The holidays are near and the hustle and bustle is about to overpower your entire life until the new year. Most of us will find ourselves hosting for several different guests who will be staying for different amounts of time.
It's imperative that you make your guests feel at home, while not losing your mind at the same time. The only way to keep your sanity during this stressful time is by planning your family get together before it happens. Let's take a look at these productive tips to help you prepare for your guest the right way.
Take the Time to Plan the Pre-Arrival
As the host, you need a head start. Opening up the lines of communication will allow you to better understand the needs of your guests. Send out a text message, a quick phone call, or email to help things run a little smoother for everyone involved.
You want to be up-to-date on what's happening in the lives of your guests. Avoid awkward moments like not knowing your sister's new boyfriend's name, or possibly not knowing that your second cousin has gone gluten-free. Now you have a 30 lb. turkey that went from beautiful to offensive. Reaching out allows you to let your guests know the itinerary so they are prepared.
This pre-arrival plan should consist of you requesting a food allergy list as well as sensitivities. Double-checking arrivals and departure details. Going over all of this information in advance will help your guests transition effortlessly. Whether you are taking your guests on a tour or doing fun activities, it is your responsibility to make sure they are comfortable.
Since your home will be occupied like a hotel, you want your home to be spotless. As a host, cleaning and preparing your home should be the first thing on your list. It's the one thing that has to be done. Unfortunately, cleaning and preparing for your guests can be overwhelming. Avoid killing yourself when it comes to getting your home in order. Prioritize the list and don't steer away from it.
You don't have to clean everything in your home. Your kitchen should be tackled as well as every bathroom in your home. These two rooms should probably get a deep clean down. Other rooms such as secondary rooms or offices can be less important. Make sure to dust, vacuum, and sweep floors. Most importantly, make sure that the guest room is inviting and clean. Change the sheets and pull out a different comforter. Empty drawers, clean off spaces, and add a homey touch to it so that your guests feel like they are at home.
Food Prep is Key
No matter what you may or may not do, having food available around the clock without it being a hassle is key to having happy guests. It doesn't mean that you have to stock up as if the Armageddon is coming. But you at least want to have plenty of easily accessible options as well as snacks. Set aside an area that is designated for your guests so that they know where to look if they want something to eat. This will keep them from exploring other places in your kitchen.
Another thing you will want to keep in mind when tackling the food aspect is to keep a list of restaurants you would like to take your guests to. There will be times where you won't want to cook and just want to get out. Having this information on hand keeps you prepared and helps you move without hesitation.
Create a rough plan for meals. Not only will you know what to look forward to when it comes to your meal plan, but your guests will too. After creating a meal plan, make your way to the grocery store. Purchase all the drinks, breakfast, snacks, and ingredients for your recipes. It's much easier to have access to everything you need instead of having to run out and get everything as you need them.
As the host, it's important that you put together fun things that your guests can do to create memories. The last thing you want is a bored set of people complaining their entire stay.
Take in the Holiday Lights
Every city has a place where they can enjoy and celebrate the season. Pack up some snacks, load up the car, and head towards the lights!
There is nothing like baking cookies on a cold night with family and friends. Sitting around with a cup of hot chocolate and sharing past stories will bring laughter. Allow everyone to create their own style of cookie and have a contest to see who made the best one.
Giving back is what the holidays are all about. Take some time to gather up your guests and head to your nearest community center, homeless center, animal shelter, or assisted living community. Spend a few hours giving back to people who may be less fortunate.
Putting on the ugliest holiday sweater has always been a great family tradition for most families. Let your guests know prior to their visit that you will be holding an ugly sweater contest. Whoever wins will get a prize.
The holidays were meant to enjoy family. It's a time when we can all put our differences to the side and enjoy the energy of all of our loved ones. Make it count by being an amazing host and giving your guests a time to remember.