The Guest

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Stress-relieving suggestions for hosting and being a guest

I simply adore fall. The changing leaves and the gathering of family and friends are all so dear to my heart. I have successfully hosted over 15 Thanksgiving gatherings in which I welcome loved ones into my home.  We share life together while feasting on food and drink. It’s amazing. I admire and celebrate other traditional holidays, but this fall celebration is my favorite by far.

Since we live near an international airport, my husband and I offer our home to those in need of a place to stay. Throughout the year, we can expect some guests, often relatives or friends who come for college visits or business meetings.  While we find ourselves hosting guests all year long, we host even more around the holidays. 

Having traveled to seven countries and 28 states, I know that being the guest can feel intimidating, which is why I find comfort in hotels and the hospitality they provide. But when hotels are not an option, I’ve learned to set myself up for a stress-free stay in someone else’s home.  

 My experiences as both a guest and a host have taught me some things. Below are some of my best tips and tricks to relieve the anxiety of both being a guest and hosting one.

When traveling to a friend’s or family member’s home, I like to make a small list of

my desires and give it to my host a week in advance to make my stay more comfortable. As a fashion lover, my wardrobe can take up a lot of suitcase space, so this tip saves me from having to cram all my favorite items in with my clothing and shoes.

If I am the guest at a place I have never visited, I research the area on Google to figure out how I can spend my free time there.

I find it helpful to know where a mall, museum or church is in the area. Gaining knowledge beforehand shows my host that I am interested in their community or city.

When receiving guests into my home, I like to ask them in advance for their likes

and dislikes in food, television and music. I also determine whether they will need transportation during their stay. 

Most importantly, I like to prepare an inviting guest room. As a gift-giver, I love to use welcoming items to create a moment of pleasant surprise for the guest. For example, I carefully assemble the towels and soaps with a choice of washcloth or sponge puff. Then I set a tray of other toiletries and a small vase of fresh flowers on the bed. I also like to give my guest a take home gift, like a nice book or candle.

Life is amazing when you share it with people you love and care for. Having guests over from

time to time can bring you and your family great joy. I hope you can join me in welcoming our guests in and spreading love and joy this holiday season.