Getting Ready for Holiday Guests

Having guests for the holidays can be fun with a some planning and organization.

A little bit of planning makes for a better experience for your guests—and for you.


Besides turkey dinners, late-night office parties, and kisses under the mistletoe, the holiday season also brings… guests. Whether the thought of friends and family camping out on your sofa-bed triggers excitement or dread (or maybe a bit of both), I have three simple-to-follow suggestions guaranteed to make the whole experience an easy one for you, and a special one for them.

Prepare in advance. For many us, hosting guests can be stressful. That’s partly because we’re rushing around at the last minute trying to clean up our home or fill the fridge moments before they arrive—or worse, after they arrive. If it seems like you’re always scrambling when it’s time to entertain out-of-towners, make a list of what needs to be done and work on it a day or two before they roll into town.

Become a hotel. One of the easiest ways to prepare for hosting guests is to imagine your home as a hotel or bed & breakfast—because that’s what it will be for your guests. While you don’t need to strive for four-star service, consider the amenities that hotels keep in guest rooms and you’ll have an idea of what to prepare for a “guest kit.” Take care of the basics first:

  • Stock your kitchen with easy-to-grab snacks and small water bottles so your guests can take them on their way out
  • Gather together linens such as towels, washcloths, and sheets, along with fresh bars of soap or shower gel, and have them ready for your guests when they arrive
  • Put the ironing board, iron, and spray bottle in an easily accessible location, and show your guests where to find it
  • Most travelers come complete with cell phone (and charger), so point them in the direction of the power outlet
  • Think about any other basics that you’d want or need if you were traveling, and prepare the same for your guests.

Think of yourself as a concierge. Many people feel that they need to be a tour guide, chauffer, and chef to their guests. Instead of running your guests around town (and running yourself ragged), give them options and let them decide what to do. Imagine yourself as a concierge—a gateway to services and entertainment—rather than as the source of entertainment. Get a good tour book of your city, if one exists, along with copies of current issues of local weeklies, so that your guests can choose from the multitude of things to do, places to see, and cuisines to enjoy. If you know that your guests have special interests or needs, make a few notes of attractions, events, or restaurants that they might like, and add them to the entertainment package. Obtain an up-to-date public transit map and the phone numbers to cab companies, and give these to your guests along with the rest of the bundle.

If you’re wondering how to implement these strategies, we’d be happy to chat with you. Contact us for a complimentary strategy session by going to

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