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Preparing Your Home for Family Gatherings This Holiday Season

Time to think about preparing your home for family gatherings this holiday season. If you are hosting any of the events, you probably need to do a quick once over and make sure you are ready for either overnight guests or little ones that might be in the home.

For overnight guests check on:

  • Bedding and bathroom linens. Do they need to be replaced and freshened up? Do you have holiday linens? This is a great time to replace worn items and let your guests enjoy the luxury of the new comforts.

  • Is there clutter that needs to be cleared from guest rooms? It’s so easy as children leave our homes to begin filling in the empty spaces and pretty soon our guest rooms look like storage units. Guilty of that here! Now might be a good time to get rid of things and make way for company.

  • Do you have enough sleeping areas? As we’ve changed homes multiple times since our children left, I find that sleeping arrangements have to be reevaluated every time we have overnight company. That will settle a bit once we build on land we’ve had set for that plan the last few years, but in the meantime, creativity and flexibility have been necessary when we’ve had company. How does your home accommodate extras? Do you need to purchase air mattresses or fold-up cots? For young children, cots can be an adventure. We found these a few years back and they work great for young people.

  • Is safety a concern? If you have really young Grands coming to stay, don't forget to cover outlets, block stairways, and lock cupboards with dangerous items. We had to revisit these situations once the Grands started arriving and found some wonderful new improvements in household safety hardware. Here’s a favorite that we’ve purchased multiple times and used for keeping babies and toddlers off stairs and pets out of areas. The gates are particularly great if you have wider than normal stairwells. Love, love, love these!

*We are not sponsored by Retract-a-Gate.

For family gatherings that include meals only:

  • Do you have a table and serveware that needs to come out, be cleaned, and temporarily stored closer to the preparation and dining areas? What about extra tables and seating? Many towns have event companies that will rent tables and chairs at reasonable prices and they may even deliver before and pick them up after your gathering. That’s a huge help as our backs get older!

  • Have you made the leap to paper plates? I used to love getting the full service of dinnerware out and maybe even the fancy china, but as the family grows and I get older, quality paper plates are my go-to. I watch in early fall for seasonal plates that look nice but the paper makes cleanup so much easier.

  • Are you letting others help? For years, I loved doing the whole meal. I would get up super early and cook all day until it was time to serve. As my children started helping by bringing their favorite dishes, I found that I really enjoyed only being responsible for one to three items on the menu. If you haven’t let the younger generations help out, start this year! It’s a delight to see them join in and you will not be so tired for the actual celebratory meals around the holidays.

Most importantly:

  • Bring the love!

  • Reminisce about great family memories!

  • Be kind!

  • Forgive old hurts.

  • Be present for time with family and friends. Don’t let preparations and “doing” on the day of the gathering spoil the precious time you have with loved ones.


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