Without some planning and forethought, having company during the holidays can be a very stressful and difficult time for all involved. But if you think ahead and plan accordingly, your guests will feel welcome and comfortable in your home, and you’ll provide a stress-free environment so you can enjoy their company.
Be sure that you decorate your home and tree for the people who will enjoy it. Antique Christmas ornaments are likely to get broken if small children are admiring them. And the likelihood of your best tablecloth getting a marinara stain on it is pretty high if you’re serving guests of all ages. You are happy your guests are in your home, so take it upon yourself to ensure they feel welcome, comfortable and wanted.
Start the process in the guest room your company will be staying in, and make it special. If they’ll be with you for more than just a couple of days, provide drawers they can put things away in so they can easily find things and get ready each day. Make sure your guest bathroom has plenty of clean towels and that you are stocked up on the necessities like toilet paper, shampoo, soap, and toothpaste.
Also, be sure you have plenty available to entertain your younger guests. Board games, crayons, coloring books, and movies help pass the time while the adults visit. Encourage the little ones to draw a pretty Christmas picture that you can display in your home for the holidays, or provide them with enough craft material such as glitter, yarn, glue, tape, and construction paper to make fun Christmas gifts of their own. An outing to a Christmas pageant or a night out caroling or watching the local Christmas parade provides fun for all ages as well.
Try to find out ahead of time if any of your guests require special accommodations, attention, or have special diets they must adhere to or have any food allergies. The last thing you want to have happen is for one of your guests to have an allergic reaction to your oyster stuffing. It might feel awkward to ask, but your guest will appreciate you thinking ahead on their behalf.
Most importantly, try to keep the environment calm and relaxing. After all, it is the holidays and both you and your guests have taken time off work during the holidays, so make sure you take the time to sit back and take it easy with your company. Keep the days entertaining, but not crammed full of activity. Be sure to schedule in activities they enjoy. Perhaps there’s a special exhibit at your local art gallery or museum they’d like to see while they’re in town. If so, offer to watch the kids while they go, and then take the kids to see a movie or ice skating. If these options are a bit too energetic for you, they might also enjoy playing a board game or watching a movie or television program at home. The gift of your time will be fondly remembered long after your guests have returned home.
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