‘Tis the season for out of town house guests! We’ve got some great tips on making your home a warm and welcoming place to spend the holidays. Enjoy!
First Things First!
Think about the first thing your guests will see as they arrive. Take a moment to look at the front of your home. You may want to tidy up the landscaping, removing any winter-wilted plants. Add some fresh, bright poinsettias or seasonal greenery around the front entry. Nice, warm lighting in the doorway will make guests feel welcome before they even enter your home. A holiday wreath or other seasonal decoration on the front door can add pizzazz and give an impression of holiday cheer. Click here for decorating ideas for your front door.
Clear out the foyer.
Use a critical eye to evaluate what you see when you first step foot through your door. Entryways are a common place to drop your coats, hats, shoes, keys and mail. You may want to relocate these items while you have guests.
Set the mood.
Holiday scented candles can add a festive feel to the entire home. Whether you prefer a woodsy scent or a spicy, freshly baked goodies scent, distributing these candles throughout your home will make your home smell great and feel cozy. Break out your holiday music collection and have that playing softly in the background to further enhance the mood.
With guests, you may need to add more places to sit. Bring in additional chairs, benches, or maybe some floor cushions for kids. Keep in mind that if you’re going to have a large crowd, small clusters of seating are more conducive to conversations.
Deck the Bathrooms!
Remember to prepare your bathrooms for your guests. Holiday soaps, lotion, fresh hand towels, and plenty of tissue should be added to each bath that will be used.
For overnight guests:
Cultivate sweet dreams.
Make your overnight guests feel like they’re staying at a fine hotel by adding fresh linens and extra pillows to the guest beds. One of my favorite things is making a little package with an eye mask, ear plugs, and small bottle of lotion to place on your guest’s pillow. You can find eye mask and ear plug sets on Amazon for less than $5. These added comforts can make a huge difference to someone staying in a strange place. Place a small vase of fresh flowers or sprigs of holiday greenery on the bedside table, and add a small clock to help your guests adjust to any time zone changes. Don’t forget bedside lighting for those who like to read at night, and some magazines in case they forgot their book. To keep your guests from stumbling to the kitchen at night, put some bottles of water next to the bed, and perhaps a bowl with some small packages of trail mix, pretzels, or apples for the late night munchies.
Create a spa retreat.
When I travel, I especially love hotels that have lots of bath time goodies. You can easily provide this same luxurious touch to your guests by providing a few simple things. A deep basket filled with fluffy towels, washcloths and even robes should be placed in an easy to spot location. Smaller baskets can be stocked with travel size shampoo, conditioner, soaps, lotions, toothpaste, and anything else you’d like to add. Make sure the bathtub, shower and sink are sparkly clean, and ready to provide a place for your guests to unwind from the stresses of holiday traveling.