Along with the fun of the holidays comes a certain amount of foreboding. I welcome invitations from certain people of our acquaintance and dread others for reasons with which you may be familiar.
When I visit, I don’t expect the blandishments of a 5-star hotel. My needs are modest. The important thing is for your guests to know that their basic needs can be met in the vicinity of your household. While accommodations for your overnight guests can be simple and plain, there are some things you must do to eliminate the dread some people have about holiday visiting.
Ã?Â· Locate your overnight guests away from the busy traffic patterns of your household, away from the children’s areas, if possible. The guest room should not be located at Grand Central. Ideally, the guest bedroom will have its own bathroom. If not, locate the guests to a room where they have convenient access to a bathroom.
Ã?Â· Guest rooms should be simple and uncluttered. A few books and magazines are always a good idea. If you know your guests, you can find an appropriate mix of Sports Illustrated, Field and Stream, Martha Stewart Living, and War and Peace.
Ã?Â· Outfit the bed with blankets and sheets appropriate to the season. The guest room should have a closet or wardrobe at the very minimum. Don’t forget hangers. Be sure the room has a mirror.
Ã?Â· A tidy and comfortable bathroom will make the difference with your house guests, even if the bathroom must be shared. Bath towels, face towels, and washcloths are the bare minimum. New toothbrushes, a special shampoo, or some special thing you know your guests may like are an added touch.
Ã?Â· A few other basic items are necessary to the holiday traveler:
Ã?Â· A pen and paper or a notepad is essential. Think of the many things you’ve wanted to jot down while traveling.
Ã?Â· A telephone may or may not be necessary in these days of cell phones but you can’t go wrong if you have one in the guest bedroom.
Ã?Â· A covered glass or carafe of water with two glasses should be standing by. It’s easy to become dehydrated when traveling.
Your guests may not require a floor plan of the house but you should orient them to the peculiarities of life in your household. Will they hear the cuckoo clock going off in the children’s room while taking a nap? Will they hear street noise or fire engines?
While it is your responsibility to provide hospitality to your guests, you can’t be everywhere nor can you do everything they might like to do. One of the more frustrating things about modern life is the plethora of household appliances one has to deal with. The term “universal remote control” may not be as universal as you think. In fact, the type of media system in your household may not be at all familiar to the guests in your home. Cable channel numbers are different from DirectTV or DishTV channels. So what’s the solution?