6 top-tips to make your home guest-friendly for the Christmas season
I think it’s fair to say that we’re still firmly rooted in the idealistic stages of Christmas excitement. It’s close enough for us to be thinking about all the great times we’ll all be having in a few weeks’, but then again distant enough for the terrifying realities of present buying, cooking and, of course, cleaning to have set in. Fear not though, because we have come up with a Six-Step-Plan to make sure you’re ready to handle many of the eventualities that getting your house ready for guests at Christmas can throw your way.
1. Storage. Picture how messy the house can be Christmas Day evening, covered in wrapping paper, various presents and the mysterious detritus that magically appears over the course of the day. There’s simply no need for excess rubble dotted around so make sure you’re vigilant about storing away superfluous items anywhere you can; the shed, the cupboard under the stairs, the attic. Top-tip: A storage unit is a great way to neatly organized the home before the rush of Christmas day.
2. Tree trouble. There’s nothing better than the sight and the smell of a real Christmas tree. The problem, as we all know lies in those oh-so-spiky needles and their uncanny ability to find their way all over the house. To reduce the number of spines seeking escape, keep the tree in a bucket of water in the basket (they can drink up a couple of litres in a day) and saw a few centimeters off the bottom of the trunk before you put it in to open up the pores. This should keep the tree feeling fairly vivacious but still, vigilance with the hoover is inescapable. Top-tip: Keep the tree root in water.
3. Get the lighting right. With darkness falling so early in December, it’s vital to keep the house looking inviting for guests. Get those floor lamps well positioned in the corner of rooms and replace any blown bulbs and flickerers as nothing can really help with homeliness so much as much as a well lit house. Top-tip: If you need extra ambient lighting top up on floor lights now.
4. A well lit fire of course. Is there a feeling more satisfying than crowding around the fire after that chilly Christmas walk? If you’re lucky enough to have an open fire or wood stove, make sure you’re stocked up with a good supply of logs and a full basket to last all day long. Top-tip: A large log basket is the perfect accessory and saves unwelcome trips outside.
5. The guest room. They can be so easy to neglect simply because they’re rarely used, a common crime being the lack of a decent table lamps. Take some time to make it look good if you’ve got anyone coming round to stay, make the room look an appealing refuge after 5 glasses of mulled wine and in case you’re in need of impressing any in-laws, make sure you remember a glass vase of fresh flowers, easy. Top-tip: Is the bedside table lamp up to scratch?
6. The dreaded washing up. Take away the dread of having to wash up the greasy roasting tin, fine china and the silver cutlery post-Christmas dinner, ensure handwashing is a leisurely experience and have a stylish soap dispenser to hand. Top-tip: Check-list all cleaning essentials are close at hand in a neat wash up bucket.
So there you have it. Christmas can be a breeze if you approach it in the right way. But you know, a turkey could fall in the bin, nan’s hair could catch fire on the cake and your 8 year-old nephew might not appreciate the hand-knitted jumper you thought could only go down well. Just remember have fun and don’t take it too seriously. Be prepared!