4 Ways to Create a Happy Holiday Home

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No matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year, there are simple ways to create a happy holiday home that everyone can enjoy. It combines the fun of decorating, adding comfort in every room, and creating plenty of opportunities to make everyone “merry & bright” whether that involves a family game or a family dinner.
Shabby-chic Style Staircase by Columbus Photographers Julie Ranee Photography

Set the Tone with a Festive Entry

When your friends and family arrive at your home, make sure your entry is festive and welcoming, inside and out. Decorate the exterior of your entry with your favorite holiday décor like wreaths, garland and your favorite holiday colors.

Keep the décor of your interior simple and sparse, so people aren’t overwhelmed when they walk through the door. Save your décor for the larger spaces like the living room, or for the dining room table, where everyone will gather.

In the entry, have a plan in place to organize hats, coats, boots, and keys. Make sure you have a floor mat of some kind to pick up rocks and dirt and a place to store boots and shoes. Employ other family members to gather these items along with any incoming gifts and make people feel welcome.

Right: traditional interior entry. Left: traditional exterior entry by Boston Photographers Mary Prince Photography

If you want to send thank you cards after your party, be sure to have people sign your guest book.

Have some snacks and beverages on hand to serve as soon as people arrive, whether it’s warm cider, hot tea, seasonal IPA, or a favorite red wine. If your guests are arriving with children, have some games or activities set up — ideally managed by older kids — so little ones can stay busy and parents can relax with the adults.

Contemporary Living Room by San Francisco Media & Bloggers Monica Ewing

Make Every Room Comfortable

When you are preparing for a holiday gathering you want there to be plenty of places for people to gather, mingle and visit with one another. If guests are staying over, don’t forget to attend to the guest rooms to make them festive and comfortable. Don’t worry about turning the heat up too high, when your guests arrive and begin to mingle, your home is sure to warm up quickly.

Add extra coasters, snuggly blankets, extra seating, pillows and other comfortable furnishings to each room so people have people plenty of space to get comfortable and visit with one another.

People will naturally wander with food and drinks in hand, be sure to close doors or section of areas of the home you want to keep off limits. Keep cleaning supplies handy to protect your wood flooring in case there are any spills.

Personalized Dining

Contemporary Dining Room by Toronto Interior Designers & Decorators Jacklynn Little Interiors

If you are hosting a large gathering it might be a good idea to set up a seating chart and personalized place settings and place cards. This process will help you organize your guests and who should (or should not) be seated together. Place settings are a nice decorative element for your holiday table setting and guests will appreciate the thoughtful personalized place cards.

This can also be especially helpful if you are serving guests with food preferences like gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian as these require special dishes and serving utensils. Make sure you are aware of dietary preferences prior to your party so you can make food available to meet everyone’s needs. It is easier than ever to find and make gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian dishes. Check out websites like glutenfreefix.com or minimalistbaker.com for ideas.

You might even find your carnivore family members enjoy them too! Two other elements that can make dinner for enjoyable, feed children first and set them up with entertainment; parents will appreciate the “grown-up” time. Keep a fully stocked wet bar close by that will meet everyone’s needs. Make sure you add some protective felt to the bottom of your chairs. This will help minimize wear and tear on your prefinished hardwood flooring, it also comes in handy for vinyl plank flooring, leather flooring, and even tile.

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Everyone likes to give and receive gifts over the holidays, but this time of year can also be very stressful whether you are traveling, shopping, wrapping or hosting — everyone can use a little less stress. So, this holiday season, give the “gift” of laughter and make sure you have plenty of board games for “kids” of all ages to enjoy.
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