How to Prepare for Holiday Guests

By on November 9, 2014
front door open with view of Chtistmas tree

By Alison Stanton –

Although it may be hard to believe, the holiday season is barreling down upon us like a freight train filled with candy canes. Along with the promise of eggnog and Christmas cookies, the holiday season also includes houseguests, and plenty of them.

If the annual onslaught of friends and relations galore is threatening to turn you from Kris Kringle into The Grinch, keep the following advice in mind:

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Get Your Bathrooms Ready

The holidays are such a busy time that it’s important to get as much done ahead of time as possible. When Great Aunt Martha is scheduled to show up on Tuesday night, don’t wait until Tuesday morning to get everything ready. As soon as she makes her travel plans, make a list of bathroom essentials like toilet paper, tissues in holiday-themed boxes and festive soap, and go shopping.

Since many folks don’t like packing their giant bottles of shampoo, Quick and Dirty Tips suggests stocking the shower caddy with bottles of shampoo, conditioner and a unisex body wash. You also might consider placing a box or two of feminine supplies under the sink.

Clean Out Your Kitchen

For some reason, guests seem to naturally gravitate to the kitchen. As early in December as possible, spend some time deep cleaning this popular meeting spot. If you have holiday dishes, pull them out Thanksgiving weekend and run them through the dishwasher so they are clean and ready to go. Consider loading your everyday dishes into your holiday dish boxes, and store them in the garage so you can keep your counters neat and clear.

If you plan on doing a lot of cooking or baking while you have company, set aside some time to clean out your cupboards and fridge, notes the Washington Post. Toss any old and expired foods, and start a shopping list for holiday baking staples like flour and sugar. Since the holidays typically involve lots of leftovers, try to clear out as much from your fridge as possible so there’s room for holiday supplies as well as the post-meal storage containers.

Prepare the Guestroom

In order to make your company feel welcome, make sure the guest room is clean and ready to go before they arrive. Because rarely-used rooms tend to turn into storage areas, spend an afternoon in early December clearing out any boxes or other items. Wash the bedding—even if it hasn’t been used since your last guests—and make sure there’s a nice warm comforter available for cold nights.

For a nice touch, consider making a personalized gift basket, and leave it on the bed or dresser. Fill it with an assortment of items based on your guests tastes. For your Great Aunt Martha, consider filling it with luxurious soaps, lotions and creams. For your mother, put in delicious chocolates and a good book. And, for any kids, put in toys, games and treats. This is sure to make your guests feel welcome and ready for some holiday cheer.


Alison Stanton has been a freelance writer for the past 14 years. Based in the Phoenix, Arizona area, Alison enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, but especially loves meeting interesting people and telling their stories. 


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How to Prepare for Holiday Guests