During the winter season, many of us will be offering our spare bedrooms and living room couches to holiday guests as well as visiting friends and family. Instead of seeing this as an added stressor to an already hectic time of year, we invite you to take playing host as an opportunity to spend quality time with your visitors and make their visit fun and memorable. We’ve collected some of our favorite tips into one post, and would love to hear how you make houseguests feel at home too!
- Before your guests arrive, set up their space. Make fresh linens and spare toiletries easy to find, provide a spare key, and write the WiFi password down where they’ll be able to see it. A bouquet of fresh flowers, extra blanket, alarm clock, reading material, and phone charger are all nice touches too! Stock the fridge with breakfast food, tea, coffee, and snacks that are fair game for everyone.
- Double check dates! Miscommunications about when your guests are arriving (or leaving!) can be awkward and stressful for both parties, so make sure you have your guests’ relevant travel information, and ask if they’ll need to be picked up or dropped off.
- Welcome guests to a warm home. Have the lights on and be ready with a snack and beverage. Upon their arrival, allow time for your guests to wash up and take a quick rest before sitting down to catch up.
- Check-in about their expectations for the visit. Whether they’re simply acquaintances or your siblings and parents, it’s nice to be on the same page with your guests about how much time you plan to spend together. Briefly discussing the activities they have planned, what you already have on the calendar, and any events that you’ll be attending together will help avoid later confusion and disappointment.
- Allow for downtime. You don’t have to plan every minute, and it helps to encourage guests to do their own exploring by suggesting local activities or restaurants that they may want to add to their agenda. Keep immediate family time sacred too. If you have small children, be mindful to prioritize your usual routines and spend quality time with them too.
- Empower your guests to help themselves. Take them on a tour of the kitchen so they know where to find coffee mugs and snacks and what to do with their dirty dishes. If they cook, have staples like olive oil, salt, and pepper easily accessible. And don’t feel bad accepting your guest’s offer to shop for groceries or help clean up. They’ll feel more at home as well with an opportunity to contribute.
- Be yourself. Don’t feel like you have to over-host or change your routine to impress company. It’s a great sign of trust to fold your guests into your life, so don’t shy away from maintaining your normal lifestyle. Your guests are most likely beyond grateful to simply have their friend or family member open up their home to them. They’re there to see the real you, not you acting out a perfect host.
- Send them home with a gift! This can be a simple gesture to thank your guests for traveling to come see you, and a nice opportunity to send them home with a souvenir that represents where you live. Homemade gifts or a nice bottle of extra virgin olive oil are always great gifts too!
Happy Hosting from all of us at California Olive Ranch! Wishing you the warmest of holiday seasons, and hoping you enjoy some quality time with friends and family.