The festive season usually means plenty of visitors to make the holidays happy. A 2015 study found that 84% of families expected to spend Christmas together but two-thirds of them predicted arguments during the visit. Help make sure your visitors stay festive with these tips for preparing your home.

  1. Comfort

With your home filled with family and friends, your air quality will quickly get a workout. Prevent problems by addressing any issues now. Installing a indoor heater can help vent unwanted moisture and odours to keep the room fresh and tidy. This can also prevent the development of mould. In colder climates, adding a humidifier to your guest room could be a smart move. Heating systems reduce the amount of moisture in the air and low humidity can irritate respiratory passages. Adding a humidifier now could be small but important step in keeping granddad from getting sick during his visit.

  1. Safety Check

You are used to your home. Perhaps it has a few quirks but you quickly became used to them. Don’t require your visitors to do the same thing. Before their visit, take the time to look for any possible safety concerns. Remember that for you tripping over a loose paving stone might only turn out to be annoying. For elderly visitors or anyone walking across ice or snow, a that minor annoyance could turn into a serious injury.

Check for uneven pavement, railings that aren’t firmly attached, and poorly illuminated walkways and hallways. Many of the fixes could be quite simple and inexpensive. Add a nightlight in a dark hallway or tighten a loose railing. Look for moss and other vegetation growing up and around sidewalks. These should be removed before snow and ice make them slippery. Have a stockpile of de-icing treatments for sidewalks and apply it before and during your visits from guests.

  1. Have Something for Everyone

If you’re expecting an assortment of visitors or even family you haven’t seen in a while, be prepared for some surprises. Guests may show up with new dietary restrictions, physical restrictions, or unexpected presents. You’ll probably have plans for each meal and for the rest of holiday celebrations. Don’t forget to have back-up options.

Visiting children might be picky eaters or arrive hungry, hours before your scheduled meal. Be prepared by having a supply of other foods to offer. Snack bars and other single-serve, shelf-stable items can be stored, ready to use, if needed. Rather than having one, fancy dessert, consider also having smaller treats around for children or anyone else who likes to snack.

  1. Back-Up Gift Giving

Having a number of visitors to your home usually comes with some unexpected gifts. From your neighbour to your postal worker, there will probably come a time when you wish you had included one more item on your list. The solution is to purchase a few spare items. This can fill in a gap if you see anyone short of gifts or remember an additional person you want to thank. Tins of cookies or boxes of candy are great options. They make thoughtful gifts but can also be put into use. Unexpected guests can appear and the cookies or candy can be quickly put into use the help entertaining. The important thing is to do what you can now to simplify your life and reduce your stress later.