As Christmas approaches, when family and friends come to visit, it helps to plan for adjustments to routines so your time spent together is more relaxed, flexible and most of all, enjoyable! It can be very tough for kids especially, who may get over-tired and over-stimulated (and even temporarily displaced if guests have to stay in their rooms).
As my guest prep checklist mentions (shop here), the week before guests arrive, it’s helpful to review expectations for…
🎁 Meal planning [prep a few freezer meals before big events so you can focus on other stuff!]
🎁 Budget and financing [be aware of your spending and who is buying what]
🎁 Regular daily routines and activities [try to stick with the usual routine, at least elements of it, 75-80% of the time]
🎁 Special events (especially the upcoming holidays!) [know who is preparing what, if you're traveling, how much time and what to bring/pack]
The more you can prepare your kids and yourself for upcoming temporary changes, the easier it will be to transition between activities with (hopefully) less stress (and less meltdowns).
Anything I’m forgetting? Do you find anything especially challenging when guests visit?
When routines change, behavior can change. With guests, LOTS of temporary changes can happen quickly and sometimes kids are over-tired (hours at an aquarium with the grandparents and friends), hangry (usual snack time missed or eating on the go), over-stimulated (too much Christmas - presents, food, TV and more, and more), confused/frustrated (Having guests stay in a child’s room and them having to sleep somewhere else).
✨ REST - Get quiet and calm, try a 15 minute quiet time (music, reading) or even a short nap
✨ RESET - Create a positive transition from activity to activity with full bellies, drinks and a relaxed mind
✨ROUTINE - Revisit your typical routine as much as you can; create one-on-one connection with your child(ren) for even five short minutes, one at a time - this can help a child who is overwhelmed feel heard and attended to and help them make it thru the rest of the day
Do you find anything particularly challenging about having guests over with kids?
You don’t have to have a dedicated room for guests, but you can do a few simple, inexpensive things to help make them more comfortable.
These little things go a long way to help friends and family feel welcome and relaxed, (plus you probably already have most of this around!) - clean linens, a set of towels for each person, an extra pillow/blanket, night light, alarm clock, water bottles (and snacks if you want!), a few notes about how to work the TV and about your area. As a minimalist, you don't have to go overboard, just include purposeful and helpful items.
While it’s nice to have a designated guest space, it’s totally unnecessary - especially if you host infrequently or consider guests when you make furniture purchases (ex. a pull-out couch). I love multi-purpose and multi-use pieces!
A small toiletry basket in the bathroom is awesome to keep tucked away and pull out when guests arrive and covers anything they may have forgotten. Most of this you probably already have extras laying around, or if you want to “stock” your basket, go for travel-sized items.
🌼Asprin (travel bottles or packets)
🌼Tums / stomach medications
🌼Makeup remover wipes
🌼Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, lotion (gender neutral or set for men and set for women)
🌼Blow dryer and a few hair accessories (bobby pins, hair spray)
🌼Feminine hygiene products
Once of my favorite things about having guests is taking that extra step to really make them feel welcome. It’s those little touches that make them feel appreciated, and are great for easing the travel transition.
Love hosting? Tell me, what is your favorite thing about it?