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.
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.
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.
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.
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!