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7 Tips for Hosting Holiday Guests

7 Tips for Hosting Holiday Guests

 

From cleaning to cooking tons of food, entertaining for the holidays can seem like a daunting task, especially if guests are staying over. When you have a million things to do before guests arrive, decking the halls can sometimes make you want to deck a couple of other things too. Plan ahead to squash any chances of stress during the party, so you can kick back and relax with family and friends. Here are some tips for hosting guests this year holiday.
 

Family gathering for a holiday party

1. A Good Old-Fashioned Makeover

Before you get to all of the prep and planning, give the base of your home some TLC. Add some lighting both inside and out to make the space a little more inviting. Install new window treatments or swap out your existing ones to add a cozy, festive touch. Don't give the in-laws any possible ammo, and patch or cover up unsightly blemishes, scoffs or marks on the walls or floors. 

 

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2. It's Time to Festify

Nothing kicks off a holiday party like the right d├ęcor. Dress up the front door and yard with decorations and lights to get even the scroogiest family members into the spirit from the get-go. Bring decorative elements inside with candles, pillows and other holiday classics. Focus on high-traffic areas like the kitchen, living room, dining room and bathrooms.

 

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3. Room Service Optional

For anyone spending the night, be sure to update the guest room (or wherever they'll be sleeping) with homey touches for a 5-star review. Provide fresh bed linens and towels (or swap them out for ones more in tune with the holiday,) and add a couple conveniences that'd make you feel at home. Consider a power strip, extra travel-sized toiletries or even a mini fridge stocked with cold drinks. 

 

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4. Keep Bruises Off the Guest List

Nothing puts a damper on a party faster than an avoidable injury. Make sure to keep all driveways, walkways and sidewalks clear of any snow or ice. Bust out the snow blower or snow shovels hours before the start time to clear out any big drifts, and finish them off with plenty of ice melt.

 

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Mom and daughter with holiday linens

5. Consider a Casual Affair

Think about throwing a more relaxed get-together to make things easier on yourself. Instead of a rigid schedule, make it an open house so guests can drop by as they please. Invite friends and family to bring food in a potluck style, but always be ready for a party crasher or three. Opt for holiday-inspired paper plates and cups so you don't spend hours washing dishes, and keep to-go containers ready while packing leftovers for guests to bring a taste of the party home with them.

 

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Father and son teaming up at foosball

6. Keeping Up With the Kiddos

If you're expecting little ones, be sure you have whatever you need to keep them entertained throughout the evening. Whether it's toys, board games or game tables, their sure to enjoy hours of fun. When it's time to eat, feeding the kids first will make it easier for the adults to relax and hang out without worrying about their hangry children.

 

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7. Embrace the Great Outdoors (Even if It's Cold!)

Disclaimer: Don't do this if it's absolutely freezing outside. If the temperature is bearable or you live in a warmer climate, try and make use of your outdoor space. Fire up an outdoor heater, or light a small bonfire in the fire pit. Set out some winter hats, scarves and gloves in case party-goers weren't expecting any quality time outdoors.

 

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