NBC called and wanted to know how to achieve Holiday Harmony in your home. You can watch my video here where I share my suggestions, but I also added some additional suggestions below …

Did you know that there are Simple Solutions you can implement when you are hosting overnight guests that will help your holiday’s flow with ease and grace?

Entertaining or welcoming overnight guests into your home can create stress, especially during the holidays. This stress is often exacerbated during this time of year because of overwhelm produced by a growing to-do list and friction from tense relationships. The trick is to plan ahead for the expected (or unexpected guest) to create holiday harmony in your home.

The overriding strategy is to anticipate the needs of your guests.  If your guest needs to inquire where certain items are or how to navigate your home, this can leave them feeling uncomfortable or burdensome. Conversely, if you are continuously being pulled away to retrieve items for a needy guest you might start to feel exhausted or frustrated. Planning ahead will help you navigate the holiday guest and create a harmonious flow to your holiday.

1- Sheets: Obviously clean sheets are a must. Did you know that you can also use sheets and bedding to set the tone of the room. What type of room will help your guest have the best experience while staying in your home? Do grandma & grandpa need a quiet haven to slip away to from the commotion of the little ones? Choose a serene palate that will soothe their senses. Or, does your brother-in-law tend to sleep in until late morning, which annoys everyone who wants to get the day started? In this case, choose vibrant colors that will help your sleepy head guest rise and shine!

2- Blankets: Everyone has their own internal thermometer or temperature that they are most comfortable sleeping in. I love big, puffy blankets while my husband loves to be cool. For this reason, have multiple blankets of varying weights to help your guests feel contented.  Place them in decorative storage baskets so that they are easily accessible and which will negate your need to run around in a panic finding blankets for your guests.

3- Towels: Designate towels that are for guests only. Place these towels in an easily accessible basket or bin so that they know these fresh, clean and crisp towels are meant for them. We have all had experiences where you go to someone’s house and you need to hunt through their linen closet trying to find a towel that isn’t dingy. (Not so fun.) When your designated guest towels begin to get a little tired, re-designate them and make them part of the “hockey locker room” pile.

4- Toiletries: Have you ever had that experience of needing to run out to the local convenient store to grab a toothbrush at 11:00 PM at night? Don’t put yourself and your guests through that irritating drama. Instead have toiletries at the ready.

5- Pitcher for Water: The last thing you want is your guest to get thirsty in the middle of the night and need to stumble down the stairs and maneuver a dark kitchen to find a cup so they can quench their thirst. Instead have a pitcher, cup or bottle of water at the ready.

6- WiFi Code: In today’s day and age it is important to make your WiFi code easily accessible for your guest. When they retire to their room they might want to check their emails or peruse travel itinerary. Allow them easy access by placing a card with instructions on how to connect in the guest room.

7- Extra Electronic Cords: Similar to the forgotten toothbrush, we have all experienced forgetting a much-needed cord or two. Have cords easily accessible to help your guest dissipate any anxiety that might be associated with loosing power. (Although, I could write an entire post on why unplugging is often a good thing!)

8- Notepaper: Although many people have smart phones, it is sometimes easier to jot something down on a piece of paper. Especially if you found something on your phone you need to write down. Take a cue from most hotel rooms and have a notepad and pen handy for your guest.

9- Note Cards: A thoughtful touch is to have note cards available for your guest to write to someone they love while traveling. I like to have postcards from our beach town so that when guests come they can send a little note home to those they love. I also love to surprise them with convenient stamps to help make the effort as effort-less as possible!

10- Flowers: Having fresh flowers adds a sense of peace & sparkle to the space. It also conveys to your guest that you welcome them into your home and want to make their stay special.

Entertaining the overnight guest can be stressful anytime of the year and this is especially true during the holidays. I hope these 10 tips will help to tame the tension and alleviate the anxiety associated with holiday guests. Taking some time to anticipate what your guest might need or want while in your home can help your time together flow more gracefully and create a sense of holiday home harmony.

I hope these simple solutions help you navigate your holiday season with ease and grace. Do you have a tip you could share with our readers? I would love to hear from you! Share below or come on over to the Home in Harmony FB page and share your insights and inspirations there!

Happy Soaring!


Christa O'Leary



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