Who doesn’t love the holiday season? From the food to the movies to the upbeat holiday music, it’s hard not get into the spirit of things. But when you’re hosting relatives during the holidays, your seasonal cheer can quickly dissipate and turn into major stress.
If you’re hosting relatives during the holidays and live in a small space, you’ll need to learn how to handle it without losing your holiday spirit (or your mind). Here’s how:
Determine a Layout in Your Apartment
If you live in a particularly small space, it’s important to create a layout ahead of time (even if it’s just temporary) to ensure that your family members are comfortable and have a place to put all their things while they’re staying with you.
Of course, if you have a guest room, arranging a sleeping spot for your family will be a much easier task, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible if you have a one bedroom (or even a studio!). If you have a one bedroom place, determine whether or not your relatives will be staying in your room or if they will be in the living room on an air mattress or a pull-out couch. If you opt for the latter, be prepared and move any coffee tables or desks out of the way so that your guests can easily transform the space into a makeshift bedroom.
A studio space is a bit harder to accommodate overnight guests in, but again, it’s not impossible. For a bit of privacy, consider investing in a room divider or hanging up curtains around their sleeping space to create a bit of a “bedroom” area. Yes, it will be cramped, but hey—they’re family.
No matter how small your space is or how cramped it might be during the holidays, remember one thing: your family is there to see you. They don’t necessarily expect to be put up at some grand hotel — they just want to spend time with you during the holidays.
Make Space For Their Things
Before your guests arrive, it’s important to make a little space for their suitcases and anything else they might be bringing during their stay. If you’re short on space and your guests are sleeping in the living area, reserve a storage closet or even a large basket for them to store their things in.
If you happen to have a guest room (or you’re letting your family sleep in your own bedroom), be sure to clean out the closet or wardrobe to give them enough room for them to unpack their things.
Plan Activities (But Leave Time to Relax, Too)
The holidays are a great time to reconnect with family and friends, and what better way to do that than by exploring your city? Take your family members to all of your favorite spots in town — show them where you like to eat, drink, and grab coffee every morning. Take them for a stroll around your favorite park. Take them to a show or a game, depending on what’s available. It’s especially great to get out if your apartment is really cramped and there’s not a lot of room to spread out.
Keep in mind, however, that you don’t have to rush around and just go, go, go all the time. There’s nothing wrong with staying in, baking cookies, watching Netflix, or playing board games with them. The holidays are, after all, about relaxing and recharging with the ones you love the most.
Stock Up on Snacks
The most important part about hosting guests is to make sure they never go hungry or thirsty. Before they arrive, go to the grocery store and pick up a bunch of snacks and drinks that you know they like. It really makes it feel like you’re going the extra mile when you stock up on your mom’s preferred brand of coffee or your dad’s favorite beer.
Leave snacks out on the counter so that they’re easily accessible to everyone (and so your family doesn’t have to dig through your kitchen cabinets to find the stash of goodies).
Have the Wi-Fi Password Readily Available
Although we’d like to think that hosting family for the holidays means unplugging and spending real, quality time together, your folks are most likely going to want the Wi-Fi password so they can browse Facebook, Pinterest, and watch Netflix in bed.
An easy way to give them access to your internet is to type out your network name and password, print it, frame it, and hang it up near the spot where they’re going to be sleeping. This will save you a late-night knock on your door (or a late-night text) and the repeated asking of “what’s your Wi-Fi password?”
It also might be a good idea to leave any other information, such as security alarm codes, your address (in case they want to order pizza and you’re not there), and any other things they may need to know (such as where the nearest Chipotle is) on the same sheet of paper.