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Holiday Guest

Happy Thanksgiving 573 Family!

Thanksgiving is the season of sharing and counting one's blessings, but it's also that time of year when feasts, friends, and family gatherings evoke our deepest feelings of nostalgia and spark warm and cherished memories of Holidays Past. On this very special Thanksgiving Throwback Thursday, we searched the 573 Hardcopy Archives and found the perfect piece from 573 Magazine's November 2007 issue with awesome tips to help you prepare for your Holiday Guests!

Make your holiday full of magical moments with a few of my own suggestions to make houseguests less of a hassle.

Preparing and cleaning the house should be at the top of the list of things to do. I recommend starting one or two weeks ahead of the arrival date. It's a good time to put a new box of baking soda in the refrigerator to help keep it smelling fresh.

Purchase new pillows. You can find them for as little as $5.00 each and your guests will be so pleased and much more comfortable. Make sure that you have plenty of clean sheets and pillowcases. Clear out drawers and closet space for the guests to store their clothing. Include an alarm clock for their own use so they can wake when they wish and do not have to depend on you (this is also nice for you if the guests are early risers). Maybe they can even have the coffee brewed for when you awaken. Lastly, add a chair in the guest room for sitting, dressing or simply a place to set their suitcase.

...a little extra effort...

A thoughtful host will put a little extra effort into stocking the guest bath. You can never have too many clean towels (both bath and hand towels) or toilet paper. Also, set out a new box of tissues and a basket full of travel-size toiletries in case one of your guests forgets to pack something from home. Take an extra step and set out nightlights to light the way to the bathroom. It may take them a few nights to get oriented to your home’s floor plan.

...a great chance to catch up...

Your next big area of concern is everyone’s favorite, mealtime! Make this project easy on yourself by preparing simple food favorites. First, check for any food allergies your guests may have. Purchase snacks and finger-style foods for between meals or appetizers. For meals you may want to plan ahead and prepare and freeze items such as soups, desserts, pastas, etc. Also feel free to include your guests in the meal preparations. Ask for help with the salad, setting the table or getting drinks ready. Time spent in the kitchen with your guests could be a great chance to catch up on conversations.

While these conversations are taking place, it might be a great time to coordinate a few schedules. Hopefully you have already planned a few events for your guests. Put it down in writing, but be open to additional plans, changes or even the fact that your plans may be totally vetoed! While listing your plans, do not put off your own family traditions, such as trimming the tree or caroling; just include your guests in these events. You will not want to plan anything too expensive, like buying concert or theater tickets, without the permission of the guests. And allow your guests time to themselves! They may want to make plans without you and your family, so don’t overbook their stay.

Now, if there are any children or pets involved in this visit, whether they are yours or belong to your guests, you need to make allowances in your plans. Be sure to schedule playtime for the children or feedings for the pets. Also, determine a safe place for the beloved pets, such as inside or outside, in a crate or kennel or if they need to be kept away from others. Again, check for any allergies that may be of concern with pets. There will also need to be rules set for any young children, for example: no jumping on beds or no running in the dining room; these rules should be shared with the parents.

These suggestions guarantee a wonderful visit with your guests. You may make your guests feel so welcome that they may not want to leave. If this becomes the case, try the following: Empty the refrigerator, tape a list of local motels to the guest bath mirror, or put a

brick under the guest bed mattress.

Joking aside, try to relax and enjoy your time together. Take pictures of the visit and email them to your guest for when they get home. Remember the holidays (and holiday houseguests) only come once a year!

Original story written by Beth Stanfuss


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