9 Essentials to Welcome Your Holiday Guests

The anticipation of out of town guests can be exciting, after all, we all love to be surrounded by the people that we love.  And nothing says I love you more than those careful, special touches, to make your guests feel welcome. My aunt used to always have a basket full of toys waiting for us when we would visit as kids as well as my Mom’s favorite candies on hand to make us all feel special. It was her way of saying she was glad we were there.

I am going to share with you my top 9 tips for getting your home ready for guests this holiday season. Try not to get too overwhelmed, just check off a few each week and you will be ready in no time! Or you can start with what you feel is the most important to you and work your way down. Life happens, the most important thing is to enjoy your time with your company.

9. Launder Soft Goods

Have you ever grabbed sheets out of the linen closet to find that they smell like the funky shampoo and conditioner that has been in the same cupboard for ages? Thought so. Well, get those sheets, towels and extra blankets in the wash. After all, who doesn’t LOVE the smell of freshly laundered things, topped off with fabric softener? And leave those freshly laundered towels and extra blankets in your guests’ room, that way they will not have to guess which towels you would like them to use after bathing.

8. Primp the Pillows

I believe all beds should have at least two sleeping pillows for each person (standard size or larger), as well as a decorative sham and several throw pillows for when the bed is made. The extra sleeping pillow is useful if they would like to read in bed, prop a leg or arm up while sleeping or also use for sleeping.

7. Set up a Nightstand for Quiet Moments

And speaking of reading, your guests will certainly want adequate lighting. Consider providing a nightstand and a lamp on each side of the bed so that your company can enjoy some quiet time before turning in for the night. These nightstands are also useful to place water, eyeglasses, prescriptions or breathing equipment on.

6. Supply Reading Material

Most people like to read before they go to bed or during quiet moments. You may want to consider putting some local guides, current magazines, bestselling or witty coffee table books about the room for their enjoyment.

5. Offer Storage Space

When we are on vacation, the first thing my husband does is unpack his suitcase and place the entire contents in the adjacent dresser. I suspect most people are this way as well, which is why I suggest a dresser or chest of drawers in the bedroom for use. It is also wise to clear out space in the closet so that they may hang items that may need to be ironed, etc.

4. Provide Snacks & Refreshments

A great addition to any guest space is a thoughtfully-crafted assortment of consumables that express the individual’s personality. Does Grandma Lois love chocolate, eat an apple every morning and always forget to grab a bottle of water before she goes to bed? This would be a great opportunity for you to express how well you know your guests by stocking their room with items such as these.

3. Brighten the Space with Flowers & Greenery

Who doesn’t LOVE fresh flowers? If you have a cutting garden (you are my hero) use items from there. My favorite bouquets are from our local Trader Joe’s. They always seem to have the freshest arrangements locally at the best prices. This little addition is an inexpensive way to add some cheer to your guest’s unfamiliar surroundings.

2. Stockpile Spare Toiletries

We have all been there. Boarding the plane, only to realize that we have left our favorite shampoo behind or worse yet, it got confiscated by the TSA. Consider gathering up those small toiletries that you have been collecting (but never use) and create an assortment of items available in case your guests have forgotten anything.

1. Go the Extra Mile with a Welcome Gift

This is always my FAVORITE one, the personalized gift basket! I love to gather interesting local items from Minnesota for my guests to enjoy or take with them when they leave. Personally, I try to stay as local as I can. For instance, Hastings, (where I live) is the birthplace of Gumby (as in Gumby and Pokey) so I must include one of those toys. We have a great brewery in our downtown that cans its own beer, so I will include a variety of those.  About a mile away from our house is the Alexis Bailey winery so you KNOW they will be getting a bottle. We also have a few chocolatiers in town so I will also include some of their delicious dark chocolate covered caramel with sea salt. You get the idea.

The holidays can be a crazy busy time of year, but if you just take a few minutes each week to prepare before your guest arrive you will be able to enjoy your time with your guests. Not to mention, these little things will ensure your guests will have an unforgettable time while they are staying in your home.

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Hello, my name is Jill. I am a type A, self-proclaimed neat-freak, compulsive multitasker, Mom and wife, whose passions are cooking, baking, creating, home decor, fabric, fashion, and of course, family.

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