Christmas is the season for love and sharing, so no wonder many of us open our doors to friends and family over the season, whether they are staying for a night, or an extended period. What a joy it is to have your nearest and dearest blessing you with their company, and when they finally leave, you wave goodbye with a sorrowful heart… or maybe blessed relief! No matter how you are feeling about your Christmas house guests, you need to prepare yourself for their arrival. As well as using our stress-busting tips, here are other ways to reduce the stress when getting ready for your seasonal visitors.
1. Tidy your home
The last thing you want to hear from one of your guests are comments about how untidy your home looks. Kids toys on the floor, dust on the mantelpiece, cat hairs on the sofa… avoid embarrassment and tidy your home before your guests arrive. Don’t go it alone, either. Enlist your family, and get your house spic and span before Cousin Billy and his brood arrive up your garden path. Of course, your home isn’t going to stay tidy for long, but at least you will have made a good first impression on your visitors.
2. Prepare a guest space
If you have a spare bedroom, then great, you have somewhere to put your guests. If this isn’t the case, it may be worth buying a sofa bed for another room you have spare, whether it’s for your guests or your kids who have had to be turfed out of their room for the holiday. In any case, your guests will want some privacy as will you. Being around each other 24/7 is going to cause some fallouts, so preparing an extra space for your guests will save you all a lot of unnecessary stress.
3. Cut down on your energy bills
Extra guests mean extra pressure on your bank balance. From leaving lights on to plugging in their appliances, your stress levels are going to rise along with your energy bill. However, you can cut down on costs. Replace your light bulbs with energy saving bio bulbs, and consider installing electric panel heaters to stop your relatives complaining about the cold. It’s also worth offering up a few house rules when your guests arrive, which may sound strict, but it will save arguments down the line.
4. Gift the essentials
Christmas is a time of giving, so to stop your guests taking your stuff, give them a gift basket filled with the essentials that will make their stay more comfortable. What this includes is up to you, but you may consider a toothbrush, hand towel, and shampoo; just the thing if they have forgotten their own. That way, you won’t get upset when you discover something missing or used up when they have finally gone home.
5. Plan an itinerary
Depending on the weather, you may be able to get out of the house occasionally over Christmas, and this will stop you all staring at four walls all day, especially if conversation dries up quicker than your too-long in the oven turkey. Have a look at your local area and list possible ideas for things to do. You can also do the same for indoors, with a few party game ideas, or ideas to socialise without having to worry about awkward silences. This way you will all have fun, and you will create some talking points to carry you over into the next day. Hey, you might even plan an itinerary of things for them to do without you, giving you a break if you feel need some alone time.
We hope you have a great Christmas, and if you are having guests to stay, we hope it’s a stress-free time, without you having to mark down the days till their departure on the calendar.