Getting Ready for Holiday Guests

Today, I want to share with you a few things to keep in mind as you’re getting ready for holiday guests.

By now you’re probably either in the midst of putting the final touches on your Thanksgiving plans or you’ve already started gearing up to host company for the holiday season. The days and weeks spent getting ready for guests can be so much fun and totally exhausting all at the same time.

Most of us spend hours scrubbing the house spotless, planning a perfectly well-balanced menu and making sure there are brand new towels in the linen closet. This event is usually proceeded by a whirlwind of sightseeing, cooking, baking and nurturing.

Then as your guests pull out of the driveway it’s like a slow exhale, right?

You’re almost always sad to see them go because you’ve had such a great visit and yet you know you’ll have to walk back inside and clean the house all over again to get ready for the work week.

I think about holiday entertaining a lot given my parent’s home, Bliss Barracks, is a revolving door of guests especially this time of year. The thing that always amazes me is that my mom rarely seems to get rattled in the craziness. I truly believe it’s because she’s been given a heart for hospitality and her expectations are always realistic.

She knows someone will probably spill a drink on the Turkish rug my dad had shipped over for her when he was deployed. She understands someone will require a specialty item like almond or soy milk and she’ll have to make a last-minute trip to the store before breakfast is served. My mom also understands there’s going to be a mountain of laundry to finish if all the guest bedrooms upstairs have been used.

None of that ever matters to her though. She makes every person feel special, appreciated and welcomed because she is that happy to have them in her home.

If you’re looking around your house right now thinking, “That’s awesome but my house is _________________ (feel free to fill in the blank with whatever you’re thinking right now…not Instagram worthy/ not big enough/ not clean enough/ not in a great neighborhood/ not ready at all/ not like what I see in magazines/ not my style/ totally embarrassing) let me assure you I can completely relate.

I have had some of those same thoughts too.

There was one event that happened a few years ago that completely changed the way I felt about the need to have a perfect home though.

We were all at my baby sister’s house, Hawk’s Ridge, giving the walls a fresh coat of paint, pulling up old carpeting and taking down broken door trim. There was so much work to do at her fixer upper it was all hands-on deck.

I was dressed in long sleeves, overalls and work boots. Since I’m giving you a visual here, you should also know I had bits of cotton in my ears, safety glasses that could have shielded a failed chemistry experiment, a respirator and a knit cap to protect my auburn curls from “flying debris.”

Basically, it would have been less work to just wear a hazmat suit.

Anyway, by midday, we had piled up on her screened porch waiting for lunch to be delivered. We were super gross, smelly, totally exhausted and somehow, we thought it would be a great time to have a “biggest arm muscle” contest.

Well, as you can imagine some people’s “muscles” were as big as a tiny red potato…they were more like a shallot…just saying.

The longer the “contest” went on the more we laughed…like a tears rolling down your face – how can he be keeping a straight face right now… kind of belly laugh.

The memories from that day of all 11 of us rallying together, laughing and working to give our best gifts to make my sister’s house a home while eating sandwiches from parchment paper and drinking sweet tea is one I’ll never forget.

Had my sister waited until Hawk’s Ridge was “perfect” or “finished” or “good enough” we would have missed out on all that fun!

This season, as we start getting ready for holiday guests I want us to spend more time thinking about how we can make our guests feel loved, welcomed, and appreciated instead of thinking about matching dishes, installing shiplap and whether or not the wreaths on our front door are “gram worthy.”

I want us to remember that our best gifts are enough.

Our homes are enough.

We are enough.

Of course, we are going to make our homes as cozy as we can possibly make them! Yes, we are going to light a fire in the fireplace and make fudge! We are going to walk the neighborhood, look at Christmas lights and sip on a steaming cup of cocoa. We are going to make memories!

But what we are NOT going to do is obsess about the hair that may or may not fall while the dogs are walking from the living room to the front door, the napkin that is a slightly different shade of blush than our china, the hurricane shutters still on the dormers, how “bulky” we may or may not look in the sweater we grabbed at the last minute on our way to the checkout line because we are enough.

You with me?

I’m excited too.

See you guys back here tomorrow. I’ll share a super simple way you can make your bed feel holiday festive without buying all new linens. Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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  1. I love all your green, so easy to use at any time of year with a few tweaks. And, it sets off your black-white transfer ware and decor, so well. Thanks for the ideas.

    1. Thanks so much, Sandi, I appreciate your sweet words! It’s definitely been interesting to try and find few new ways to use the foliage we have in Florida during each season. Hope your day is a fun one, Coco

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