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Getting Ready for the Holidays: Tips, Tricks and More

Cropped portrait of elegant young people exchanging gifts

Cropped portrait of elegant young people exchanging gifts

Source: SeventyFour/

Once the crisp fall weather settles in, the holiday season is upon us. From All Hallows’ Eve to New Year’s Eve, there are several holidays one could choose to entertain guests and throw a little celebration. But before you even send out the invites, there are some initial steps to check off to ensure you pull off your little festive soiree flawlessly. Getting ready for the holidays and entertaining guests? Here is a quick breakdown on ways to prepare your home. 

Bring Out the Holiday Decor

Getting ready for the holidays shouldn’t be all chores. And one of the best ways to prepare your home for guests is to get into the holiday spirit. Once you declutter the home, bring out any holiday decor. Add festive touches throughout each space and even to existing items and home accents. Display family photos of visiting guests to revisit the memories. Once you deck the halls, you’ll feel completely inspired to entertain, hitting the ground running with other tedious, not-so-fun tasks. 

Plan Holiday Feasts and Drinks

One of the absolute best parts of the holidays? Entertaining guests with delicious feasts! Once you have a headcount, plan what dishes and drinks you wish to serve, followed by a trip to the store. Consider side dishes and desserts that can be cooked in advance. It will make hosting duties much more enjoyable! 

Set Up a Holiday Tablescape

Table served for Christmas dinner

Source: Olena Gaidarzhy /

With all your scrumptious meals planned, create a holiday tablescape to accommodate everyone. For Thanksgiving, add some mini pumpkins and pinecones. For Christmas, some evergreen sprays and berry-filled candle votives add a joyous touch. As a more practical matter, ensure you have enough dishware, flatware and stemware to go around, too. 

Add Fresh Flowers and Plants

A fresh flower bouquet and indoor potted plants are always a lovely addition when receiving company. However, since it’s the holidays, bring in something seasonal. Think autumnal sunflowers and curly willows for Thanksgiving and for the Christmas time frame, choose something more festive like poinsettias, Christmas cacti or amaryllis bulbs. Even a mini live tree can give a wintry evergreen scent. If you have overnight guests, be sure to add a small holiday bouquet on a guest room nightstand or dresser, too. 

Clear the Coat Closet or Coat Rack

As guests arrive, it’s polite to offer to hang their coats. However, you need to make sure you have the space to do so first! Winter coats can be quite bulky so draping over the sofa or dining table is just not an option. Instead, clear out the foyer coat closet or the coat rack, removing as many of your personal garments and items you can to ensure there’s somewhere to keep your guests’ jackets, scarves, hats and other winter gear. One tip: update your coat storage space with unique coat and hat hooks that will add character. 

Address the Guest Room and Bathrooms

Bed with clean white pillows and bed sheets


If you’re expecting overnight guests, plan accordingly and make the guest room look presentable. Of course, make powder rooms and bathrooms tidy as well. Here are specific guest room steps for those overnight or weekend visitors. Clean the spaces well and ensure there are extra items they may need like blankets and phone chargers. Make sure there are essential items like clean sheets, pillows and towels, as well as certain toiletries they may have forgotten to pack, like shampoo, mouthwash and lotions. An extra robe and slippers make a nice touch, too! Have these necessities ready-at-the-go for any last-minute crashers.

Clean Out the Guest Room Closet

Like the entryway closet, you want to provide guests some spare room to hang their garments. If they arrive with a suitcase or overnight bag, they may want a place to  hang button-down shirts, slacks or dresses to keep them from wrinkling. Offer them this space by tidying up the guest room closet and leaving unused clothes hangers. Additionally, if you free up a top dresser drawer for other items, do that as well.

Spruce Up the Entrance

Last, but not least, don’t forget to spruce up your outside entrance! Add a holiday wreath to the front door or maybe a pair of containers with classic boxwoods or an evergreen arrangement. And once the snow arrives, make sure to keep any pathways clear so that your guests (and their homemade casseroles) can arrive safely. 

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