Whether you’re having friends over for Christmas morning brunch or hosting out-of-town relatives for an entire week, holiday entertaining is fun—with a side of stressful. This is especially true if you’re still in the process of settling into a new home.
In addition to baking, cleaning, and stocking up on essentials, you may still be making decorative decisions and searching for items that are still lost at the bottom of moving boxes. Yet, you’ve committed to having family over for Christmas, so finding a way to make it work is essential.
One of the best ways to do this is by planning early, it’s never too soon to start planning. Rather than scrambling around at the last minute, use these resourceful and budget-friendly ideas to get your new home guest-ready without running out of holiday cheer in the process.
Get All The Information
Eliminate surprises, like having someone show up on your doorstep at 7 a.m. while you’re still sleeping. Melissa Goodwin the creator behind Frugal and Thriving suggests you get in touch with everyone you’re hosting and ask, “When are you coming and how long are you staying? Do you have your own transport? Do you have any plans or things you want to do while you’re here? Do you have any food requirements or allergies? How do you want to handle meals?”
It’s also a smart idea to communicate your household routines, work commitments, sleeping arrangements and other information that could affect their visit. For example, if your guest bed isn’t set up yet, remind guests that they’ll be on an air mattress, in case they prefer to bring their own or stay with someone else.
Meet Your Neighbors – To Borrow What You Need
There are likely a number of items you’ll need for cooking a big meal or hosting a large group but won’t use once everyone leaves. Instead of purchasing these short-term essentials, borrow from a neighbour or friend who lives nearby.
A 2017 holiday host survey found that the five seasonal necessities that people tend to borrow include: tables and chairs, inflatable mattresses, dishware, holiday decorations and linens. Use this as an opportunity to bring over a plate of cookies, introduce yourself, and make friends with your new neighbours as well.
Hide Packed Boxes
Moving in is a process, and if you’ve recently become a homeowner, there may be boxes lying around that have yet to be unpacked. Instead of rushing to unpack it all which can cause more stress, temporarily store them somewhere you know your guests won’t go, like a utility closet, back corner of the garage, or your own bedroom or closet. This is a much easier and less stressful than rushing to get it all done before your Christmas company arrives.
Keep Entertainment Simple and Cost Effective
The whole point of the holiday season is to gather with the people you love. However, being together doesn’t mean that you’re required to fill every spare minute with a planned excursion. Remember, you’re the host—not the entertainer. Plus, if you’re new to the area, you may not have as many suggestions for things to do or places to go.
Instead of combing through Yelp listings to find suggestions, focus on making plenty of options available at home. Look for low-maintenance activities like books, magazines, board games, cards, movies, and crafts. You can also use this time to explore with your friends and family when it’s new for everyone, the excursion is more of an adventure.
You may have big plans for renovating and fixing small issues in your new home. If you haven’t had time to do that yet, use sticky notes to advise guests. For example, if your toilet has a weird flushing quirk, leave a note card telling people how to flush correctly. If a door handle needs to be shimmied, leave a sticky note right above it.
Get Excited, Not Stressed
If you’re the designated holiday host this year, don’t make a grandiose effort to impress your guests and subject yourself to the burnout that goes along with it. Instead, stop fretting over the details and take a few moments to rest up so you can enjoy yourself and relax. After all, this is the unveiling of your new home and you should allow yourself some time to enjoy the excitement of showing it off.
Guest post was written by Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer of Health Be A Hippie