Posted by Kevin Leung on Thursday, December 28th, 2017 at 7:10am.

With vacation days, visiting family and countless engagements with friends over this month, don’t let the pressure ruin the fun.

Be very clear on when guests are leaving and arriving. If they are taking a flight, how will the airport run be coordinated? If it’s a dinner party, are children invited? Communication can go a long way to solving issues before they arrive. If in doubt, call to check-in.

Do not be shy about asking guests to contribute to the menu. Christmas dinner can easily be made into a potluck and ask closer friends to bring sides, desserts or drinks. Don’t forget to check about any allergies or dietary restrictions before meal planning.

If you are having several guests with children over, consider hiring a babysitter for the evening to keep the children entertained. The children will enjoy the evening more and parents will appreciate the break!

If your guests are arriving by car, make sure there is enough parking space. If necessary, move your car down the road so they can have easier access.  Have a place to drop shoes and jackets near the entrance so there is no scramble at the doorstep. If it’s chilly out, a freshly made pot of tea or eggnog will be welcomed.

Overnight guests
Think about the things you need when you stay at a hotel and use that as guidelines for preparing the room for your guest – put out clean towels, a water bottle and make sure the room is not cluttered. And it’s always a good idea to have a spare toothbrush lying around, just in case someone forgets one.

Asking for help
Most guests are eager to help wherever they can but don’t know what to do. Let them help you. Guide them towards what they can do to give a hand – can they dry dishes or lay the table? Including guests in the preparation can often make everyone feel more at ease.

At the end of the day, don’t lose sight of what is important – enjoying the time with your guests. The house doesn’t have to spotless, the meal doesn’t have to be perfect and the activities don’t have to be seamless. Do the best you can and then sit back, relax and enjoy.

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