Home & Garden

Be the Best Host EVER This Holiday Season

Preparing Your Home for Guests

The holidays are a time for family and friends. It’s also a time for sharing. In some cases that means opening up your home for guests to stay. This year be the hostess with the mostest! Host so well guests will be clamoring to come back next year!
Elitia Barnes writes blogs about clean water and water filtration systems for LifeSource Water Systems. Elitia Barnes

The most important part of being an A+ host is communication.  Start before guests arrive. Send a pre-visit email to guests expressing how excited you are for them to come stay and ask a few key questions. A short checklist of questions will help ensure their visit goes smoothly. My checklist covers: food allergies/restrictions, sleeping arrangements, transportation logistics and any “must do’s” for guests.  (Full disclosure: I’m a little bit of a control freak and have been known to send out a google form.)

Planning ahead takes the pressure off you (the host) when guests arrive. It also prevents people from blaming the host (you) when things don’t go to plan.  

Tips to make guests feel at home & enjoy their visit:

Keep a Well-Stocked Pantry

A good host always has snacks. Avoid low blood sugar slumps with a fully stocked pantry. Make sure guests know they are welcome to raid your pantry.  It’s an easy way to make everyone feel at home.  

 

Decorative Touches

Lean into a festive vibe by decking your halls with holiday decor or candy dishes. My mother-in-law is the queen of festive hand towels and doormats. If you aren’t into decorating, cozy scented candles or a special centerpiece are easy subtle ways to get into the holiday spirit.  

Stocked Bathrooms

Make sure bathrooms are guest friendly. You know what this means. Stock up on toilet paper, extra hand towels and air fresheners.  Also let’s face it, our family and friends can’t help but snoop. If there’s anything private in your bathroom cabinet you don’t want guests to see, move it.

Coffee Station

Guests may get up at different times, especially if they are jet-lagged.  Have a coffee station to accommodate different morning routines. I also like to put out granola bars, muffins or English muffins so no one feels pressured to make breakfast. 

Freshen Up Guest Bedroom

Make sure your guest room feels inviting.  Lay out towels, and extra blankets on the bed. Clear room in the closet and put out a luggage rack.  A pitcher of clean water on the nightstand and fresh flowers add nice finishing touches.  I also like to include a brief welcome note with the Wi-Fi password, spare house key and any other pertinent information. 

 

Stocked Bathrooms

Make sure bathrooms are guest friendly. You know what this means. Stock up on toilet paper, extra hand towels and air fresheners.  Also let’s face it, our family and friends can’t help but snoop. If there’s anything private in your bathroom cabinet you don’t want guests to see, move it.

Kid-Friendly Area

If you’re expecting to host kids during the holidays or throw a family friendly party, remember to child-proof your home. Put up anything that would make you sad if it broke.  Be prepared with kid-friendly tableware, snacks and treats.  I also make sure there’s a room or corner that is a designated kid zone, with games, toys or a craft station. When my niece comes to visit I always have a back-up baking or art project ready to employ. 

 

Extra Gifts

You never know when a surprise guest will show up. During the holiday season, I like to have extra bottles of a favorite wine, a special jam or gift cards for last minute party gifts. 

Extra Coats & Umbrellas

Help guests weather the weather.  Depending on where guests are coming from, they may not be fully prepared for your local forecast.  Be prepared with extra scarves, hats and rain gear. 

 

Prepare for Sickness

I am guilty of being the annoying person who gets sick when traveling.  I am always grateful when my host has a fully stocked medicine cabinet.  Check that your cold and flu medications haven’t expired, chuck an extra ice pack in the freezer and make sure you have Band-Aids. Seriously, you don’t want to be the host without Band-Aids.  

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