Believe it or not, but faster than Santa on his reindeer-powered sleigh, the festive season is speeding towards us. At the time of writing, we are only weeks away! Of course, you may already be in the Christmas spirit – you might have your tree up already – so you may not need us giving you this timely reminder.
Still, if you are behind with your plans, now is the time to start thinking about Christmas, especially if you have family and friends coming to stay with you. Be they wanted or unwanted guests (who are we to judge), you will need to prepare your home for their arrival. You want to make them feel welcome and comfortable, after all.
Here are some tips that will help both you and your festive guests.
Sort Sleeping Arrangements
Ideally, you should have a spare room for them to both sleep and spend some downtime in. You will need to prepare the room for them early, ensuring the bed is ready, and that the rest of the room is fit for purpose. So, start to declutter the room of any boxes and laundry that may be deposited in there, and find another place to put them. Clear out any hanging space so your guests have somewhere to put their Christmas fashion. Buy some fresh sheets and plump pillows so your guests get the luxury hotel experience. And if you need to provide extra heating, consider the radiator deals at tapwarehouse.com or invest in an electric heater to keep your guests toasty and warm.
Don't forget the extras
Sure, a bed, wardrobe space, and some extra heating should be all your guests need, and in a way, that’s right! Still, you can make their stay extra special by adding a few features to the room. An ambient bedside lamp will prove useful if they enjoy reading in bed. A warm rug on the floor and a few extra blankets and pillows will maximise their comfort level. And a few pre-Christmas gifts will also prove useful, especially if they have neglected to bring some of the essentials themselves. We are thinking toothbrushes, towels, and a basket full of toiletries.
Prepare for unexpected guests
Okay, so you have prepared a room for the people you are expecting, but there are always those guests who turn up unexpectedly, perhaps because you forgot to mark their arrival on your December calendar, or because they mistakenly assumed it was okay to suddenly land on your good nature! In either case, you might want to buy a few extra supplies, or invest in a sofa bed if you are looking to buy new furniture, just in case you need to use your living room as an impromptu guest room. Alternatively, a couple of inflatable mattresses will do if you’re working to a budget.
Plan your dinner menu
It’s best doing this in advance, as if you have a lot of guests to accommodate, this can be quite stressful. You don’t want to run out of ingredients, and you do need to find out everybody’s dietary requirements early on. Therefore, ring around your guests, and get a handle on what they do like to eat. Order any food in good time, and opt for extra, even if your guests tell you they will donate something to your Christmas dinner table. In the days leading up to your guest’s arrival, prepare some of your meals early, and make room in your freezer to accommodate them (your meals, not your guests). With the food organised, and with a few meals ready to defrost and eat, you can spend more time with your guests, and less time stressing away getting things ready in the kitchen.
Get the dinner table ready
Is your current dinner table big enough? Will Cousin Bob have to sit with his dinner on his lap, like he did last year? Do Bob and everybody else a favour, and consider purchasing an extended dining table (and chairs) if you don’t currently have room to accommodate everybody. Remember too, that you will need extra cutlery, plates, and glasses, as well as other tableware to accommodate nibbles and festive decoration. It’s worth preparing your dinner table early, especially if you can prepare something with these festive displays, as you will be able to wow your guests when they first set foot in your dining room.
Set some house guidelines
Having guests staying with you can be stressful, but to ensure your stress levels don’t rise to fever pitch, have a few guidelines to make their stay more peaceful and organised. You might want to give them a tour of your house, for example, with a list of no-go areas. If there are any smokers staying with you, let them know where to go (kindly) if they need a smoking break. If you have children or pets in your house, let your guests know what is and isn’t permitted, such as NOT giving chocolates to the dogs, or spoiling your children with too many sweets.
You might also remind them, that despite the luxury room you have set up for them, that your house isn’t a hotel. Tell them to clean up after themselves, and ask them to make their own bed. Of course, your guests probably do this anyway, but to preempt any arguments and frayed emotions, it’s always worth laying down the law (in a jovial and respectful way) on your guest’s arrival!
Plan fun and games
You don’t want your house guests getting bored, so find things for them to do. As examples, you might want to plan a few party games, gather a few festive movies to watch together, or have an idea of what is happening in your local town or village that may capture their interest. While you don’t want to organise everything to smallest degree, it’s always worth having something up your sleeve should your guests require it.