Holiday houseguests? An easy and stress-free “How-To” prep for your merry visitors.

Ding dong! The guests have arrived! Being a great host is a big job, but it doesn’t mean you have to expend a super human effort to make your guests feel comfortable. Check out our tips for creating a cozy environment for your holiday visitors without making you feel like the chef, housekeeper, bellman, waitress and custodian.

Quick, Hide the Valuables

If your guests have little ones in tow, make your home environment safe for them and safe for your valuables! Stow away any breakable or sentimental pieces in your home while your guests are visiting. This will give you peace of mind and ensure there are no embarrassing and awkward, “I’m sorry that John Jr. broke your antique Santa figurine that you Great Great Grandmother gave you,” conversations.

Stop Nosing Through All My Cabinets

Depending upon the organization level of your closets, you may not want your guests rooting around in there amongst your personal things. Place necessities like towels and washcloths on your guests’ bed and keep toothpaste and soap in plain view on the bathroom counters. If everything is easily accessible, they won’t need to witness firsthand how messy your bathroom drawers may be.

The Hallways are Lit for Your Convenience

Even though you could navigate your entire house blindfolded, your guests probably aren’t as familiar with your floor plan in the middle of the night as you are. Plug in some hall nightlights so that your visitors can easily find their way to the bathroom or kitchen without turning on every light in the house.

I’m Hungry, What Do You Have To Eat?

It’s time to stock your pantry as you would for the teenage babysitter. All that sitting around and visiting makes people hungry! Keep plenty of snacks available and on hand to stave off the tummy growls including veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, fruit and King Size Snicker Bars (wooops, that’s me thinking out loud). Be sure to get items that guests can help themselves to so you won’t have to be interrupted to whip up a super complicated platter of hors d’oeuvres every time someone is craving a nibble.

Ah, the Sweet Smell of Fresh Flowers

I once stayed overnight at a friend’s house and upon entering the guest room where I’d be sleeping, beside the bed was a small vase with two or three fresh flowers. I’ve never forgotten that gesture to this day. Buy an inexpensive bouquet at the grocery store and split up the flowers in several vases around your home including guest bedrooms, bathrooms and living room side tables. It’s a small effort that makes a big impact.

Relax and Enjoy

There’s nothing that will put your guests more at ease than your demeanor. If your stress levels and irritation are evident, it’ll make your guests feel like a three day old fish. Extra people in your living space can be taxing, but try not to fret about details once your guests have arrived. If you’re feeling happy and relaxed, your visitors will feel the same.

It’s the holidays, which by definition means craziness and chaos and merriment and laughter. This is a wonderful time of year to enjoy visiting with family and friends. If all else fails, there’s always eggnog. Happy holidays!

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