How to Get Ready for Holiday Guests

 The holidays are here and it’s that time of year when your home can often turn into Grand Central Station with a revolving door of friends, family and overnight guests. While you may not be hosting as many friends and family this year, you can never go wrong with extra touches to make your family feel special during the holidays. Use our handy checklist to welcome your out-of-town visitors or to make your family feel more at home .

 Guest Quarters

  • Spruce up guest bedroom(s) with fresh sheets and warm layers.
  • Place an extra blanket at the foot of the bed for guests who tend to get cold at night. 
  • Clear out a drawer and some closet space for guests to use and throw in a few extra hangers.
  • Stock up on reading material, from magazines to books, and don’t forget a reading light, such as a bedside lamp or wall sconce. 
  • Provide extra chargers for guests who may have forgotten theirs, or better yet opt for a charging nightstand.
  • Save guests from bending over bags by setting up a luggage rack, folding tray table or bench.
  • Free up a power outlet for chargers for phone, camera and laptop.
  • Leave a little note with the WiFi password.

The Bathroom

Get ready for guests with a well stocked bathroom

  • Roll up extra towels and washcloths and store them in a basket or shelf where guests can easily spot them. 
  • Add a little merriment: hang a stocking from a bath hook and fill it with toiletries suitable for men, women and children.
  • Don’t forget other bath essentials, such as a travel hair dryer, toothbrushes, pain relievers and stomach remedies.


Festive holiday touches with wreaths on a barstool

  • Prepare a warm, hearty meal for weary guests. Arrival times don’t always go according to plan, so save special nights out for a later date.
  • Be sure to have plenty of coffee (decaf, too), cream and sugar on hand. Keep a couple of travel mugs handy for guests on the go.
  • Know your guests diet restrictions or allergies ahead of time so you can plan to have snacks and meals that everyone can enjoy. If they have kids, ask if you can pick up anything from the store for them, such as milk and yogurt.  Stock up on fruit and easy snacks, like granola bars, nuts and cheese and crackers, and let your guests know they’re welcome to help themselves to any of these items.
  • Designate a handy spot, such as a message board or shelf, where you can leave important notes and numbers, guest keys and brochures about local hot spots.

Family Room

  • Label remotes or include a sheet of instructions on how to navigate your entertainment system, often a mystery to outsiders.
  • Employ a bookshelf or storage ottoman to store toys for guests with kids. Include items like blocks, coloring books and crayons and Play-Doh.
  • Drape a cozy throw over the sofa or a chair for extra warmth. 
  • Fill a pretty dish with mini candy canes and little chocolates. It is the holidays, after all!

Gear up for your guests ahead of time, and you’ll enjoy your visit – and the holidays – without getting stressed.

For more holiday entertaining inspiration, check out these posts below:

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Abbey Nolte

Abbey is a homegrown Georgia peach who loves a fresh take on Southern design. When she’s not working behind the scenes of the How to Decorate blog and podcast, you can find her cheering on the Appalachian State Mountaineers and spending time with her wheaten terrier, Charlie.