This lovely crazy picture is of my mom (red sweater), 4 sisters, and me (bottom left) a couple of Christmas’s ago. Some of us have husbands and kids, and when we all get together – well, it’s a massive day of pure crazy fun! When you are hosting family for more than one day through the Christmas holiday, it can tend to be overwhelming. So here are a few tips that can help keep your sanity.
1. Prepare your bathroom for company. Put name tags on towels, set up a place in the guest room for wet towels to dry. Go here for some great tips on sharing a bathroom with many people!
2. Stock your fridge, especially if your have growing teenage boys in the family! It’s hard to plan each meal ahead of time when having such a large crowd together, especially if your company has friends in town to visit, as well. I usually stock my fridge with the staples for easy breakfasts, lunches, and snacks (lots of snacks!). I then stock my freezer with chicken and ground beef, so I can be ready at a moments notice to throw a meal together.
3. Provide plenty of bedding. My guest room is in the basement. We have a queen bed, a couch, and usually my sister brings her air mattress for her teen girls. I have three tubs I always keep tucked away in the basement. One is for blankets, one is for sheets, the other is for pillows. You can keep everything smelling fresh by putting dryer sheets in each container.
4. Buy lots of paper products. With as big as my family is, I buy a pack of plastic cups for every day. I always have lots of paper plates and silverware on hand, too. This gives me plenty of time to enjoy visiting with my company, instead of sweating over the sink washing dishes!
5. Keep your bedroom door closed at all times. Not only will it help keep your room cool (is it just my house that heats up by 10 degrees when you have more than 4 adults in it at a time?), but it can be your quick, quiet, CLEAN haven for those moments when you just need a minute!
6. Go to Costco or Sams Club, and buy your toilet paper in bulk. Trust me. Just do this!
7. Take advantage of an empty house. When your company leaves for a few hours to visit friends or the mall, use that opportunity to whip out your vacuum and polish! Use Clorox wipes in the bathroom on the toilet and sink. Spray a little bleach in the bathtub and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing off. Fluff the couch pillows, spray some Febreeze on the furniture, and quickly load up the dishes, using Fantastic on your stove and counter-tops.
8. Keep a basket of shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, and a few extra toothbrushes in the bathroom. I forgot to do that this year, and of course, someone needed a toothbrush, my tube of toothpaste disappeared, and my own personal supply of shampoo was quickly depleted!
9. Go to bed on time at least one night your guests are in town. I have the habit of staying up until 1 or 2 in the morning, laughing and talking of old times, forgetting that my youngest kids will be up at 7 am sharp! This year I went to bed a little earlier than in the past, and I was much more rested and really felt I was able to enjoy my family’s visit so much more!
10. Don’t forget about your quiet time with the Lord. Spend your normal time in prayer and in His Word, and you will be more able to handle whatever surprises may come your way with your company!