7 Ways to Prep Your Home for Holiday Guests
From cleaning to cooking tons of food, holiday entertaining can seem daunting. When you have a million things to do before guests arrive, decking the halls may make you want to deck some other things too. Plan ahead with a few tips so you can kick back and relax come party time.
1. A Good Old-Fashioned Makeover
Before you get to the prep and planning, give your home some TLC. Add lighting both inside and out to make the space more inviting. Swap out your everyday window treatments to add a cozy, festive touch. Lastly, avoid any dreaded mother-in-law comments, and patch or cover up unsightly blemishes, scoffs or marks on the walls or floors.
2. It's Time to Festify
Nothing kicks off a holiday party like the right décor. Dress up the front door and yard with decorations and lights to get even the scroogiest family members into the spirit. Add candles, pillows and other holiday classics to cheer up the inside. Focus on high-traffic areas like the kitchen, living room, dining room and bathrooms.
3. Room Service Optional
For any overnighters, update the guest room (or wherever they'll be sleeping) with homey touches for a 5-star review. Provide fresh bed linens and towels, 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 bottled water.
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4. Keep Bruises Off the Guest List
Nothing puts a damper on a party faster than an avoidable injury. Keep all driveways, walkways and sidewalks clear of any snow or ice. Bust out the snow blower or shovels hours before the start time to take care of any big drifts, and finish them off with plenty of ice melt.
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5. Consider a Casual Affair
There's already enough on your plate, so consider throwing a more relaxed get together to make planning easier. 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 paperware so you don't spend hours washing dishes, and keep to-go containers ready so guests can bring a taste of the party home with them.
6. Keep Up With the Kiddos
If you're expecting young ones, be sure you'll have whatever you need to keep them entertained. Whether it's toys, board games or game tables, they're 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 mingle without worrying about their hangry children.
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7. Embrace the Great Outdoors (Even if It's Cold!)
If the temperature is bearable or you live in a warmer climate, try and use some 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 a chance to take in some fresh air.
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