One of the best parts of the Christmas season is spending time with family and friends. Having guests to stay can be stressful especially over the festive period as it can be easy to over-stretch yourself making sure every little detail is perfect for your loved ones. However, with some forward-thinking and planning you can make sure that their stay is enjoyable for both you and your visitors, The LuxPad shares how to prepare for Christmas guests in the home…
Create a Sumptuous Sleeping Space
One of the main aspects to prepare for Christmas guests is of course where they will sleep. If your guestroom is starting to look tired or like many spare rooms, is storing items that won’t fit anywhere else in the home, now is your chance to refresh and declutter the space ready for your loved ones. Once you have gotten rid of any items that shouldn’t be there, you can look at the space itself, is there anything that needs touching up or repairing? If not, you can go straight to the styling. Soft sheets are a must for guest bedrooms along with perfectly plump pillows and duvets to provide comfort for your visitors.
Bedside tables and wardrobe space are ideal for making your guests feel at home during their stay and don’t forget ambient bedside table lighting for reading. If space allows you could also add a chair or desk for visitors to be able to relax in their own space whilst there. Along with soft sheets, fluffy towels are also essential for guests and these should be left out easily for them to spot as they arrive, so they can have a hot bath or shower if they have travelled far. Make sure the room also includes cosy finishing touches to really make the space stand out. Rugs, cushions and a thick throw at the edge of the bed will all create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Plan your Menus & Prepare your Meals
Cooking for large amounts of people is always stressful let alone at Christmas when emotions can be running high. To avoid stress whilst they are there, plan your menus far in advance and get the ingredients delivered on the day they arrive if you can, to ensure freshness without having to spend hours at the supermarket. For the days leading up to and the days after Christmas, try and utilise meals you can prepare before and freeze. Even if it’s only a few elements of each meal can be prepared in advance, it will be a relief to have these ready to just pop in the oven when needed.
For the big day itself make sure you know your timings and keep a timer on you so wherever you are in the house, you will then know exactly how long you have left before the food needs your attention again. Christmas dinner also doesn’t need to fall solely on your shoulders, having guests to stay is a fantastic opportunity to also get them involved in the cooking. They can each bring a dish with them or if they don’t mind lending a helping hand, you can delegate jobs on the day to ensure the main meal is served smoothly.
Make sure your kitchen is Guest Ready
The kitchen itself is something which is often overlooked when we prepare for Christmas guests, as cooking for more people than normal can quickly lead to running out of equipment and space. Oven space is a premium, so if you can, place multiple foods on the same baking tray or roasting tin, alternatively precook as much as possible to just be reheated when nearly ready to serve. Also make sure there is enough serveware, cutlery and tableware for each person plus more to ensure you don’t run out before you have the chance to put the dishwasher on.
Set the Table in Style
The Christmas day meal needs the most forward planning to create not only a sumptuous menu but to also make sure the table is styled to perfection too. Christmas table decorations don’t need to be tricky – start with a tablecloth or runner, then look to create an eye-catching centrepiece which complements your overall Christmas scheme. This can be as simple as a candle holder filled with lit candles, a Christmas garland, a detailed floral arrangement or even a decadent Christmas dessert. Layered tableware creates a refined festive table look, so make sure you opt for charger plates along with your usual dinner and salad plates.
Christmas is also the perfect time to use that cutlery and glassware you save for those extra-special occasions, so break away from the everyday pieces your guests may have already seen. The final finishing touch to the table is a table gift for each person, these don’t need to be extravagant but are just a token for guests to open whilst enjoying their Christmas dinner. Christmas tree decorations are fabulous table gifts as they are a festive memento for guests to add to their own collections which will remind them of the Christmas they spent at your home for years to come.
Add a Little Luxury
Once the main aspects of guests staying have been taken care of, you can look to those small little luxuries which will make the experience even more special for your visitors. Simple white bathrobes or slippers will give your guest room a luxurious hotel feel and are perfect for your guests to wrap up in when lounging in their room. To take the luxury hotel feel that one step further, you can also add the token chocolate to the pillows and include basic tea and coffee making facilities on a tray so your guests can enjoy their morning beverage from the comfort of their room whilst also giving you a few precious more minutes peace before you start preparing breakfast.
Add a Little Luxury to your Guest Bedroom
For more ideas on how to prepare for Christmas guests and to browse festive decorations, visit Amara’s Christmas shop.