The holiday season frequently means houseguests. While it is great to get together, it does mean a change in routine. Reduce stress with a little bit of organized planning.

Get in the holiday spirit early. Family and friends who may not always celebrate with you will appreciate a home decked out in all its Christmas finery, even if the visit is some time before the actual day. Serve all the family’s favorite foods and experiment with a few new snacks, cocktails or desserts. Start a few new traditions and make some great memories. Let your guests help if they offer to do so. They want to spend time with you, not have you waiting on them.

If a real guestroom is not available, provide a dedicated space for your overnight guests. If this means people are using your home office, child’s bedroom or pullout sofa, be sure to provide some measure of privacy. Clear out a decent portion of a closet and a drawer or two so guests feel they can unpack and feel at home. Remove anything your own family may need from this room. If at all possible, consider this space exclusively theirs during their stay.

Safety first. Keep all outdoor walkways shoveled and salted. Make any home repairs needed to reduce any chances of accidents and injuries.

Pets are important members of the family, but recognize that your guests may not be comfortable around dogs and cats. Keep your pets’ routines as normal as possible, but keep them off the laps of people who might not welcome this attention.

Check out local celebrations. Your guests might love seeing a tree-lighting ceremony, a theater group performing a holiday classic or hearing a holiday concert. Don’t make reservations without consulting them, but have these options available.

Most important of all: enjoy the time spent with family and friends during the holiday season.

Read or Share this story: