Thoughts on Preparing for Holiday Guests

Preparing for holiday guests can be so much fun and yet 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 fresh towels in the linen closet.

It’s always fun to host but it can also feel like a bit of a whirlwind. 

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

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

Preparing for Holiday Guests-The Crowned Goat

The Gift Of Hospitality…

I think about holiday entertaining a lot given my parent’s home, Bliss Barracks is a revolving door of guests and people dropping by for a quick visit.

The thing that always amazes me is that my Mom rarely seems to get rattled in the midst of the craziness.

I truly believe it’s because she’s been given a heart for hospitality and her expectations are always realistic.

Fall Entry and Preparing for Holiday Guests-The Crowned Goat

She knows someone will probably spill a drink on the Turkish rug my dad had shipped over when he was deployed.

She understands someone will require specialty items like almond, oat, or soy milk instead of cow’s milk and she’ll probably have to make extra trips to the store before the sun comes up.

My Mom also understands there is going to be a mountain of laundry. Especially if all of the bedrooms upstairs are being used.

Even still, she continues to make every person feel special, appreciated, and welcomed because she is so happy to have them in her home.

Preparing for Holiday Guests While Managing Expectations…

It’s the lessons of realistic expectations and heart for hospitality that have been instilled in us over the years that make preparing for holiday guests seem as normal as having green eyes.

If you’re looking around your house right now thinking, “That’s awesome for you, CoCo, but my house is not _________________ (feel free to fill in the blank with whatever you’re thinking right now…

  • instagram worthy
  • big enough
  • clean enough
  • in a great neighborhood
  • ready at all
  • like what I see in magazines
  • really my style

…let me assure you I can completely relate.

I’ve had some of those same thoughts.

When I first started blogging, this was what my house looked like. Believe me, it didn’t feel Pinterest-worthy at all.

But one day we had a workday at my sister’s first fixer-upper and it completely changed my mind about what truly makes a house a home.

Making Memories Despite the Imperfections…

About this time several years ago, my baby sister bought a house we lovingly called Hawk’s Ridge.

We were all at her house painting walls, pulling up old carpet, and taking down broken door trim.  I was dressed in long sleeves, overalls, and work boots.

And since I’m giving you a visual, you should also know I had bits of cotton in my ears, chemistry experiment style safety glasses, a respirator, and a knit cap to protect my wild curls from “flying debris.”

Basically, it would have been easier to wear a hazmat suit.

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 good idea to have a “biggest arm muscle” contest.

As you can imagine, some of us had “muscles” the size of a shallot.

But the belly laughter that ensued with our pod sitting on the small front porch dirty and sweaty from giving our best gifts to my sister’s new house while eating sandwiches from parchment paper and drinking sweet tea is a memory I’ll never forget.

Had my sister waited until her home was “perfect” or “finished” or “good enough” we would have missed out on all that fun!

Preparing Your Heart and Home for Guests This Holiday Season…

This season, as we prepare our home for holiday guests be it overnight guests, a gathering of your besties for drinks, or hosting a feast for hundreds, I hope we can spend more time thinking about how to make them feel loved, welcomed, appreciated and nurtured.

Instead of thinking about matching dishes and whether or not the wreaths on our front door are “insta worthy.”

Our best gifts are enough.

Our homes are enough.

We are enough.

Are we are going to make our homes as cozy as we can possibly make them?

Of course! We might even light a fire in the fireplace and make pop popcorn!

We might even walk the neighborhood, look at Christmas lights and sip on apple cider.

After all, making memories is one of the best parts of the holidays.

But we are not going to obsess about the hair that may or may not fall while the dogs are walking from the living room to the front door.

Or the napkin that is a slightly different shade of blush than our china. 

Nor 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 and our homes are enough.

You with me? Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Other Holiday Favorites to Enjoy:

Many blessings,


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  1. I’ve been waiting for someone to say this! I’m so sick of seeing “perfectly styled” lives on IG. No one lives that way 24/7! Thanks for bringing us back to the stuff that matters.

