The holidays are a time for togetherness. They’re a time when we get to set aside the trivialities of work, career and money. Where we get to uncouple ourselves from the things that cause us stress and focus on what really matters; friends, family and love… Unless, of course, you’re playing host over the holidays. If you’re having the family round for Christmas this can turn your home into a whirlwind of stress and anxiety. Still, getting your home ready for the holidays and the deluge of familial guests that they bring needn’t be stressful nor frantic. It’s simply a matter of getting ahead of the day and putting in as much groundwork as possible so that you can enjoy the perfect Christmas in the company of those who matter most to you.
If you’re hosting the holidays, here are some things you’ll need to consider to make sure that your home is up to the task…
The little things that make a big impression
As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. And the great news is that a dazzling first impression can take a lot of the heavy lifting out of your planning elsewhere. With this in mind, focus your attention on creating a first impression that’s cosy and welcoming. Hang a fresh wreath on your door, light scented candles and while you don’t need to deck the halls with boughs of holiday, a little seasonal greenery here and there (even low-maintenance artificial greenery) can make a huge difference.
If you make a great first impression, you’ve already won the battle.
What your tree says about you
Choosing a Christmas tree is an extremely personal activity and everyone has their sights set on something subtly different. That’s absolutely fine! The kind of tree you choose (and how you decorate it) says a lot about you.
Do you want an artificial tree or the real deal? Do you want to decorate it sparsely or decorate it so fervently that nary a hint of green is visible. There are no right or wrong answers, just be wary of assuming that bigger is better. A Christmas tree that’s a little too grand can easily dwarf your living room.
Guard against uninvited guests
You’ll want to ensure that your relatives are the only ones joining you for the holidays. As the weather gets colder your home may become a welcoming refuge for all manner of creepy crawly critters trying to come in from the cold.
The sight of a rat, a mouse or a trail of ants is bound to make the sight of Christmas dinner less appetizing, so perform a sweep of the home to check for signs of insect or rodent infestation. Head up into the attic to check for droppings or signs of gnawing. If you see anything, call ABC Pest Control or your local equivalent to get ahead of the problem. Taking a look now will give you plenty of time to put preventative measures in place.
Get those Christmas lists in nice and early
There are few images more festive than the sight of a Christmas tree surrounded by invitingly-wrapped presents… But nobody wants to rack up massive credit card debt for the privilege of this image. With that in mind, be sure to get your kids’ Christmas wish lists in as early as possible. This will allow you plenty of time to find the very best deals on the gifts they want or let them down gently if their expectations are simply unrealistic.
Make sure everyone’s catered for
Part of being a great host is being considerate to the needs of your guests. The last thing you need is to proffer a turkey leg dripping in goose fat to your brother’s new vegan girlfriend or to offer a cognac to your cousin who’s about to celebrate the 6 month anniversary of their sobriety. Your guests are likely to have diverse needs. Some will be uncomfortable at the sight of meat, others might feel uneasy around booze while some will spend the whole night on the toilet if they come into contact with gluten or dairy.
With this in mind, send out a friendly email (or Facebook message) to all of your guests asking for a heads-up regarding any dietary or personal requirements they may have. This will give you plenty of time to stock up on appropriate snacks and drinks or prepare delicious meat free alternatives to the traditional Christmas turkey.
A little preparation and imagination can go a long, long way in creating a Christmas to remember!