10 Little Things You Can Do To Be the Ultimate Holiday Host
Are you playing host this year during the holidays? Is your home holiday ready for family and friends?
Here’s a list of ten things (i.e. subtle reminders) to help you get ready.
1. Hire a Cleaner Before and After
There is no better way to get ready to host for the holidays than hiring someone else to clean up before and after the craziness. The last thing you want to worry about is those dusty windowsills. Cleaning services are surprisingly affordable; just make sure to schedule them early since this time of year is so busy. A professional cleaner is going to take the time to get into all those dusty nooks and crannies. You can spend the day getting last minute gifts; or better yet getting a massage or playing golf.
2. Tech Friendly
One of the first decisions you need to make for your family gathering is will it be tech-friendly? You can really shake things up and announce that the holiday will be tech-free. It might seem a little odd to disconnect from email, or the internet, Facebook or Instagram but when was the last time the family played a nice game of Pictionary or charades? It could be the start of a new tradition.
Or if you opt for the safe route, here’s a list of things to have ready:
- Everyone is going to ask for the wifi password. Make up some place cards with the password and leave them around the house where guests will be
- Stock up on power strips
- Organize your chargers and have them available
- Color code/mark your personal chargers so they don’t end up going home with the wrong person (have sharpies available for guests to do the same)
3. Dietary Preferences
In today’s day and age, holiday meals might not be all turkey or prime rib and roast potatoes. Dietary restrictions and preferences like gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan, are becoming more commonplace. If you are hosting, it is expected that you will have a little something for everyone. You may also want to reach out to those family members with dietary preferences. You may find that they plan to bring their own food or a suitable dish to share.
4. Seating and Comfort
It’s a good idea to have a guest list of just who you might be expecting over the holidays and make sure you have ample seating for the meal and for relaxing. This is a good time to upgrade your sofa. You can even rent furniture, or invest in some modern temporarily seating like beanbags and floor pillows. It is very important to make sure you have seating for everyone if it will be a formal sit down dinner. Depending on just how formal it is, table settings are a great way to organize guests and double check seating arrangements.
5. Sleeping Arrangements
If you are hosting and plan on having guests over to stay, take an inventory of your home and all the places people can rest their head – spare rooms, sofa’s, sofa couches, Murphy Beds, bunk beds, a sleeping bag or air mattress on the floor, or how about a tree fort. If there are kids coming over and you are short on beds, make some fun out of the challenge and give them the supplies to build a fort. You might become the Aunt or Uncle of the year with this fun activity.
6. Child and Pet-Friendly
Along with the decision to make your home tech-friendly, is the decision of whether you are going to also to allow children and pets? There is really no option when it comes to children; parents of said-child may never visit you again if you exile their child. Parents of furbabies you have a little more clout. Naturally the location of your home is going to determine suitability for pets. Be sure to check with all guests to confirm exactly who is bringing a pet so there are no surprises. You don’t want the miniature poodle to have an unexpected encounter with Rex the German Shepherd.
7. Organize the Entry
Your entry is your first line of “defense” to keeping your home organized.
It is a good idea to survey the space and think about what it might need. Extra coat hooks or coat hangers? If its cold, how about wicker storage baskets or Tupperware for hats and gloves. What about a shoe rack (asking people to remove their shoes can be the first line of defense for keeping your floors beautiful, plus it prevents snow, dirt, and other debris from coming in).
Have a Swiffer close by to mop up any spills and a garbage pail comes in handy for any trash people might want to bring in from a long car ride.
Aside from getting the entry organized, make it look nice and presentable, by adding something festive like poinsettias, or other flowers and make sure it’s warm and welcoming.
8. Stock Up
When you are planning a family gathering, (any gathering really) make sure you stock up. This includes, of course, food and drinks, but also paper products. No one wants to end their day with a pile of dirty dishes in the sink so considering opting for disposable paper plates. Maybe you also want to get some wet wipes or reusable plastic cups. When all is said and done it is better to have it, and not need it, and store it away until the next family gathering if there is anything left.
9. Phone a Friend (or Family)
Just because you are hosting the holiday gatherings this year doesn’t mean you have to do all the work. Don’t hesitate to phone a friend, ask your partner to take a day off of work to help, or invite family members who are close by to chip in. If you have children recruit them for the job. Some people thrive on doing it all alone, but if you aren’t one of those people, don’t be too proud to ask for help.
10. Remember to Relax
It is easy to feel stressed and worried if you are hosting for the holidays but this can just add to any anxiety and make it more difficult to plan and prepare. Be sure to practice good self-care, get enough sleep, do something to help yourself relax such as take a yoga class, or get a massage. When you are relaxed getting ready will be easier and your guests will feel more relaxed too.