    1. I appreciate you speaking up, Bonnie, thank you. As a blogger it can be hard to walk the line between wanting to inspire others with our creative talents while at the same time sharing all those relatable moments that happen in “real life.” I think it’s important to keep the perspective that things aren’t always what they seem in anyone’s life because we’re all just trying to put our best foot forward. That being said, as long as we stick to our true value instead of trying to keep up or impress others in order to appear important we’ll never miss out on what truly matters…love, friendship, kindness, service to others and family. Sending you hugs, CoCo

  2. You’ve just taken the pressure off my holidays, THANK YOU!

    1. What a sweet thing to say, Sarah, thank you! Hugs, CoCo

  3. I hope you plan on sharing more encouraging posts like this CoCo. They’re my favorite!

    1. What a kind thing to say, Brandy, thank you! I’ve been getting more requests like this through emails especially after the hurricane post. I appreciate your input and will certainly do my best as we enter the holiday season. Hugs, CoCo

  4. Love this post, CoCo! It’s fun to see more of you in the post pictures

  5. Liz Bonin says:

    Every time you post a photo of yourself all I think is im so jealous of your thick wavy hair! What a truly lovely post this morning-words and photos❤️

    1. You’re the sweetest, Liz! I appreciate you so much and wish ALL THE TIME we lived closer. Big hugs and lots of love, CoCo

  6. A house is just a house, when you add family and friends, it becomes a home. Grins, love your post, Sandi

    1. I so agree with you, Sandi, you are spot on lady! Thanks for your sweet words and I hope your day is a blessed one, CoCo

  7. Great post Coco! I love this. I think this holiday season should be named “The Year of Memories” because I know my focus has shifted to the idea that less is more and time is the most precious of the gifts we have to give/receive. Have a great Monday!

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more, Nancy, well said! Hugs, CoCo

  8. Oh my gosh I’m in love with your decor!! How cute?!

  9. Thank you CoCo for saying the quiet part loud! Even though we too are in the “biz” we know for a fact at what our homes look like behind the scenes. Thanks for sharing!

    1. ha ha I was thinking about what my inventory closet and office used to look like this time last year…it was nuts, right? Good thing we have each other to help stay on track guests or no guests. Hugs, CoCo

  10. I really enjoyed the stories you shared about your Mom and sister. Especially the parts about not getting so caught up in the details that we miss the opportunity to share time with loved ones. This is such a great perspective to arm ourselves with going into the holidays.

    1. So kind of you to say, Heidi, thank you! It can definitely be hard not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. While I definitely appreciate how magical the weeks leading up to Christmas can be I try to remind myself not to cram a year’s worth of memory making into one month because that is way too much stress and pressure for everyone involved 🤣

    1. Thanks so much, Lovely, I really appreciate it! Hope you’re having the best day, CoCo

  11. I love gettng really for our family to come in for the holidays. They have been working hard and need full on welcome for Mom and Dad. Still, we also need to be geniune and have fun. Nice when they walk in…within a few hosrs or minutes…totally lived in ! And I love it!

    1. Yes to everything you said, Linda! All of my parent’s siblings live in the same hometown because my parents were high school sweethearts and the only ones to move away. Every time we go back home they are all standing at the door ready to greet us. Sometimes my mom and her sisters are hugging us with aprons on and sometimes my Dad gives me a quick squeeze because he’s off to watch the turkey but the fact they all show up to greet and welcome us home means the world. They don’t worry about picky eaters or matching china or if we use the right goblet, they just love on us in the best possible way and it sounds like your family is gearing up to do the same. Enjoy every minute! Hugs, CoCo

  12. You always have a way of putting things in perspective at just the right time. I needed this post! Thank you!

    1. So sweet of you to say, Christine, thank you! The holidays can definitely become a total pressure cooker if we’re not careful. Always remember, you were created on purpose and have amazing gifts to share with the world. You are treasured, loved, and definitely appreciated. Hugs, CoCo

  13. Oh I needed this! Our oldest is bringing his new girlfriend home for the first time and they are arriving 2 days earlier than I thought as well as it being the week of our academic meet at school…and I’m in charge…!
    Thank you!

    1. Goodness Margaret that is really exciting and definitely something that will keep you on your toes too! I’m cheering you on as I know it will be an extra special time for you and your family. She’s certainly a lucky lady to have a seat at your table. Sending you hugs, CoCo

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