It’s a hectic time of year filled with food, booze, family and friends. But how about the amount of stress! Make sure your guests feel at home during the holidays with these simple steps.
Greet all your guests as they enter. This is the first step in making sure no one feels like they just walked in or have to say an awkward hello. Graciously accept any hostess gifts, smile and be welcoming. Point them to a refreshment table, to a seating area – guiding them to their first destination at your party will go a long way in making them get into the party mood and will keep them from cluttering your front hallway.
Have you recently renovated your home and splurged on to-die-for oak hardwood flooring installed in a unique pattern? Or perhaps your female guests have a love of high heel shoes that are next to impossible to walk in. Maybe, baby, it’s cold outside and you don’t want your guests trekking in all that snow, slush and salt. Invest in some comfortable slippers and leave them at the front door for your guests to use as they wish. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel at home in a nice pair of cozy slippers.
Be prepared for your party! Wake up early to make your food or if guests are bringing certain refreshments, at least have a nibble platter of cheese and grapes and a few bottles of wine open and ready to go. Many people feel more at ease in a social setting when they have something in their hands and who doesn’t love a nice glass of red wine? Set up an appetizer station in the living room where guests will gather so they don’t go in the kitchen where the atmosphere may be a bit too ‘behind-the-scenes’ for them.
Science has shown that some smells trigger certain memories, so why not light up some beautiful Christmas inspired scented candles and add to the ambiance with the flicker of the light as well? Gingerbread, vanilla and rosemary are all crowd pleasers and are sure to trigger warm and happy thoughts.
To kill the awkward silence and get guests into the festive spirit, play music appropriate for the party. Christmas carols or classical music low enough so that guests can carry on a conversation but loud enough to be audible. Create a playlist before hand or download some online so that you don’t have to be stuck playing DJ all night.
6. Prepare A Guest Room
The elephant in the room can be moved to your guest room; don’t let your guests drink and drive! Either call them a cab or have a guest room prepared. Fresh linens and a small overnight kit – travel sized toiletries such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, body wash and towels placed on the bed and spare clean pajamas. Don’t forget to stock a couple water bottles and a few snacks so your guests don’t feel awkward having to rummage through your kitchen in the middle of the night. Think of it as a ‘welcome basket’ similar to one you would get at a B & B.