If guests are scheduled to arrive at your home, this article will help to keep you grounded, give you suggestions on comfort, and act as a checklist for all those little amenities that are so important for a home-away-from-home experience.
Guests coming? Time to look at your accommodations with a fresh eye, and aim high.
The joys and rewards of hosting are profound. Children learn lessons about giving and sharing when their parents display outward acts of graciousness. Receiving another reminds us to listen and learn from others real-life stories. Sharing material possessions gives the truest of gifts, memories of heart and mind.
The following tips may help you to prepare:• If guests are arriving by car, mail a photograph of your house along with instructions before they leave. Knowing what the house looks like provides for both security and anticipation. Rush to greet them and set aside any nonessential activities in order to make them feel welcome.
• Meeting at the airport? Be clear about where connect and be on time. If it’s been a terribly long flight, greet them with a fresh drink and empty hands to take over baggage handling.
• Upon arriving home, show guests their quarters. Direct them to the bathroom, point out closet and drawer space, and provide a special place for unloading their things. Encourage family members to be themselves, but avoid frequent “pop-ins.” A guest needs to feel secure, and a closed door should signal privacy. Guarantee pets boundaries too; visitors may love animals but if the family dog makes a nest in their clothes, they may change their minds.
Glorious guest room:
• What makes for luxurious quarters? Crisp, clean sheets, lots of space, and refreshments after a long day. A pitcher of fresh ice water and glasses or a variety of juices ensures your welcome. A mini refrigerator means you can treat it like a grand hotels’ mini-bar: keep a sampling of drinks and soda inside. Add snack-sized bags of mixed nuts, cookies, and a fresh Fugi apple. Provide napkins, tissues, and small desert plates. Whatever strikes you as comfortable in a strange and new environment, provide that for your guest.
Foundation firsts• The proper foundation starts with a comfortable mattress. Long-time hostesses suggest sleeping in the guest bed at least one night to test both mattress comfort and room temperature.
• Other comfort essentials are all-cotton sheets, extra pillows, and a blanket. A wool mattress pad or a featherbed would be welcome for any weary traveler. There should be a mirror and reading lamp. Current magazines, hardback bestsellers, or specialty publications pertaining to their interests would be nice. Make sure you furnish an alarm clock or clock radio, and talk to guests about your family’s hours and who does what when.
• Use your best things. A silver antique hand mirror or chocolates on an elegant crystal dish tell your guest they’re special. A finely-appointed desk with notepaper, envelopes, and a fountain pen is a thoughtful touch. Lightly scented candles and a selection of unopened toiletries is a good idea. Collect sample size soaps, shampoo, and other notions to fill a pretty basket. Tuck in a clothes brush and brand new toothbrush, your guest will want for nothing.
Special luxuries:• A light-bulb ring filled with scented oil is pleasant or use fresh flowers or herbs in a petite display. Include a small coffee-maker with supplies, including flavored or specially-blended brands. A full-length, good quality terry bathrobe and a thick stack of plush towels demonstrates hospitality. Think about making a handyman’s box including a mini flashlight, cough drops, chewing gum and lip balm. A small niche with a portable TV and viewing guide allows guests to unwind with their special shows and gives them something to listen to as they ready for the day. A scrapbook filled with local attractions and things to do in the area is a good surprise.
The Plans• Allow guests to go off on their own. They might like running errands, checking out antique shops, or car lots. An outing for the two of you could include an art gallery or botanical garden. Engage them in your hobbies by providing reading, needlepoint or crosswords. Let them help prepare a meal.
Look at staying in your home from your guest’s perspective. Do things for them you would like someone to do for you. Give yourself idle time together. Turn off the TV and find out what another special life is up to. You’ll have a wonderful time. Guaranteed.