Whether you’re hosting friends for the evening or family members for several days, welcoming guests to your home sets the tone of your visit. Here are a few ways to make it more meaningful.
Welcome. What makes you feel most welcome when you visit a home?
Is it someone’s hug? Smile? Friendly greeting?
Is it the home atmosphere – maybe a delicious smell coming from the kitchen A flickering candle? Soft music? A presentable home?
And when you’re spending the night with a friend or family member, what makes you feel comfortable?
Knowing just where to put your belongings? Knowing where you can grab a drink or snack if you’re hungry?
As you prepare to welcome guests of your own, think of what makes you feel welcomed. Then repeat those same meaningful details in your own home.
When you know you’re expecting company, I want you to think about all of those comforting touches – and copy them.
If you’re afraid that you shouldn’t be a copycat, forget it. Stop racking your brain for original ideas. Remember that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
If you’re expecting guests, here are some thoughtful ways to prepare:
- Be ready to welcome them with open arms and a smile.
- Prepare some kind of refreshment – whether it’s a hot or cold drink or a little something to nibble.
- If you have the time, light a candle.
- Display a favorite photo of you and your guests.
- Turn off the TV and turn on some music.
- Put your technology away and get ready to give your guests your full attention.
Welcome overnight guests
For overnight guests, making an extra effort to welcome them will be much appreciated. When you’re out of the comfort of your own home – or own bed – for the night, feeling like you can make yourself at home is wonderful.
If you know you’ll host overnight guests, thoughtfully arrange their guest area:
- Use fresh sheets and gather pillows and blankets.
- Gather bath towels and a basket full of helpful toiletries.
- Since some people like white noise when they sleep, put a fan near the bed.
- Make sure an alarm clock is in bedroom.
- Keep water bottles and a little snack (Chocolate? Mints?) near the sleeping area.
- Leave any wifi passwords your guests might need.
So what can you do?
First, make sure your guests know where they can find everything:
- Where’s the bathroom?
- Where can they settle in with their belongings?
- If they’re thirsty, where are the drinking glasses and water?
- Where’s the fridge?
Once they know where everything is that they’ll need, be sensitive to what they might want to do next. And don’t try to guess … ask them!
- Are they hungry?
- Do they need to rest a little or freshen up after a long journey?
- Do they need to recharge any devices?
- Would they rather stretch their legs?
After your guests settle in, you all can figure out how to best enjoy their visit.
See you in the morning
When company is spending the night I always feel like I need to be one of the first ones up in the house (even if we’ve stayed up late, late the night before).
I try to start a pot of coffee and begin breakfast preparations, although I’m a big fan of making breakfast casseroles before my guests arrive, so it can chill in the fridge and all I have to do is pop it in the oven in the morning.
If a breakfast casserole isn’t your cooking style and you’d like something simpler, stick with a continental breakfast of fresh fruit, muffins or breakfast pastry, and cereal.
Of course your preparation may be much more relaxed if you have guests who stay frequently, or if they’re staying for a long time. But I still like to make a fuss about a big welcome and then a warm send-off, just so they can (hopefully) feel appreciated and loved.
Remember, that as you take a little extra time and thought when welcoming your guests to your home, you’re creating a haven that will make a difference.
How do you like to welcome guests to your home? As a guest, how do you like to be welcomed?
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Images courtesy of Adobe Stock and Pixabay.
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