While the holidays serve as a joyful occasion and an opportunity to have a reunion with family and friends, you have to admit that it’s also one of the most stressful times of the year. Lots of people coming and going means you need to keep the house clean, clutter-free, and ultimately guest-ready round the clock.
The most important thing about hosting for the holidays is making sure your place is ready for guests. This is especially important if you’ve just finished renovating your house. From the front door to the guest bedroom, we’ve rounded up the things you need to do to ensure your home is warm and welcoming this season.
1. Tidy up the entryway
When we prepare our home for guests, we tend to focus on what’s inside and forget about what our visitors first see when they arrive and enter the house: the entryway.
This area will make the first impression, so be sure to sweep your doorway clean and keep it well organized before the guests arrive. Make sure that you have an area where they can leave their shoes or hang their coats.
2. Give your guest room a quick refresh
Give your guest room the treatment it needs before your guests come to town. Ensure that everyone has a comfortable stay by replacing all your bedding with fresh ones. Prepare clean towels, toiletries, and other essentials available in the guest ensuit bathroom. Place it where they can easily see and access it. Not only will your humble home feel like a 5-start hotel, but this can also make the experience smooth for you as the host.
3. Set up snacks and drinks beforehand
You want to save your energy for the actual merriment, so avoid preoccupying yourself with too much work in the kitchen. Let your guests help themselves to snacks and drinks. Dedicate a section in your kitchen island or wheel your wine bar in the living room where you can readily put out snacks and drinks for the guests.
Serve a bowl of chips and mixed nuts along with water and a few selections of drinks. You can leave a cocktail recipe cheat sheet next to the ingredients so guests can make one for themselves. Do serve coffee and sodas as well for those who don’t drink alcoholic beverages.
4. Assemble a miniature necessities station
From your past experiences as a host, you know how tiring it can be when your visitors keep having to ask where everything is. Orient your guests about where they can find what they need and show them around the house. Get things like hand towels, tissue, hand sanitizer, house slippers, lotions, and even a first aid kid out in the open so they can find what they need without bothering you.
5. Set up what you need for the Christmas presentations
Many households still maintain the tradition of encouraging the younger generation of the family to perform a song or dance number for everyone. If you have a musically inclined guest or member of the family, you can ask them what you need to have prepared for their simple performance (i.e., guitar, microphone, speakers, etc).
If you have an audio-visual presentation prepared, set up your smart TV or DVD player ahead of time and test it out to check if it all is working smoothly. You don’t want technical glitches to dampen the holiday festivities!
6. Download party game apps
If you’ve decided to spice up your holiday party using fun mobile apps like Heads Up or Tabumania, make sure that at least three members of your techie family attending the event have them downloaded on their smartphones or tablets. So in case the other person’s phone starts acting out, or the app keeps crashing on their handset, you have two (better if more) backup devices ready.
7. Turn up the music
Chances are, you have a limited collection of Christmas albums laying around the house. Create an updated Christmas playlist for your night of festivities with your favorite music streaming app. You can also create a party playlist for the activities. If you don’t have time to do so, you can simple find one with just a few taps, but make sure that you download the playlist offline just in case your internet slows down.
Host like a pro and make this event a wonderful occasion by getting your home in tip-top shape for receiving guests this Christmas. Happy holidays!