Getting your home guest-ready for Christmas doesn’t have to be complicated or costly. Many of the little things that make a big difference can be achieved without too much effort or expense.
Before putting your decorations up, give your home a thorough tidy. Take time to go through each room in the house, remove any unwanted items and ensure everything is clean and tidy. Declutter any room where guests will be staying to free up space for them to put their belongings. This may take a couple of days, so give yourself plenty of time and enlist help from other family members.
Once the house is organised, start thinking about your decorations. Getting your Christmas tree a couple of weeks before Christmas is a good idea. This way, you’ll have plenty of time to put it up and decorate the house before the more serious preparations get under way.
To ensure you and your guests have plenty to eat and drink during the holidays, start planning what you’ll cook and prepare a few weeks before the big day. Research your recipes so you know what needs to be done well in advance. Make a list of everything you need to buy and the amounts you’ll need for each dish to avoid running out at the last minute. Delegate some of the cooking and food prep to family where possible to cut down the time you’ll need to spend in the kitchen on the big day.
It’s always a good idea to be prepared for last-minute guests. This means having extra sheets, towels, snacks and drinks. Have a few extra gifts on hand too. This will help you to avoid any last-minute stress if you suddenly find yourself with additional visitors or guests.
Prep your guest room
Whether you have a dedicated guest room or are creating a temporary guest space in your home, make sure it is clean and comfortable before your guests arrive.
Make the bed with fresh sheets and lay out some fluffy towels. Consider buying additional towels for your guests to use when staying at your house. This is especially important if you have a large family or a lot of visitors staying over Christmas.
Keep towels and sheets in each room where your guests will be staying to make it easier to make up beds when needed. Keep a few extra blankets handy in case of cold nights.
In the bathroom, put guest towels and toiletries on display. Stock up on bathroom essentials, such as soap, shampoo, body wash and body lotion. A toothbrush holder is a good idea.
Leave spare hangers in the wardrobe or room in a chest of drawers so your guests can store their belongings. Consider investing in a coat stand if you don’t have a dedicated coat cupboard or place to store coats.
Set the table
If, like me, your table needs to be bigger to accommodate all of your guests at Christmas, consider renting an extra table and some additional chairs. I’ve rented a small table which I add to the end of my dining table and cover the lot with an oversized table cloth which I rent too. You can also rent things like napkins, cutlery, crockery and glassware. Everything will match and you don’t have to worry about washing up. It’s also much more environmentally friendly than using disposable plastic versions.
Set the table the night before. This way, you’re not doing it all last minute and you can enjoy the day. Decorating your table doesn’t have to be expensive. Use some fresh foliage from the garden and lots of candles. Personalise your tablescape with name cards or go one step further and make your own crackers. Lots of stores sell kits you can buy and you can fill the crackers with personalised treats and trinkets. Make sure to include a little name tag, so each guest knows which cracker is theirs.
Create the perfect atmosphere
Hanging a gorgeous wreath on your front door is the perfect way to create a welcoming atmosphere at Christmas. Whether you prefer the real thing or an artificial version, there are so many beautiful options now that it’s almost impossible to choose just one!
Dim the lights and use candles to create a warm welcoming atmosphere in your home. Decorate trays with tea lights in glass jars and plenty of foliage from the garden. Introduce cinnamon sticks and other festive spices to create a gorgeous scented arrangement. Pop on your favourite Christmas playlist and don’t forget to enjoy yourself! Christmas is a time for celebrating with friends and family, so make sure to take time out from cooking and cleaning to relax and have fun.