How to Make Holiday House Guest Visits More Enjoyable
The holidays are traditionally a time for fun, festivities and, often, house guests. Amid buying gifts, decorating and planning for celebration, many of us also have the extra stress of planning for hosting house guests. From selecting appropriate meals to coordinating outings and avoiding common guest quirks, we’ve compiled a list of a few ways to make holiday house guest visits more enjoyable.
1. Hanging with the In-Laws
Even if you’re on great terms with your in-laws, it’s not unusual that extended periods of time together — such as holiday visits — can ruffle a few feathers. One way to help your in-laws feel welcome, says Parenting Magazine, is by allowing them to get involved, whether by helping to prepare foods, picking up kids from school, or anything else they might enjoy. The key is to help them feel actively a part of the festivities.
But sometimes, says Parenting, a little time apart can do wonders. That’s when retiring to your room early, planning an outing for your in-laws (possibly without you), or having planned errands or chores to do can create some needed space, defusing any tensions.
2. Hosting Mom and Dad
For many families, the holidays are one of the few times of the year when adult children are able to enjoy lengthy visits with mom and dad. And for parents, they’re one of the best chances they have to check in on grown-up kids and ensure they’re doing well. That’s why you’re apt to see mom cleaning or re-arranging, or dad taking on projects or household fixes. The best solution? Laugh it off and accept that it’s just what your folks are apt to do, says PopSugar.
3. Bring on the Family
Holiday get-togethers often include extended family, such as siblings, aunts, uncles — even distant relatives you don’t see often. Keeping such a large group of people happy depends on setting expectations beforehand, says PsychCentral. If you’d prefer certain sensitive issues not be brought up, mention it to family members beforehand. If you know certain topics can’t be avoided, practice keeping responses short and gracious. Give compliments freely and acknowledge any comments diplomatically. The key is to focus on positive interactions during the festivities, and allow more room for healthy communication.
4. Keeping Everyone Comfortable
Every holiday celebration is different, but there are some key things you can do in preparation to help ensure your invitees are comfortable.
“Aside from new linens, I like to make sure there are plush throws and extra blankets in the closet,” says Paola Mendoza, an agent in Amy Maddox’s agency.
“My guest room also has old photos of when I was a baby. It always prompts a chuckle from all of my guests,” says Mendoza.
Besides blankets and photos, you may want to consider the following tips from Wise Bread:
- Make sure your home is prepared by providing warm drinks, snacks and other guest essentials such as towels, soap, or shampoo.
- Embrace family fun, such as age-appropriate movies and games.
- Keep meals simple and encourage others to pitch in by bringing items, too.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. No celebration is perfect, and for the most part, your guests are happy just to spend time with loved ones.
Holiday get-togethers are a time for having fun and making memories with loved ones. With a little preparation, you can also help minimize family stressors. Happy holidays!