That time of year is quickly approaching when we open our doors to guests looking for an overnight sojourn: Thanksgiving, holiday parties and of course, Christmas and New Year’s. Hosting guests can be stressful for some, but remember it’s the company of others and celebrating together that’s most important. With the following tips and ideas in mind, you’ll make everyone who enters your home feel comfortable and welcome.
Out & About
Gather a list of events that are happening in your community during the time your guests will be with you and tailor it accordingly. Have a look at our Community Events section in this issue or check out our Events calendar online. If your guests have never visited your hometown before, you’ll enjoy showing them around. Your guests will appreciate getting out of the house and so will you.
Flickering flames add so much ambiance to a room. If you’ve got a wood burning stove or fireplace, keep a good supply of logs and kindling handy beside the fireplace as well as enough stored outside. For those of us with gas or even electric fireplaces, switch it on and enjoy the warmth and glow it offers.
Create warmth in the form of light and additional heat. Keep your home at a comfortable temperature so guests don’t scramble for sweaters or wooly socks (you can be more miserly with the thermometer during the rest of the year). Since it gets dark earlier in the day at this time of year, guests will likely arrive when it’s dark outside. Turn the outside lights on and leave some lamps on in rooms where people will congregate as they arrive. Then, invite everyone into the living room for conversation and cocktails.
Deck the House
Most of us use our decorations from year to year and have already developed a style or theme we like, but some additional treatments will also help make your home look beautiful. The front door always looks more inviting when adorned with a wreath. They can also be hung over mirrors for an additional thematic effect. At Christmastime place your tree in a room where there’s always lots of traffic and where people like to gather. If you have more than one tree, put one in the front window so it’s visible outside; it’s welcoming for your visitors but also a pleasing visual for the neighborhood. Decorations made out of natural elements are always popular because Mother Nature has such a fine eye for design. Incorporate autumn gourds, pumpkins or grasses, and sprigs of holly leaves with berries, pieces of ivy and pinecones. These items are easy to find at local garden stores.
Snug as a Bug
Chilly nights become commonplace at this time of year so it’s important to give your guests easy access to throws in the living room while you chat by the fire. Also remember to provide them with some amenities in the guestroom. Place some bottled water on the bedside table or on the bathroom vanity, give them fresh towels and soap, a clock radio or docking station and a stack of books or magazines. By creating an atmosphere that’s comfortable for everyone in your home, you’ll be the host or hostess with the most – happiest guests.
Baskets & Bundles, Ancaster
Canoe Trading Co., Hamilton
Lulu & Lavigne, Hamilton
Pretty Grit, Hamilton
Pure Home Couture, Hamilton
Rock Paper Scissors, Hamilton
White Elephant, Hamilton