Making Guests Feel At-Home This Holiday Season

Making Guests Feel At-Home This Holiday Season

Dec 20

Make everything a little merrier for your friends and family

This time of year, we’re all hosting parties, holiday gatherings, and overnight guests. That means lots of fond memories in the making, but it can also mean frayed nerves and frustration as everyone–both guests and hosts–can feel out of their element. In addition, when schedules and routines change, it can make everyone a bit grumpy.

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to make sure your guests feel at home, while also doing yourself the favor of making your hosting duties a little easier. Here are some tips and tricks that are sure to keep you all in the holiday spirit.

Make entertaining DIY.

As host, you may feel it is your duty to wait on your guests hand and foot, but that can increase feelings of discomfort when guests think they have to ask for every little thing and “bother” you all of the time. Create opportunities for guests to help themselves and make themselves at home. Set up a beverage station with bottled waters, a single-cup coffee maker, and pods and tea-bags so that guests can help themselves when they’d like something to drink. Hosting houseguests? Make mornings easy and stress-free by creating a no-fuss continental breakfast buffet with croissants, fruit, breakfast bars, or other fast and easy elements so that your guests can feel free to eat whatever and whenever they want.

Build-in free time

When house guests arrive, you may think that you are obligated to spend every waking moment with them, either escorting them around town, playing board games, or making small talk to keep them entertained. In reality, your guests (and you) will appreciate a little downtime during their stay, whether it’s to take a walk around the neighborhood, to watch a favorite show, or to take a nap. In addition, be mindful that your guests may still have work or family obligations back home. Check in with them and see if they need unstructured time, a workspace, or other help keeping up with these.

Consider guests’ routines

While some people see holiday time or an out-of-town visit as an excuse to leave behind all of their day-to-day routines, many feel more comfortable if they can keep doing some of the things they like at home. If your guest is a fitness enthusiast, see if you can get them guest passes to your gym so that they have the option to keep up with their workout. If they normally watch what they eat, have healthy options in the kitchen even if you are a junk-food junkie. If they keep their house warmer or cooler than you do, be sure to check in with them and make sure they are comfortable.

Don’t forget the basics

With everything you have to do, it’s easy to forget some of the primary elements of being a good host. Here’s a little checklist:
  • Make sure there is space for guests’ hanging clothes in the closet as well as empty hangers.
  • Make the bed with freshly laundered linens. Set aside clean, fresh smelling towels, washcloths, and a bar of soap in their room.
  • Provide a flat surface to hold their suitcase. If you don’t have anything suitable, purchase a small, foldable luggage rack for this purpose.
  • Check with them ahead of time and ensure there are no allergies or other sensitivities that you need to be aware of.
  • Get parking passes, key fobs, or other items that they will need to access your building.
  • Write down entry codes, wifi passwords, and other information they’ll need upon arrival.

Having guests can be an opportunity to create great memories. Providing a little freedom and flexibility is sure to make the visit more comfortable and stress-free. With a little thought and preparation, you and your guests are in for the happiest of holidays.

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  • Tricia B

    Great read that I will definitely take into consideration for this year. Holidays are usually hectic but it is worth it when you spend time with the people you love. Good catch with the allergy / sensitivities – since I am allergic to seafood & nuts, I am happy to be hosting this year its finally on my terms! Everything in here from the gym passes to planning some neighborhood activities are some awesome tips that I’m sure people will appreciate and remember.

  • Xiaoli Zhang

    Great article, right in time!