This post originally published in December 2019 has been modified to incorporate COVID protocols.
Preparing for house guests these holidays? Spending time together with family and friends is one of the great joys of the season, so don’t let the preparations of it all give you the holiday blues! Follow these quick and easy tips and you’ll be ready to make your guests feel right at home.
LIMIT THE NUMBER OF GUESTS IN YOUR HOME
This holiday, think of it as a season of celebrating, rather just one day. Many people are more flexible with their work schedules. Take advantage of this by inviting different family/friend groups to visit you at different times throughout the month of December. This will keep exposure to a minimum and keep the celebration going all month long. You can also ask your guests to limit contact with other people as much as possible the week before their visit.
A PLACE TO UNPACK
Have an area where guests can unpack their bags. If you don’t have a dresser or a closet in the room that your guests will use, a fold out rack, shelf, or a simple stool where they can set their suitcase will do.
PILLOWS & EXTRA BEDDING
Have lots of pillows available so that the guests can choose how many they want to use at their own liking. Having an extra throw blanket at the end of the bed is also great if they get cold. Along with that you can tell your guests where you keep your extra linens so that they can grab them as they please. Assign throw blankets to each person to avoid cross contamination. Make it fun and less awkward by having each guest choose their favorite throw.
Guests are not used to the new space so ample lighting is great for them to be able to move comfortably around the room. Lights on end tables by the bed that they can easily turn on in the middle of the night are perfect. In addition to good lighting in the guest room, leave small lights on throughout the house at night so guests can find their way around at night.
Leave fresh towels and washcloths on the bed so there is no confusion about which towels are for your guests. At the end of the stay, ask you guests to put their towels directly into your washing machine.
Sometimes guests forget things, or do not have room to pack some things. Fill a glass container with travel lotion, shampoo, conditioner and sunscreen for the guests. Add disposable masks and travel hand sanitizers to encourage good hygiene while they are guests in your home.
These days, everyone needs a spot for device charging, and you want your guests to feel at ease. They might not be beautiful, but be sure to have a power strip or extension cord by the nightstand and/or dresser to make plus easily accessible.
Nothing says, “Make yourself at home!” quite like access to the WiFi.
MEAL PLANNING DURING A PANDEMIC
Skip the buffet! Designate one person to serve the meal and consider a plating strategy during menu planning. If possible, seat guests in family groups. If weather permits, open windows during meal times to increase ventilation. Better yet, if you can, move meal service outside. Consider using disposable dishes and plasticware. There are many holiday themed paper goods out there so have fun with it!
It can be a little stressful at times having guests because you want them to have a good time and be comfortable. If they are guests in your home, they are most likely comfortable enough to tell you if they need anything. So don’t stress. Have a great time with your house guests and enjoy the holidays. With a little bit of planning and some common sense, hosting guests can be done this holiday season!