If you’re planning on hosting a big Christmas this year, you’re probably starting to freak out about getting your home ready.
Whether your visitors, relatives and drop-ins might pop by short term or long term, you should always make sure you’re ready.
Over Christmas, many people find themselves accomodating a few extra mouths. This might mean having them just drop in for a meal, but it can also mean finding seats for bums, and beds for sleepy, festive heads. If you’re expecting guests in any form this year, it’s important to be prepared, to save you from stress when the big days roll around.
Here are a few things you can do!
1. Make Room in the Fridge
Even the biggest fridges are filled to burst during the lead up to Christmas and afterwards. It’s not really a surprise. You need to store the ham, turkey and all the other goodies somewhere! If you are hosting a few people, you can also expect others to bring a few dishes that may need to be served cold and left in the fridge before dinner starts, which can quickly leave your fridge way too full.
So, take the time to clean out your fridge before guests arrive. By this, we mean giving it a good scrub, and also heading to the back where things are abandoned and left to die. Also take some time to think about whether you can relieve some space issues by purchasing things that can be kept in the pantry until the last minute, such as preserved goods and even long-life milk. If you’re struggling to fit it all in, it might be a worthwhile idea to invest in a cheap second fridge or even decent cooler, so at least you don’t have to worry about drinks in the main food fridge.
2. Bake in Advance
Considering how simple it is, and how many recipes are freezer friendly, it’s kind of crazy not to do any baking in the lead up to Christmas. This is a sharing time of the year, and people do drop by unannounced on occasion. Having a little treat to serve your guests, whether expected or not, can make you look like Super Host, even if you are overwhelmed on the inside.
Bake some of your favourite Christmas recipes in advance and store in the freezer or in sealed containers in the pantry for some recipes. If you are not much of a baker, then hit the shops and pick up some Christmas cookies, biscuits or chocolates that you can easily store in the pantry and bring out when your guests arrive or when unexpected visitors pop by.
3. Arrange Transportation
There are a lot of logistics that go into hosting people in your home, whether they’re there for a day or much longer. One thing people often forget is transport. It’s important to coordinate how guests are getting to your house, where cars are being parked, and who needs pick ups.
If you’re hosting, it’s ok to let your guests know you cannot pick them up because of other responsibilities. However, if you are picking them up, make sure you have all the information you need in terms of dates, times, terminals, stations etc. There’s no worse way to start the festivities than not having your ride there when they’re supposed to be.
4. Have Plenty of The Necessities
You want people to feel at home when they’re staying with you, but sometimes, that does mean a little bit more prep work on your end. There are necessities that you’ll need, and some extras that it’s nice to provide.
Necessitates include lots and lots of toilet paper, bath towels, a few spare tooth brushes, some spare soap, and some basic hair products. For bedrooms, you’ll want to provide enough pillows, bed sheets and so on to keep them comfortable. With lots of extra hands in the house, a few extra bottles of hand sanitiser probably wouldn’t go amiss either.
5. Pace Yourself
This is probably one of the most important things to remember when it comes to preparing and actually enjoying the festive season. There is so much to do around this time of year, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
There’s no reason you can’t enjoy Christmas with guests in your home, but taking things slow and making time for yourself is key. Make sure you schedule in some things to do with just your partner, or just your kids, even if you have visitors over the holidays.
It’s also a smart idea to calendar out the activities that guests are doing together, so you can keep track of who is where, and for how long. The more organised you are at the start, the less stressed you will be at the end!