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Tips for Graciously Hosting Holiday Visitors

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December 22, 2014

We’ve all been there. Inviting people over for the holidays (or reluctantly agreeing to let them come over!) sounds like a splendid idea until right before they arrive at your house. Unless you’ve really got your seasonal routine together, you probably feel stressed, anxious and maybe even a little resentful of having to host people in your home. Short of canceling the festivities, you can’t change the fact that you are about to have guests. Here are some suggestions for being gracious with your visitors.

Tidy Up

Yes, this means more work for you but you will kick yourself if you have people over and your house is a disaster. Enlist the help of friends and family, if you must, but make sure that walkways and stair wells are clear of clutter and, most importantly, sanitize your bathroom. We all get used to our own toilets but you should always take your cleanliness expectations up a notch when hosting guests.

Give Them Space

If your visitors will be staying with you overnight or for a few days, you should do your best to carve out some space for them in your home. If they’ve been traveling, they are probably road weary and desperately looking for a place to get some rest. They may even feel like they are imposing by staying with you so do your best to make them feel welcome.

Offer Food Options

Whether you are accommodating food allergies or preferences, you should make sure that your guests have food that they can eat. Offer a variety of breakfast options, for example, so that when they wake up in the morning, they immediately feel as though you care enough to have planned for their visit. Let them know what you are planning to serve as the holiday meal so that they have a chance to inform you of any desired modifications. It’s a little extra effort but it will mean so much to them and will lessen the odds of potential drama or tension when everyone sits down for dinner.

Work Together

One of the biggest areas of frustration among hosts is that they feel like they become servants to their guests. Chances are, however, that, while you are fuming in the kitchen about having a lack of help, they are feeling awkward and useless on the couch. To prevent this dynamic from occurring, include your loved ones in as many activities as possible. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks and, when they offer to help clean up, accept the extra set of hands.

At the end of the day, you’ve all come together to celebrate the holiday so, when things get irritating remember the reason for the season and don’t sweat the small stuff.

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