As the Holiday's are dwindling down and we're settling back into normal life, I find myself missing the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season.
I love when family and friends are around, staying at our home for several weeks, and I wake up to the smell of bakes sizzling on cast iron skillets and the annoying, yet endearing sound of laughter from my little cousins.
For the last 5 years, we've hosted Christmas and Thanksgiving for our family from Panama and various states across the country and I've learned much about how to be a good hostess from my mother.
Each year, she opens our guest rooms gleefully and leaves gift bags on each bed for each guest upon arrival. I know, she's like the Black June Cleaver.
But being a good hostess, is a large piece of the femininity pie. Your house, how you run your house, and how you host others, says a lot about you as a person whether you want it to or not. And it's important to make a positive impression on whoever is staying in your home. Whether it‘s your least favorite third cousin twice removed, or your best friend from college.
So here are my tips on how to host like a pro.
1) Be Clean, Be Prepared.
Make sure that your house is clean prior to your guest's arrival. The last thing you want is to be dusting and mopping while they are on the way to your house from the airport. Trust me, it's not a good place to be in. Make sure that beds are made with fresh and fluffy sheets, any residual dust has been wiped away, and you've cleaned any and all guest bathrooms until they shine like the top of the Chrysler Building! (Annie reference anyone?)
2) GIFT BAGS
So this is my favorite tip. It might seem like a small detail, but it means so much. After your family or friends have been traveling from who knows where, they will be tired, and ready to jump into bed. We like to leave gift bags on their freshly made beds as a surprise for when they arrive! You can put whatever you want in your gift bags, but we like to do miniature toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, hair ties, floss, etc.) , fluffy socks (as it's freezing here in the winter time), chocolates or other Holiday candy and a nice note thanking them for coming from so far.
It is important to acknowledge when people go out of their way to visit you, so anything you can do to show your gratitude will always be appreciated. Plus, it gives your home the feel of a Bread and Breakfast, which is inherently cozy.
3) Framed WiFi Password
If you've been on Pinterest for even a second, I'm sure you've seen the adorable printed WiFi passwords in frames on the nightstand in various guest rooms. I LOVE this little detail for a few reasons. One, you don't have to keep telling your guests the WiFi password, and in fact, they don't even have to ask you! And two, it makes for incredibly cute decor in your guest room.
4) Give A Tour
Upon your guest's arrival, make sure that you show them around. Now, you don't have to show them your bedroom or other personal spaces, but definitely make sure to show them where their bathroom is, where they can find towels, face rags and anything else they might need. This isn't a chance for you to brag or show off about your home, but it's an opportunity for your guest to become more acquainted with the space, so that they don't feel like a nuisance.
5) Have Snacks Readily Available
If you're anything like me as a guest, you're constantly wondering how and where to get food lol. You can ease your guest's hunger pain by keeping snacks out and displayed for them. Whether it's a tray that has pretzels and m&m's or you add a miniature pack of crackers in the gift bag, it shows that you care about your guests and what they might be needing.
6) Don't Make Them Feel Bad!
Lastly, don't make your guests feel bad about staying with you. Intentionally or unintentionally. There should be no comments about how much energy they're using by plugging multiple things in or complaints about how they wake up at 5am instead of 8 since they're on East Coast time. When you open your home to someone, do it graciously and without complaint. So that you don't end up making them regret they decided to stay with you. Be kind, be generous, be understanding.
I hope this helps you for when you plan to host your next family member or high school friend! What are some ways that you like to be a good host?!