to be stuck without a toothbrush for a week!)  So it’s best to have some spares on hand.

Don’t leave your guests naked and afraid!  Explain how the shower works! (and anything else they might need to use)

OTC medicines like ibuprofen, just in case.  A simple first aid kit as well.


List Two:  Thoughtful Touches

These are the extras that say “You’re Our Guest, Make Yourself At Home”!  In fact, we have a beautiful wall quote that says just that.

In this list you’ll also want to add: A decorative yet comfy blanket for the bed, books and magazines, a clock, a box of tissues, fresh flowers, lamp or perhaps some holiday decor.  A pad of paper and a pen can also be a nice touch.

Mints on the pillow. (awesome!)

Leave space in a dresser or closet for their belongings. I don’t particularly like living out of a suit case, so if I have somewhere to hang, or fold my clothes it helps me feel more organized and at home, even if I’m not at home.

Fresh towels on the bed (let’s them know which ones they can use) Try making an animal if you are adventurous!

Festive, simple decoration(s) in their area.

Basket with bottled water and snacks

Cell phone chargers and outlets or extension cords as needed.

Are your guests visiting from a warm place coming into cold weather?  Have extra blankets or throws.  Bring in a portable fireplace or provide an electric blanket to keep them toasty.  Having a couple pair of those inexpensive knitted gloves would be very appreciated.

Keep in mind: your  kitchen will also be affected, so  add the guests favorite snacks and drinks. Consider food allergies or preferences (like vegetarian, gluten free or vegan). Although, if a guests’ eating habits are drastically different from yours, ask for their help in preparing their meals.  The request would be both welcomed and appreciated.


List Three: Have, Borrow, Buy

Take  inventory of what you have on hand, what can be  borrowed and what may be purchased? Don’t let this get out of control.  Not everything on these lists are “essentials”.  A big mistake is to  overspend time and money on things that won’t be used.  Demand is high on both resources this time of year. Focus on the reasons for celebrating to put you in the right frame of mind as you prepare for guests.



A few last tips:

-Do something everyday to get ready even if it’s small, it will be one less thing you have to do when your guests arrive.

-Use what you  already have, or borrow it from neighbors and friends that are close by.

-Don’t be stressed out. As the host or hostess, if you are calm and easy going, everybody will be much more comfortable in your home.

-To jump start your creativity, and without being too clinical, consider what cruise lines and hotels provide.  They are the experts at hospitality, so use a page from their book!

-Perhaps, most importantly, keep it simple. This will help alleviate your stress. Remember to enjoy your guests!



Hopefully these suggestions will assist you easily accommodate guests and the little “extras” will let them know they are welcome in your home.


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