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Guests for the Holidays

By Samantha Nicole Alarilla

There’s less than sixty days before Christmas and for most people that means blasting Mariah Carey’s rendition of Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town twenty-four-seven, early gift shopping, and planning outings and parties with friends and loved ones. But for some, it means counting the days until family members and friends from all over the world return home for the holidays. For this coming season, those who are expecting guests may already be busy decluttering and decorating their homes, giving it a warm, festive atmosphere fit for the Yuletide season.

But when we think of our friends and loved ones walking through our doors, stepping inside for the first time in what feels like forever, we instantly want to make sure their stay with us is as happy and as comfortable as possible.

Here are a few tips on how to be the perfect host:

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The Communal areas

 A.K.A. the kitchen, the dining room, and the living room.You’ll be spending most of your time together here, and you want to make sure they’re the perfect places for your much-awaited bonding moments.

You can apply the same principle from tip number one here too: make sure everything’s convenient and comfortable for both you and your guests. Set out extra plates, utensils, glasses, and napkins so none of you will need to go digging through your cupboards. Stock your fridge and pantry with food and snacks, and give your guests easy access to the drinks (especially the tea and coffee!).

A tip for busy mornings – save yourself the trouble of cooking for early risers by preparing or stocking up on breakfast goods (muffins, different types of bread, muesli and cereal) and storing them in a visible, easy to access area so that it’ll require minimal effort in the morning to fix up. Set up the coffee maker with all coffee-related supplies too!

As for the living room, it’s great to make the area as homey as possible. Rearrange your bookshelves if needed. Puff up the couch’s throw pillows. Throw in some accent pieces. Put a vase of bright flowers, and artfully place some reading material on the coffee table. If you will have small guests or furry friends visiting along with guests, make sure the space is also child and pet-friendly.  These little things surely go a long way.

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The Guest room

This is the most important room in the house during your guest’s stay.The key is to have everything ready for your guest.Make sure the room is clean.Clear out space in the closet or cabinet.  Provide luggage racks for their suitcases.Lay out extra chargers and cords,and designate space for their shoes, jewelry, keys, and wallets.  The bed will need new or fresh sheets.Make sure you provide them with extra towels, bathroom supplies and toiletries in the bathroom. You wouldn’t want your guest fumbling around looking for things – it would probably embarrass them to have to ask you for toilet supplies.

Other things you could consider placing in the guest room would be a carafe with water, small snacks (if you are ok with guests eating in the room), and a guide to the city.  This would be necessary especially for those days you won’t be able to go out with your guests.

One more thing on the guest room – today, modern hospitality is also shown by giving your guests access to the WiFi. Put a card with the WiFi name and password on top of the guest room’s bedside drawer or desk.

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Show them how everything works

There’s nothing more anxiety-inducing than figuring out how to make someone else’s shower work or making yourself a cup of coffee using someone else’s French press. Give your guests quick tutorials on the different appliances around the house and always let them know that it’s perfectly alright to ask you for help on anything.

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Stow away Breakables / Fragile items

You might want to store your heirloom pieces and/or fragile décore specially if there’ll be children and/or pets around. Accidents do happen, and aside from safety concerns, it could end the holiday on a sour note.  Replace your snow globes and glass ornaments with other things that can take the fall.

And there you have it! Follow all these tips and it is an absolute guarantee that the Christmas season with your family members from abroad will be a lot sweeter, a lot happier, and a lot more comfortable. Now, go on! You still have plenty of time left to make this happen.