Many of us travel for the holidays. Be it by plane, train, automobile, or even on foot, we’re destined to spend time in someone else’s home – or have someone visit ours. Being away from the comforts of home isn’t always easy, even if we’re surrounded by the ones we love. If you’re hosting this year, consider the following 10 essentials to keep your guests relaxed, comfortable, merry and bright.
1. Seating Arrangements
Whether it’s a planned gathering or an impromptu visit, extra seating is vital. Stools and benches are practical additions because they can tuck neatly into a corner or against a wall – they can even double as a side table.
You might be content with just a coffee table during the year, but when guests are over everyone needs a nearby perch for their food and beverages. Place a table between chairs or near couches if you’re hosting an informal meal or expect guests to move throughout your home. It will give them a place to rest their plates and glasses while comfortably enjoying conversation and food.
3. Keep it Cozy
If you’re planning to curl up by the fire waiting for Santa, you’re going to need a warm blanket. They’re also a nice way to add colour and texture to a room. And if you’re short on bed linens, throws are a less expensive way to keep your guests warm.
4. Create Maximum Glow
Ambient light in the home is much more welcoming than harsh overhead lighting. Even the minimalist holiday decorator should invest in some candles, including neutral-coloured tapers for a candelabra or chunky pillars for the coffee table or dining room centrepiece. Candles have some incredible scents, too. So, if you’re not one for baking but want your home to smell like pie – light a candle.
5. Coasting into Christmas
Mulled cider, eggnog, martinis, or punch all need a place to rest when your guests’ hands aren’t wrapped around a delicious holiday drink. Make sure you have enough coasters for everyone. Find some that suit the décor in the room where they’ll be used and where they could add a touch of holiday sparkle.
6. Seasonal Scents
If you don’t have a real tree in the corner of your room, there are other ways to create the fresh scent of the outdoors. Place candles, scented oils, or potpourri in rooms where guests will congregate to give off the air of the holidays.
7. Green Christmas
An easy way to decorate tables, mantles, and entryways is with evergreen garlands, branches, and mistletoe, or with seasonal flowers such as magnolia, paper whites, and white amaryllis – and of course, poinsettia.
8. Put It on The Side
A sideboard or sofa table has many uses: it may be a place to showcase your favourite holiday pieces, or a perfect surface to decorate with pine cones and sprigs of greenery, or an ideal spot to put food and beverages when entertaining a crowd.
9. Merry Music
Every holiday gathering needs a bit of holiday music. Whether your taste is vintage jazz, 80’s or modern-day holiday hits, it’s a good idea to have a stereo or Bluetooth speaker nearby, so you can control your playlist and keep people dancing all night long.
10. Pillow Talk
For late night chatting or early morning gift opening, comfy pillows will make your guests feel at ease, even before they’ve had their morning coffee.