How to Be the Hostess with the Mostess this Holiday Season
We recently had some family come into town from Minnesota to spend the weekend. It was my cousin’s graduation party and an annual bike ride my family takes part in. We have a pretty large family so fitting everyone into one home doesn’t make sense; and throwing family into a hotel is not our style! So we had my cousin, his wife, and their two children stay with us while they rest of the family stayed at my aunt’s house.
Sadly, I had a million other things going on that I didn’t get to give them the proper hosting welcome I wanted to. I was scrubbing the bathroom sink with a toothbrush—thank you, tile from 1850—and was thinking about the time’s I felt most comfortable staying at other people’s homes. What made me feel like home there? What did they do that made me want to come back?
I remembered one instance in particular—a guy I was dating at the time had me spend the weekend with him at his parent’s house. They set up a beautiful bed for me, laid out a robe, had clean towels ready, provided mini shampoos and lotions, and even had a heater for when it got chilly! I felt so welcome and cozy there—I felt instantly at home even though I was a state away.
So, with the holiday season coming up, I wanted to share some of my tips for being the best hostess!
1. Clean, clean, and clean some more. The number one rule before hosting guests—clean! The bathroom, the kitchen, and the bedroom.
2. Prepare a nice bed. You should always have fresh sheets and pillow cases on the bed—and the bed fully made upon your guests’ arrival.
3. Provide robes. There’s nothing more horrifying than having to walk from the bathroom to your guest bedroom in a towel. So cut the shower walk of shame awkwardness and provide robes for your guests. You can go to Wal-Mart and get something cheap—just give them something!
4. Make sure there are clean towels. Some people forget to pack towels—it happens. Have a body towel and a wash cloth ready for them when they arrive.
5. Always have toiletries on hand. Go to the travel section of any Target or Walgreens and they will have mini bottles of deodorant, lotion, shampoo, and everything else your guests may need. Put a little bag or gift basket together so they will feel at ease if they forgot something.
6. Make room in the closet and dresser. Most guests that will be staying with you during the holidays are from out of town and are here for a special event, so they probably have nicer clothes that need to be cared for properly. Leave space in the closet so they can hang any garments that can’t get wrinkled or folded. Also clean out a drawer for any other clothes. They will feel less like a house guest and more at home when they don’t have to live out of a suitcase.
7. Provide water and a midnight snack. I don’t know about you, but I get the munchies at the worst hours. And there is nothing more awkward than having to ask your host for a granola bar at 9pm at night when everyone is getting ready for bed. So make sure to set out some bottles of water and snacks for them…just in case a late night hunger strikes!
8. Offer to make breakfast. I’m not saying you need to turn into the ultimate bed and breakfast and have muffins, omelets, waffles, and yogurt. Just a simple meal will go a long way!
9. Be respectful of their plans. If they are coming into town they probably have a few things they want to do and see—without you (not to be harsh). Be respectful of their wishes—even if they don’t fit perfectly into your plans. Remember, they are your guests.
10. Put yourself in their shoes. Try to think of your best and worst experiences staying at other people’s homes or hotels—what did you like and didn’t like? Try to put yourself in the shoes of your guest and try to fulfill needs and avoid problems.
Have you had good/bad experiences staying at someone else’s home while traveling? Please share!