Whether this is the first time you’re having house guests over the holidays or you’re a seasoned pro, we all can use a few tips to reduce the stress and increase the joy. Here are a few key areas to focus on so you can create many wonderful memories.

Give Them Some Space

Your visitors need space, both literally and figuratively. In addition to making room in the closet and on bathroom shelves, guests may need some time to themselves. Traveling can be stressful, to make it easy for your loved ones to have some quiet time and relax if they need it.

People-Proof Your Home

Experts often recommend baby-proofing or making things safer for older guests, but the reality is that any of us could get hurt at any point. Consider how you can make these danger zones.

  • Remove loose rugs or other tripping hazards. Fast-moving kids, older adults and intoxicated guests can easily slip and fall.
  • Tame the chaos. In addition to removing existing clutter, create a drop-zone where visitors can put shoes, boots and handbags that isn’t in a heavy traffic area.
  • Put all medication in a single secure location. This will reduce the likelihood of children or pets accidentally ingesting them.
  • Substitute flameless candles or wax melt pots for real candles. These safer options deliver cozy lighting and memory-making scents without the risk of burns.
  • Be aware of serious allergies. Although you can take steps to reduce discomfort from airborne allergens, the biggest issue is food reactions. It’s also important to make sure a few key people know where your guests are  at all times.
  • Add nightlights. It’s easy for overnight guests to get disoriented when in an unfamiliar place or to stumble over items left on the floor.

Create a Mood

Set the tone for the holidays from the moment your guests arrive. Even if you don’t have time to put out a full exterior lighting display, a pretty wreath on the front door or seasonal dacor on the porch radiates a festive vibe.

Inside, two of the best mood-setters are music and sentimental smells. As mentioned above, candle-free wax warmers provide lovely scents to choose options that deliver subtle smells. When it comes to music, keep in mind that it should be in the background and not so loud that people must should to be heard.

Crack the Code

As we integrate more smart functions into our homes, you can make your guests feel welcome by having codes for WiFi, the garage door, front door, etc., waiting for them on a notecard in their room. Include cell phone numbers and contact information for top local attractions. If your visitors aren’t spending the night, then you can leave this information near the coat rack or food.

Follow Their Lead

While some guests want to just relax during the holidays, others thrive on being in the heart of the action. Anticipate that some visitors will want to help out, so it’s smart to have a few tasks in mind they can take care of. It’s all about making everyone feel comfortable so they can enjoy the holidays in their own way.

Little Things Mean a Lot

You can show your guests that you care about all the details. Put together a care package that contains some of items to make their stay more relaxing:

  • Magazines
  • Crayons and coloring books for kids
  • Snacks and bottled water
  • Seasonal toiletries
  • Small toothpaste tube and disposable toothbrushes
  • Plastic bags for dirty clothes
  • Extra blankets or shawls on a chair

Stock the Necessities

So that you don’t run out of little necessities, plan ahead by putting a large quantity of toilet paper in each bathroom in a location where guests will notice it. A cute basket or organizer can get the job done. Also, make sure you have plenty of paper towels, dish soap, hand sanitizer and sponges in the kitchen.

Another necessity is throw blankets of different weights. When a home is filled with people of all ages and temperature preferences, this always at least one person who needs a blanket to ward off the chill.

Wrap it Up

Hosting the holidays can be stressful, so don’t forget to treat yourself. Buy a little post-holiday treat, wrap it up and stash it away until you’ve survived the chaos and joy. Some fun ideas could include

a new book, spa gift certificate, box of fine chocolates. Cheers!
– By Stephanie Clark , Nov 20, 2017