Last year’s holidays were new territory. It was hard to recognize the usually joyous season behind the masks and stay-at-home orders. Our quiet homes ached for the sounds of seasons greetings. 2021 promises to be different. With travel more accessible and safety measures in place, we can usher family and friends back inside. If the concept of “hosting” feels like a distant memory, we have a few tips on how to bring your A-Game back out of retirement to make your guests feel right at home for the holidays.
As simple as it may seem, having some beautiful candles lit around the home creates a serene ambiance for your company. Try using a candle with a captivating canister such as mercury glass. It makes your home smell good while exuding a warm and inviting vibe. If the thought of assembling holiday décor already sounds exhausting, opt for a refresh with plants instead. They instantly liven up a space and make it feel complete. For those of us cursed with a black thumb, a more manageable and cost-effective option is dried florals. You can purchase an arrangement or create your own if you have some yarrow or pampas leftover in the backyard. Including some dried pomegranates or dried cranberries can transform this arrangement into the perfect holiday accent. It also adds the perfect hint of color. They are festive, create a sense of softness, and will carry you through from October to January. These are ideal for a centerpiece, on an entry table, or even on the guest bedroom nightstands. When you find yourself in the position of guest, these can also each be a great host or hostess gift.
Before your guests arrive, get everyone’s orders in. Whether your company is coming for a single night or two weeks, it is helpful to discuss any dietary restrictions to prepare you for their visit. Mealtime is different for everyone. Be sure to ask what they prefer to snack on, so the pantry is ready for their in-between-meals cravings. While cooking with company can be enjoyable for some, it can also be stressful depending on who will be there and your kitchen setup. To avoid holiday FOMO, prepare a handful of meals early. All you will need to do is pop them in the oven and get back to the party. If cooking is not exactly your definition of fun, consider asking your houseguests to chip in. This request can be as easy as divvying up the meals, so each person or group is responsible for one meal or dish. Food is undoubtedly essential but should not be a stressful part of the holidays for anyone.
All the Small Things
When prepping your holiday tenant’s bedroom, consider adding some small touches to make them feel at home. If in a dryer climate, adding a humidifier or extra lotion to their room is extremely thoughtful. Take your lead from hotels and try to keep their same provisions on hand. Keep the guest bathroom stocked with items such as an extra toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, Q-tips, soap, etc., making sure they have everything they need. This small step can take their stay from good to great.
Home Away from Home
To make their stay is one to remember, try to make sure their room is not just a bedroom but someplace that they can comfortably spend time. Being away from home, around people you do not usually spend days with, can be a lot, even for extreme extroverts. Create an oasis that they can escape to when they need time to recharge. This sanctuary could come in the form of a small desk or reading nook in the room or even something as simple as an added TV they can enjoy on their own time can be very comforting.
Despite all the mayhem that surely ensues when we open our home, after last year, we all realized that nothing is better than being surrounded by those we love.