Houseguests, love them or not, if you have the room they have the time to come and stay! With Christmas just around the corner, the time has come to run around the house with a duster and hoover in panic mode throwing unnecessary items into the back of cupboards and checking for forgotten bread crusts left by the children down the side of the sofa. Oh, the days of finding coins down there are long gone, it’s just stale pizza crusts and Barbie shoes, Peppa pigs snout (who knew that was removable?), and Lego pieces, yes, the ones that you haven’t managed to stand on in bare feet yet, coinage? No chance.
Try not to panic too much when family are coming to stay, especially parents. They have more than likely been in the exact same situation at times and besides, it’s party season and you have a willing, free baby sitter on hand for the whole of Christmas! Here are a few tips and ground rules to make their stay pleasant and to make your hosting appreciated and considerate.
If there is no spare room and the guests are elderly relatives, do not make them sleep on a futon on the floor. A bad nights sleep will only make for grumpy faces and frayed nerves the next morning. If you have an elderly couple coming to stay, be kind and offer them your bed. They will fare much better sleeping on a comfortable Silentnight mattress than on a futon that is only inches off the floor!
If your visitors are not elderly, then think carefully when you do invest in a spare bed. Sofa beds are great for storing in a child’s bedroom, they get a sofa to play on and you get the extra bed for your houseguests!
If there is a spare room in the house, make sure it is well aired and dusted, chances are it hasn’t been used for a while. A vase of freshly cut flowers and a scented plug in air freshener should be all that is needed to make the room feel homely and welcoming.
While on the subject of being welcoming, it is a very good idea to be absolutely sure before your guests arrive, just how long they are planning on staying. This is necessary information for planning ahead with the food shop and daily activities, and also to avoid anybody outstaying their welcome and causing bad feeling. Turning off the heating and taking their bedclothes off the bed after three days, is not the right way to let them know it’s home time!
If there is a guest coming to stay, someone who is renowned for being a little ‘difficult’ (no mother-in-law jokes please), make sure to appreciate anything they do to try and help around the house, and voice your appreciation if they kindly offer to babysit. Ignore the bad and praise the good! If it can work with children and animals, it can work with grown ups too!
Family and friends will mostly accept you as you are, they wanted to come and stay, so try not to get stressed about the visit. As long as the house is clean, and they have a comfortable place to sleep, the rest should just fall into place, and the whole family can enjoy a happy holiday together!