• Tell Your Friends

It’s crunch time, everyone! Many of you might have Thanksgiving guests starting to trickle in (I, for one, have already made myself quite cozy at my parents’ house), but I’m willing to bet a large percentage of you are doing one last mad cleaning-dash through your home before your loved ones arrive.

Being a host isn’t easy, but it’s rewarding to see the smiles on the faces of your friends and family. Before the hungry cavalry arrives, take some time to prepare your home for your guests. A lot of organization and a little bit of thoughtfulness can go a long way.

Keep extras. Of everything. When your brother forgets his toothbrush or your niece empties her sippy cup full of grape juice on the sheets, you’ll look like a superhero when you fly in with spares.

Dress up your daybed. Your guests may feel like they got the short end of the stick if the guest room is shabby cottage but the rest of your home is modern. Update the bedding by adding fresh blankets and pillows.

Give them something to do. Your mother is flying in today, but you’re scheduled to work until late Wednesday. Make sure your friends and relatives have fun while you’re away by leaving books, movies, or other entertainment options around the house. (Pro tip: All televisions aren’t the same — leave a note explaining how your setup works, including information on which remote does what. Your guests will thank you.)

Think of the children. If you’re expecting a lot of little visitors, it’s a common misconception that entertainment comes in numbers. Anyone who has kids or has ever walked into a daycare center right after nap time knows a hoard of hyperactive kids can get out of control. Keep the kids busy whether it’s turning on a holiday movie in the den or letting them make Christmas ornaments to take home once the festivities are over.

Don’t forget snacks. Celery sticks, fruit, cheese and other things to munch on while waiting for the main course are always appreciated.

Accept help. Watching you storm around the kitchen covered in flour, attempting to balance dirty dishes and pumpkin pie filling is only stressing everyone out. People genuinely want to help you. Cut down on kitchen chaos by creating work stations — try clearing prep, serving, and clean up — so those who want to help can do so without getting in each others’ way.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Share how you’re preparing for Thanksgiving visitors in the comments below and visit these links for more classy ways to jazz up your home before your guests arrive:
Create a Welcoming Fall Entryway
Turn Your Guest Bedroom into a Holiday Retreat
Welcome Your Weekend Guests
Ready Your Guest Bathroom
Getting Ready for Guests
Hosting a Stress-Free Holiday Party
Hosting the Holidays

3 Responses

  1. Janice says:

    I like the tip about leaving info about the remote control. Been there, done that…where I was by myself and had no idea how to work the remote/tv.

  2. Christina says:

    Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. Kayla says:

    Thanks so much for these tips! This is the first Thanksgiving that I’m hosting, and already I’m learning where I could’ve improved a few things for my guests. I really like the holiday ornament decorations for the kids to keep them busy, and I plan to use it next time I host. My nieces have fallen in love with the DISH Remote Access app that I have on my iPad because they’re able to access a ton of On Demand titles just for kids. I think the best part is that they’ve been keeping entertained and we don’t have a blaring TV interrupting the adults from talking. Tomorrow my friends and coworkers from DISH will be arriving, so I know that that’s when the real hustle and bustle will begin. I’m definitely going to have to throw together a snack tray just in case my turkey takes a little longer than planned – lol!

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Jessica YonkerJessica Yonker is a writer for HGTV.com and a professional glitter handler in training. She loves decorating her friends' homes without their permission and practicing for her inevitable appearance on...

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