As the festive season approaches, many of us look forward to welcoming family and friends into our homes to celebrate Christmas and our simple tips will help you to prepare your home ready for Christmas guests.
While Christmas and the New Year are a time of togetherness and spending quality time with our nearest and dearest, hosting guests, on top of all the other demands of Christmas can be a little stressful.
To make your Christmas hosting experience stress-free and fun, we've put together a list of essential tips for preparing your home for Christmas guests.
Plan and organise well in advance
Space is often at a premium in the average UK home, so now is the time to start thinking about how you'll physically accommodate all of those visitors. Whether it's family dropping by to bring gifts, friends staying over or family spending Christmas day and beyond with you, you'll need to make sure you've got sufficient seating, tableware, beds and more!
From extra tea and coffee to snacks and even new bedding, you'll want to figure out now what you've got and what extras you might need.
Clean and declutter
A clean and tidy home means less stress when people let you know they plan to visit at the last minute, and less embarrassment if people stop by without any notice at all!
Knowing that your home is clean and tidy can help put your mind at ease and make you feel less stressed out, so starting the process of tidying up now helps take the pressure off in the run-up to the festive season.
Embrace the Christmas spirit by decorating your home with festive touches like wreaths, twinkling lights, and of course a beautifully adorned tree!
Consider additional touches like soft furnishings and scented candles to create a lovely winter aroma to make your home feel extra cosy.
If you have guests staying over or want to be ready for unplanned overnight guests, now is a great time to get your guest room ready. Start with a good deep clean, then of course fresh sheets and perhaps extra blankets.
For a winning touch, add bath towels at the bottom of the bed, and bottles of water and snacks on their bedside table.
Stock the guest bathroom with essentials like clean towels, soap and extra toilet paper, even better if you can make it loo roll with a fun seasonal print (M&S has some lovely ones at this time of year).
Add a few Christmas-themed decorations to make the space feel extra festive and consider adding something that smells nice, like a Christmassy cinnamon reed diffuser.
Meal prep and planning
Plan your Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day menus early. Also, make sure you take into account dietary restrictions and allergies well in advance so you're not surprised by an unexpected dietary restriction at the very last minute!
Christmas Day is usually an elaborate affair, so if you'll be catering for people over multiple days, make plans that allow you to keep things simple the rest of the time. Consider booking a table at a local restaurant (you'll need to do this well in advance) for Christmas Eve and on Boxing Day, instead of another roast or extensive cooked dinner, why not opt for a simpler buffet-style meal?
Consider snacks and drinks too, to ensure that you are your family have everything you need, but also that your guests will be kept well fed and watered whilst they stay with you.
Christmas is the perfect time for fun with family and friends. Whether you prefer something more cutting edge like the Meta Quest 3 or a family favourite like Mario Kart on the Nintendo Switch or its more traditional board games, making sure you have these to hand and know where to grab them is one less thing to worry about.
Also, consider a festive playlist and make it varied so it appeals to all ages and tastes and when you're in need to fully relax and switch your brain off, having some Christmas films ready to watch could be just the ticket.