hosting family

5 tips for hosting family this holiday season

The holidays are here, which means it’s the time of year when you play host to your family and friends. While gathering everyone together can be a fun and exciting experience, it can also be stressful and inconvenient if you aren’t properly prepared. Before your loved ones arrive, review these five tips for opening your home this holiday season.

1. Prepare comfortable bedding
Sleeping situations can be tight when you’re hosting house guests, especially when you’re operating without a spare room. However, this doesn’t mean that your loved ones need to be uncomfortable all night long. Make sure that you assemble plenty of comfortable bedding that you can use to make up couches, air mattresses and floors where people will be resting. Because it’s the winter, guests will likely require a few layers to stay warm once night falls. Take this into account when gathering pillows, sheets and blankets so you’ll have enough for all your loved ones.

2. Get a larger television
With all your friends and family over, chances are you’ll want to watch things like football games and movies as a group. You may even want to pop in some old home videos and reminisce about holiday seasons past. Of course, you can’t all enjoy these viewing experiences if you’re squeezed around a small screen, which is why this is the perfect time to invest in a newer, larger television. In a new home and worried about your cable Internet service being ready in time for the holidays? Don’t stress – have someone else take care of it for you.

3. Ask about special preferences or requests
Part of being a gracious host is accommodating all your guests’ needs and preferences. To do this effectively, you should ask everyone ahead of time whether they’ll be requiring special accommodations. This is especially true when it comes to food, as you’ll want to assemble required ingredients well in advance. Inquire about allergies, diets, likes and dislikes so that you can cook or order meals that everyone will enjoy. If you have family or friends visiting with children in tow, see if they’ll need any kid-friendly items that you may be able to provide, or ask them if they’d like you to childproof the house.

Is your home ready for guests this holiday season?Is your home ready for guests this holiday season?

4. Set up welcome baskets 
For an extra dash of hospitality, prepare small gift baskets to welcome your guests into your home. Fill them with items like water bottles, candy, gum, snacks and fresh fruit. If your visitors are unfamiliar with your area, throw in some pamphlets that have maps and list restaurants and attractions. You may also want to place fresh flowers and a bottle of wine on the nightstands of your guests to really make them feel at home.

Additionally, make sure your bathrooms are stocked with essentials. Purchase extra shampoo, soap, conditioner, lotion and hairspray and let visitors know they are more than welcome to use these items. It’s also nice to leave first aid kits in all your guest spaces in case of emergencies.

5. Give them a tour 
Once your guests arrive, give them a thorough tour of your home while outlining any quirks your house may have. For example, if you need to turn off your bathroom’s fan before running a hairdryer, let visitors know this up front before they feel bad about tripping your circuit breakers. Houzz noted that even if guests have been at your house countless times, sleeping over can be a totally different experience for them, so do your best to give them all the information they need.

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