Your Guide to Preparing for Christmas Guests Part 2

Although it seems like Christmas carols have been playing in the shops forever, Advent has actually only just begun. But if you’re hosting Christmas this year – or even just having the family over for a meal on Christmas Eve or Boxing Day – there are a few things you have to do to get the house ready before the masses descend. You don’t have to spend day after day cleaning, and you don’t have to buy new furniture – just spend a little bit of time getting organised so that the hustle and bustle of having the peace and quiet of the holidays interrupted by lots of small children and overbearing relatives (or is that just us?!). If you need any extra help, hire a handyman or cleaner – or why not hire some furniture if you need extra seats for extra bums?


  • Bin the clutter. When you have a house full of people, even the largest and most spacious of rooms can fast become a dark, dingy hole. Those spaces that you retreat to when you’re in need of a little bit of TLC? Well, when you’re trying to find places for your boyfriend’s mum, his sister, your sister and your grandparents to sleep, it can be difficult to find anywhere relaxing for yourself. In the week before your guests arrive, have a wander around your rooms and check out everything in them – all of the accessories and all of the furniture. What should be there? What shouldn’t be there? What’s really necessary? If you could shift anything to the loft or to another room, move it – give yourself as much space as you possibly can.
  • Put out the welcome mat. You don’t have to go quite as far as rolling out the red carpet, but a new welcome mat (perhaps Christmas-themed, if you’re so inclined), a few plants dotted here and there, a wreath hanging on the door and a strand of lights twinkling around the doorway or window will all help to make your guests feel extra welcome. And if it snows? Shovel your driveway and salt your path – you really don’t want a trip to the A&E department due to a broken ankle on Christmas Eve, do you?
  • For overnight guests, make their stay extra special by providing them with fresh towels, freshly washed and made beds – and if you have space – hangers, fresh flowers, and a fluffy dressing gown and slippers. The hotel experience, as we like to call it!

Source: Good Housekeeping

Surprising Christmas Decorating Ideas

We know, we know. The Christmas ads start earlier and earlier every year. But as the saying goes, if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail – so even if you don’t want to start thinking about Christmas until December, it’s worth planning your decorations in advance so that you can pop up the tree and make the house look festive in a flash, without having to worry about what to put where.


  • Inject a bit of sparkle by hanging baubles from surprising spots in the house, as in the image above from a chandelier. You could also hang ’em from door handles, cupboard doors – basically, anything that you can drape them over. They also look fab piled into a pretty bowl.
  • You can create a festive look without going over the top. Use white fairy lights, silver and mercury finishes and voltive candles for an elegant, pared-back approach that’ll still look chic in the New Year.
  • Using winter florals and pinecones is a really simple way to add a bit of winter flair to your home without breaking the bank – plus, it’s wonderfully seasonal, too, as you can head to the woods with the kids and pick your own ornaments. Think of it as your very own Christmas tradition.
  • For a cool and quirky Christmas centrepiece, pile a three-tier cake stand with baubles, beads, pine cones and ribbons, and position a few fairy lights here and there to make the ornaments sparkle. Or, you know, use the cake stand to display cake. Cake is always a great centrepiece – particularly with a Christmassy sprinkling of icing sugar snow.
  • There is something about green holly and boxwood that immediately makes you feel wonderfully festive – and although it’s usually paired with deep, dark red, why not pair it with something a little bit different, like bright orange, turquoise or pink? It’ll add an unexpected and modern twist to your festive fayre.
  • Things like vintage toys are unexpectedly festive, so why not pop to your local charity shop or antique fair and buy some vintage toys? Display them in a little tableau on a side table for a lovely and rather unusual Christmas display.
  • Settle on a theme. Red and white are known festive hues, so you could recreate your usual decor with Christmassy-decor – for example, fill mason jars with red and white candy, candy canes, red pine cones, then hang up a framed print of the word “JOY” in place of your usual artwork. It’s an unusual way to decorate, but it’s really lovely, as your decorations slip right into your usual scheme so nothing feels overdone.

Source: Style at Home