Eleven Tricks to Keep Holiday Guests Happy


This week marks the beginning of holiday guest season. From Thanksgiving all the way through the New Year, many of us will be blessed with the arrival of family and friends to help celebrate the holidays.

Many of these guests will have travelled by plane, train or automobile many miles to be with you and your family.

I always like to spend a little time sprucing things up around the house for my guests so they know how much our family appreciates their effort to come and be with us.

There are many ways to say “Thank you for coming and welcome!” but here are a few of my favorite ways to make company feel appreciated and at home!


Give your guests the royal treatment!

Give your guests the royal treatment!

  1. Toilet paper origami. Okay, I know this is way over the top. But you have to admit it’s impressive, and who wouldn’t love to have their toilet paper folded in a fancy way or stamped out with a designer hole punch? (Just check out the picture!) Visit this website for more ideas on ways to fold your toilet paper. I especially love the method of making a crown…’cause when you’re on the throne you always need a crown!
  2. Hang a robe in the guest room.  Most guests leave their robes at home so it’s a nice touch to offer a robe for them to use. Pick these up on clearance sales or even at thrift stores.
  3. A basket of toiletries. All those bottles of shampoo and lotion you’ve picked up at hotels are perfect to put into this basket. I also fill the guest bathroom drawers with toothpaste, ibuprofen, Pepto-Bismol, soaps, and shaving razors.
  4. Coffee maker and cups. If you have an extra small coffee maker, it would be a real luxury for guests to be able to make a pot of coffee in their own room, especially if they are early risers and don’t want to wake the rest of the house by going into the kitchen. 
  5. Fresh laundry. Be sure to launder the towels and sheets for the guests’ beds right before they arrive. And then be sure when you put them in the linen closet afterward to place a box of baking soda in there as well. This helps absorb any mustiness. I store my spare sheet sets in a zippered plastic bag and put fabric softener sheets in there to keep the linens fresh smelling.
    A basket of toiletries and towels for guests is always hospitable.

    A basket of toiletries and towels for guests is always hospitable.


  6. Shiny silver for the table. Hosting a holiday dinner? Then try this trick for the best way to handle tarnished dining pieces: Place aluminum foil in the bottom of your sink or a large pot. Add a solution of ¼ cup of baking soda, 2-3 teaspoons for salt, and one quart of boiling water. Cover the tarnished silver pieces for 30 or so minutes. The tarnish disappears, as it has transferred to the aluminum foil. Your holiday table will sparkle and shine for all your guests!
  7. Water bottles or water glasses. Put water bottles or water glasses (if guests have access to a sink) in their accommodations. 
  8. Up-to-date reading material. Many guests will bring their own reading but just in case, it’s a nice gesture to have a basket full of magazines, a book you just finished, or publications from around your region.
  9. Don’t forget the kids and/or pets. Make sure if your guests have kids that you have toys, games, and/or puzzles for their entertainment. If you don’t have kids yourself, ask someone you know with children similar ages of your guests if they have any extra toys to share. A nightlight is always a welcome sight for kiddos, too. If your guests are bringing pets, offer an old blanket for the animal to sleep on, toys or bones for the animal, and even put out a bowl of water for Fido!
  10. Paper and pen. Somewhere in the guest room, place a pad of paper and some writing utensils. These will come in handy for guests if they need to write down a good book you mentioned, a recipe you served, or a reminder of something to do when they go back home.
    A bedside table with a lamp and clock make guests feel at home.

    A bedside table with a lamp and clock make guests feel at home.


  11. Alarm clock. Having a clock by the bedside is always a helpful and comforting item for guests. Make sure it is set to the correct time, the volume of the alarm or radio is set low, and don’t set the alarm unless your guests request it to be set. Remember, it’s their vacation!

The most important tip on holiday guests is to remain calm, don’t stress and just be yourself. Your guests are here to spend time with you, not to give you a AAA rating on your accommodations – but these tips will make your holiday guests feel like they are staying in a five-star hotel!

The only drawback? Your guests will keep coming back every time they get a chance!

Enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends this week!


Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, and sticking to a budget in her blog archive. And be sure to check out the Missoula Save it Club.


Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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