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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Preparing Your Home for Christmas Guests

Happy Husband, Wife and Two Sons Will be Visiting for the Holidays.

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the lights, the smells and especially the holiday music. One of my favorite Christmas songs is Perry Como’s “There’s No Place like Home for the Holidays”.

Christmas is also a time when family and friends are gathered around the kitchen counters eating and chatting happily together. I love these days, the festivities, and the crowd of loving people around me.

For many of us, the holidays also mean we’ll be sharing our home with guests. I enjoy my guests and I like making them feel special when they’re here.

Here are some quick and fun ideas that will make your guests feel at home. 

Make Welcome Baskets for Your Guests

One way to make your holiday guest(s) feel special is to make a welcome basket. These are fun to create and so helpful to guests.  Here are a few tips for putting your welcome basket together.

Bedroom Guest Baskets

For the bedroom where your guests will be staying, have a nice basket that holds towels, , bath products, lotion, a toothbrush and toothpaste, aspirin, disinfecting wipes, a nice pair of comfy thick socks to keep their feet warm, and reading materials.

If your guests have little kids, you can add a new coloring book, a set of crayons, children’s books and movies. For older tweens and teens you can add crossword puzzles, a Sudoku book, movies, and popular magazines for their age.

If you know your guests personal likes such as Nivea Lip Balm or Ponds Facial Cream or a favorite lotion add these to the basket. Your guests will appreciate the thoughtfulness.

Kitchen Guest Baskets

In the kitchen make up a snack and drink basket and set aside a section of the refrigerator for cold items.  Be mindful of any allergies or health restrictions your guest may have.

If you’ve already made some goodies for the holidays, package several smaller servings into individual festive bags and put your guests name on each bag. You can leave a box of crackers in the basket, instant oatmeal, small boxed cereals, and juice boxes for kids, soda, flavored water, energy drinks for teens and a nice assortment of tea or flavored coffee for adults.

Again, customize the basket if you know your guests favorite coffee and make sure you add it in. 

Preparing the Guest Area

If you don’t have a designated guest room, here are some tips to make your guest space feel special.
If one of the kids is giving up their room, make sure the bed has clean sheets. If the guest space happens to be in the office and your guest will be sleeping on a sofa bed, be sure to open and air it out and vacuum it thoroughly before you put on fresh sheets.

1.    It’s also a nice touch to use new pillows and leave out a new blanket. These items don’t cost much and I don’t want my guest cuddling in a blanket my dog sleeps on or laying their head on a pillow my cat sleeps on.
2.    Keep a nice tray on the bedside table where it’s a safe place for guests to place their phone or glasses as they go to sleep and a few coasters for drinks. If you don’t have a bedside table, maybe you have a small ottoman that will work just as well.
3.    Don’t forget about lighting, a small table lamp or taller reading lamp that can be reached from the bed is nice.  I usually add a nightlight to the hallway or bathroom to help guest from stumbling around if they need to get up in the middle of the night.

If you have a room dedicated as a guest room then you probably have closet space where your guests can hang clothes and hide the luggage.

If you don’t have a dedicated guest room, be sure to clear a small section of a closet (even if it’s a hall closet) and maybe a drawer for their clothes. You can also add over the door hooks where they could hang clothes.

Keep a Guest Book

Having a guest book for your visitors to sign is a fun way for them to write down their memories of the visit and leave you some kind words.  If they are frequent visitors, they will also enjoy looking back at the other times they’ve been to your house and what they had to say.

This does not have to be an actual book either; I have a vintage 45 record holder where my guests leave me notes.

Using these simple tips, before your guest arrive will help them feel right at home and you’ll get to spend time enjoying their company. 

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