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