Extra-special touches for Holiday Guests

 Extra-special touches for the holidays.

Grand gestures at the holidays are always appreciated.  But, not everything has to be grand!  Sometimes it's the little touches that make something special.  

For instance, if you're having house guests stay with you for the holidays, make sure they have all (or most) of the comforts of home.  These suggestions may seem small and might be something that could be easily overlooked.  But, doing them will provide a little something extra.

Sleeping arrangements
*Use extra fabric softener on the sheets. Also, if you live in a cold climate, keep extra flannel or fleece sheets around.  Your guests will appreciate the added warmth.  
*Make sure you have enough blankets ahead of time.  If you have extra pillows, make sure you wash them and dry them with tennis balls to fluff them before guests arrive.
*Make sure that there is a lighted pathway or night-light in case of mid-night bathroom breaks.  It can be tricky finding a restroom in the dark when you're in an unfamiliar place.
*Make sure there is enough room for guests to store their things so that their suitcases and bags won't be in their walkways.  

*If you have guest rooms, there are so many more ways to make your guests' stay special.  We unfortunately do not have guest rooms.  But, if you do, you could put fresh flowers on the nightstand.  Put a couple of bottled waters in the room.  Make sure there are empty drawers for them to put their clothes in, if it will be an extended stay.  Most people don't enjoy living out of a suitcase.  
*Make sure there are visible outlets near a nightstand or dresser for re-charging electronics.
*Leave some plastic shopping bags in their room in case they need some bags to put used laundry in if they're not planning to do laundry at your house.

Bathroom
*Create baskets with rolled towels, washcloths and samples of shampoos, body washes and lotions, and makeup removal towelettes.  It's nice when everything is in one place and visible so that they don't have to go searching.  And even if they've brought their own toiletries, it's sometimes fun to use new bath and body products. 
*Make sure you have extra toothbrushes in case someone forgets theirs.
*Buy the soft toilet paper.  I know this one is a funny one.  But, it's nice to have good toilet paper!  And make sure extra rolls are somewhere obvious in case the roll runs out before you can catch it!
*Make sure you have enough clean hand towels--depending on who your guests are, they can become a mess rather quickly.  You might want to put extra rolled hand towels in the basket mentioned above.

Mealtime/Kitchen
*If you will all be eating at the same time, make sure you have enough silverware.  Or, make sure to keep some plastic utensils on hand just in case.  
*Have paper plates for the meals that are not part of any big celebrations.  Between breakfast, lunch and dinner, with extra people around you might not have enough dishes to make it through every meal.  And you don't want to be stuck in the kitchen doing dishes the entire time you have guests.
*If it is a celebration of some sort, do something special.  There are so many cute ways to make name place cards if you're having assigned seating.  It's also fun to have a cute little memento for the occasion.  You can fill cupcake favor boxes with almost any kind of little knick-knack or treat.  A Christmas ornament that is made specially for the occasion would be nice.  If you have kids, they could make a handmade Christmas ornament and write the year on it.   And now for the holidays, you can decorate the box like a little Christmas present.  Attach each person's name to look like a gift tag and place the box in the center of the place setting and you have the perfect holiday seating assignments. You could decorate the box with candy canes, little pine sprigs, cinnamon sticks, jingle bells or any combination of those four things.  Or if you have kids, they could use stamps to decorate the box with Christmas stamps.  
*If you don't normally drink coffee, it's a good idea to keep a coffeemaker in your house anyway.  You can get one fairly inexpensively if you're only planning to use it once in a while.  But, your coffee loving guests will thank you.  Believe me!
*Get a couple extra bottles of wine.  There's just something special about having a glass of wine with friends and family.

Leisure time
*If your guests would like to watch TV, try to make sure you have a TV guide--either the channel written down or the actual physical book or paper.  The channels will be different than their system back home.  
*Make sure you have all remotes in one central place that is easy for your guests to find.
*Make sure you have extra blankets for snuggling during movie or TV time.  
*Make sure you have outlets available in the living room in case they would like to use their laptop.
*Have board games and playing cards ready in case you'd like to play games with your guests.

Other
*It's a good idea to have extra house keys made if you don't have extras.  That way, if for some reason everyone is going in different directions, your guests will be able to get back in, even if they're not with you.
*If your guests don't have a GPS, have directions ready for the closest grocery store, shopping mall, church, etc.

Do you have anything else to add to this list?  I'm sure I've probably forgotten something, but I think it's a good list to start with!  Do you plan on having guests this season?




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