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Christmas etiquette: how to host holiday guests with ease

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Whether you’re ready or not, the holiday season is upon us yet again. The blissful time of year when families unite under one roof to celebrate and exchange gifts. But how blissful can this time truly be when that one roof is your own?

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that the responsibility of hosting has somehow fallen upon you again this Christmas. For some, this is no burden at all and is done with a natural aptitude that others can only envy. We're here to let you know that you're not the only one experiencing concern about hosting this festive period.

Christmas is most people's favourite time of year. However, it can also be the most stressful - whether it's stretched finances, a full social schedule, or simply putting up with the in-laws. Therefore, it only makes sense that you would feel apprehensive about being partly responsible for how their holiday pans out.

We want to give you the confidence to welcome guests into your home and ensure that everyone will have a joyous Christmas. Here are five core tips for hosting Christmas in your home with ease:

1. Space awareness

Let’s be realistic, if you’re living in a two-bed property then there isn’t much space for the entire extended family to stay over. Even for those living in larger houses, there are limited pieces of furniture that can serve as a makeshift bed. Nobody wants to spend Christmas day with a stiff back.

Therefore, planning ahead is a wise move. If you don't have room for all of your friends and family and they don't live nearby, don't be afraid to suggest that they book a hotel. Or invest in a quality air mattress.

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2. Creating a festive atmosphere

While having to decorate your home at Christmas goes without saying, it doesn’t have to be costly or stressful. Stick to decorating the rooms that your guests will spend the most time in rather than the entire house. They say “less is more” for a good reason.

It’s 2022, nobody is going to judge you for having an artificial tree. But if you are getting a real one, our one piece of advice is to not overspend. It's too expensive at this time of year to spend a large portion of your budget on temporary décor.

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3. Cleanliness is key

For the second Christmas in a row, many people are happy to return to "normal" life, but it's crucial to remember that post-pandemic worry remains. Even though your house is probably already spotless, it makes sense to persistently sanitise key spaces in your home to help put your guests at ease – especially the kitchen and bathrooms!

This will also motivate you to maintain your cleaning routine throughout the holiday season so that you don't have to deal with the headache equivalent of a messy house after everyone has departed. Win-win situation.

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4. Accommodating everyone

Christmas dinner is highly customised to each household; you might not even serve a conventional roast. Therefore, we won't spend time listing the essential elements of a "perfect" Christmas dinner.

If you're planning on hosting a full-house, spread the load of cooking around by asking each guest to contribute an allocated dish. This will help lighten your cooking duties, and keep costs low. This can also help those with dietary requirements make sure they aren’t left out in the name of tradition.

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5. Entertainment

Remember to enjoy yourself – it’s Christmas! All of the festive decorations are meaningless in comparison to the enjoyable times spent with friends and family. Ask guests to bring board games for some friendly competition – or drinking games if that’s your family’s style.

If your guests include children, this must be considered, though they will most likely have enough gifts to keep them occupied.

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