Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas...

The decorations are up, the gifts are bought, wrapped and under the tree.  All that's left to do is plan the meal and clean.  I can't believe I'm almost done!  This time last week, the tree wasn't even decorated yet.  Well, I have had help from the family so I can't take the credit.  Every day when I got home from work more decorating had been done, what a nice surprise!

We are fast approaching crunch time, only 9 days left!  Less than that if you have company coming to stay!!  You can find my original crunch time post here, but if you've got company staying with you, there are a few extra things to be done.

Sleeping Arrangements - Where are you going to put those guests?  If you happen to have a guest room, this step is already done!  If not, you can always make a place in any extra room you may have (think den, office, craft room, etc.).  If at all possible, provide a bit of privacy for your guests, then just clear some space wherever you can for a "bed".  Any bed will do, futon, pull-out sofa, inflatable mattress.  If you truly have no extra space (like me) you may need to let your guests have the bedroom while you camp out somewhere else for the duration.  No matter where your guests are sleeping, there are still things to be done...

Pottery Barn

Amenities - Now that you have a place for your guests, make sure they have basic creature comforts like clean sheets, pillows and blankets.  Don't forget to provide towels and toiletries they don't have to hunt down.  Seriously, make sure there are things like cotton balls, Q-Tips, washcloths, hand soap, and toothpaste readily available.  They'll probably go through your bathroom cabinets anyway, but do you really want to give them a reason to?

Pottery Barn

Food & Drink - Of course you have everything planned for the big day, but what about the rest of the time?  Your guests are going to need to eat and drink before and after the holiday.  Plan on doubling your normal groceries.  Yes double!  There will be more people in your home for more hours of the day over the course of several days.  Trust me, you do not want to run out of something silly like coffee, milk or toilet paper as we get closer to the craziest food shopping day of the year.  Also, decide if you're going to serve your guests or let them rummage through your pantry.  Personally I believe in a self-serve kitchen (if you've been to my house more than twice or are staying more than a day, help yourself), but that means you need to CLEARLY mark anything that is specifically for the Christmas feast.

Martha Stewart

Personal Touches - Consider any special needs your guests may have.  Do they have dietary restrictions?  If so make sure to include items for them with your groceries.  Are they physically able to get in and out of a low bed?  If not, you're sleeping on that air mattress.  Do your guests smoke or have pets while you don't, or is it the other way around?  Decide now how you're going to handle this if it's an issue to avoid any problems or bad feelings.  Different sleeping patterns?  Come to a compromise on what time to be up on Christmas morning.

Southern Living

Entertainment - If your guests will be with you for more than one night this is also something to consider.  Show them how to work any home entertainment equipment you may have.  Everyone's remote is different.  Also, show them where the spare key is kept in case they need to run out for anything or just want to go for a walk in the morning.  You get the idea here, make them feel at home!

Southern Living

I know this seems like a lot.  But if you handle these things now, your holidays will be much more enjoyable for everyone.



Jeanne said...

You are so correct in the last statement! :0)
Wish my Fridge was as neat as the one in the pic....

Heathen said...

Thanks Jeanne, yeah I wish mine was too!

Mina said...

You are so good to have so much accomplished already! Wow! And this is a wonderful post full of hospitality etiquette. Happy holidays to you.

Jen said...

Happy Holidays Heathen! I love Pottery Barn. I end up collecting all of their Christmas catalogs. Thank you for the tips on having a hospitable home :)