One of the best parts about the holidays is the opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family. While it’s a blast to attend dinner parties and festive game nights, it’s quite a different story when the guests stay overnight and you’re the one hosting them. If you plan on hosting guests this holiday season, the best thing you can do is prepare and plan ahead. Check out these holiday hosting tips to make the experience jolly and stress-free for both you and your visitors.
Holiday Hosting Tip #1: Keep in Mind the Kitchen
Cooking a delicious and presentable meal for lots of friends and family can be the most overwhelming task of the holidays, especially if you don’t enjoy cooking. Prepare as many dishes in advance as possible so that you don’t feel rushed on the big day. As you create your menu, do a little research on dishes you can easily make ahead and take advantage of down times to prepare them. Grab tasty ingredients like unique, locally-made spices at Grossmont Public Market!
Let Guests Help Out
Even when you’re hosting guests, it’s completely acceptable to let them help you out with cooking, cleaning, or organizing. Take some weight off your shoulders and don’t be afraid to accept their kind offers when they come up!
Create a Coffee Station
If you’re hosting guests you can almost guarantee that at least one of them is going to wake up before you do in the morning, which is why it’s great to have a coffee station ready to go. This allows you the freedom to sleep in a bit while your visitors help themselves. You can even make coffee the night before and set out mugs and glasses. Buy delicious, locally-roasted coffee beans at Dane Coffee Roasters to really impress your guests. Make sure you have other beverages like orange juice and milk for the kiddos too!
Fill Up the Pantry
The main event may be the grand holiday dinner, but you also need to account for the days and nights beforehand when your guests want casual snacks and easy-to-make foods. Fill up your pantry and kitchen countertop with plenty of snack foods like granola bars, fruit, cereal, bread, baked goods, crackers, and more. A quick trip to Walmart will give you everything you need! This holiday hosting tip applies to your fridge as well. Keep lots of beverages like bottled water, soda, seltzer, and alcoholic drinks readily available, as well as refrigerated foods like yogurt and veggies.
Check for Food Allergies
If you thought cooking a bad Christmas dinner was the worst thing that could happen this holiday season, think again. An allergy attack and visit to the emergency room would be quite the horrible experience on Christmas Day. When hosting guests, make sure you double check on food allergies with all of your guests before you buy and prepare food.
Holiday Hosting Tip #2: Beautify the Bedrooms
Freshen Up Linens
While it may seem obvious you should wash your bedding before hosting guests, it’s a good task to add to your list just in case it slips your mind. If your guest room hasn’t been used in years, you may even want to splurge for a brand new comforter and pillow cases to freshen up the room.
Make It Tech-Friendly
This holiday hosting tip is a kind gesture that is even more important nowadays when everyone has a smartphone and laptop. Make your guest bedroom a tech-friendly space by plugging in a power strip for phone chargers and the like. You can also include a note with the Wi-Fi password, TV remote instructions, and household phone number for added convenience.
Leave Space to Unpack
There’s nothing more frustrating than staying somewhere overnight and not having a place to unpack your things. If you’re hosting guests, clear out the closet and provide hangers for your visitors to store their clothing and suitcases.
Go the Extra Mile
Beyond the essentials, it’s nice to go the extra mile and make your guest bedroom a pleasant and relaxing place to stay. Placing a candle, flower vase, box of tissues, and reading materials is a great way to make your guests feel right at home.
DIY a Guest Room
Not everyone has the luxury of offering visitors a spare bedroom, but that shouldn’t stop you from hosting guests over the holidays. Try your best to DIY a guest room by making the space as comfy as you can. An air mattress with soft bedding and plenty of blankets and pillows is a good place to start for guests staying in the living room or office. Provide eye masks, ear plugs, a makeshift nightstand, and some sort of privacy screen for maximum comfort in common living areas.
Holiday Hosting Tip #3: Prep the Bathroom
Stock Up on Essentials
You never know what your family and friends are going to bring when they come to stay in your home, so it’s best to play it safe and stock up on essentials for the bathroom. Here’s a list of toiletry items you can find at Target when hosting guests.
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Disposable razors
- Fresh bar of soap
- Feminine products
- Lots of toilet paper
Point Out Emergency Items
You can never be too cautious when it comes to emergency items for the bathroom. Extra rolls of toilet paper and a toilet plunger are the two main supplies you should point out when hosting guests as soon as they arrive. It’ll save both parties an embarrassing moment later on in the trip.
Coordinate Bathroom Schedules
Don’t let this holiday hosting tip intimidate you! By no means do you need to create a detailed schedule of bathroom times, but you should discuss with your visitors their general preferences of when they like to take showers and how long it takes them to get ready, so that you can plan accordingly.
Grab Extra Towel Sets
If multiple people are sharing one bathroom, it’s super important to prepare with a good amount of towels. You can even designate a colored set for each guest to keep it more sanitary and clean.
Other Holiday Hosting Tips
Consider the Kids
Chances are, you’re going to have a couple kids coming your way during the holidays. From kid-friendly snacks to fun entertainment, think of ways to cater to them (at least a little bit) during their visit. Simple Christmas crafts and family board games from Barnes & Noble can not only be exciting for the kids, but also a memorable time for the adults too.
Invest in a Coat Rack
Winter time calls for winter coats! Make sure you have a designated spot for jackets by investing in a coat rack for your entryway. This is a great purchase that you and your family will love even after all the guests depart!
Create a General Timeline
Even if you’re a “go with the flow” type of person, it can be extremely helpful to come up with a general timeline for you and your guests as they visit. Talk to them about things they’d like to do or see and designate certain days to get them done. Check in on arrival and departure times as well to plan transportation details. As far as the big day, make sure you have a lineup of your cooking schedule and when certain activities will be happening. Having a schedule while hosting guests will save you from unnecessary stress and keep the holidays running smoothly!
Take Deep Breaths
Perhaps one of the most crucial holiday hosting tips is remembering to stay calm and take deep breaths! Ask for help when you need it, give yourself a ton of credit for taking on the challenge, and try to enjoy the quality time with friends and family.
Connecting Virtually for the Holidays
If you and your family won’t be able to celebrate the holidays in person this year, take advantage of the impressive technology right at your fingertips and connect virtually. If you don’t already have a smart device through your cellphone provider, you can visit a wireless store like Verizon or T-Mobile to get yours today. They can also explain different ways to use your smart device for virtual hangouts with friends and family!
Another great way to connect through the Internet is on your laptop, iPad, or tablet. Consider these easy-to-use video conferencing apps to enjoy the festive season with family and friends across the country.
The holidays are a beautiful time meant for making new memories with family and friends. Use these holiday hosting tips to enjoy the festive season within your home, and keep in mind the various ways you can connect with family virtually this year! Once the holidays are over, de-stress and unwind by treating yourself to a relaxing spa day at Avia Salon & Day Spa.