The holidays are a time when families come together to celebrate. Whether you are planning a big holiday dinner or hosting friends and family from afar, your home is about to become the center point of family Holiday traditions. This can be both enjoyable and stressful at the same time. Spend some time ahead of time to prepare so you don’t feel stressed and you can focus on what matters most – spreading holiday cheer and cherishing time spent with family and friends. Here are some things you can do to prepare your home for the holidays so that you can have a fun and stress-free celebration:
Decorate and declutter. Right from the front door and doorway, make your home feel welcoming and inviting. An inviting front door and organized entry way will make your guests feel welcomed and make it easy to drag those suitcases and bags of presents through. Inside the home, as you are decorating, take the time to declutter and remove anything that’s not essential. Maximize the space people might need for appetizer dishes and drink glasses. Make room for coats, areas to store overnight bags, and stock up on clean towels and other bathroom supplies.
Make guests feel at home. If guests are staying with you, create a comfy, home-like space. They will need some space to store their things, so clean out a guest room closet or dresser for them. Consider leaving them a welcome kit or basket full of things they might need during their stay such as toiletries and snacks. If you have little ones staying with you, childproof ahead of time – use gates around stairways and keep any pointy, hot or dangerous items out of reach. Consider adding some night lights, since guests will not be familiar with the lay of the land.
Increase seating space. With more people in the home, more seating is needed. Consider adding ottomans or folding chairs, or bringing furniture from other rooms into the central living space.
Clean your act up. A clean home is a happy home! Focus on the bathrooms and living and dining areas. If you don’t have the time or willingness to clean it all, considering splurging on a cleaning service. Once it’s spotless, burn candles or place scents of the season around the rooms to create a clean, welcome and festive feeling.
Divide and conquer the cooking. If you are hosting a large family party, split up the meal and assign a dish to each person. This will take the stress off you to cook multiple different things all at once. Each person will arrive with their dish cooked and ready, and you won’t feel overwhelmed getting the whole meal on the table.
Take an hour to yourself for self-care. Let’s face it, not every celebration with family is a perfect storybook occasion. If you have family coming that will cause you stress, or if you are stressed about hosting or anything else, it’s important you take some time to ground yourself before the festivities begin. Do something that brings you joy – read a book, bake cookies, binge watch a show you’ve been dying to see. While you might be anxious about that mile-long to do list, it will be much easier to get done when you are feeling clear-headed and calm.
The holidays are a time to gather, create memories, and spend time with the people we love the most. Just listen to classic songs like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” or “White Christmas” – and many others – where the central theme is that at the Holidays we long to be home and feel a deep sadness if we have to be anywhere else. Take away presents, decorations, music, and gifts and what is left is home – the connections and meaningful relationships we have to our home and family. This year, celebrate that connection wherever you consider “home.”
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