Home for the holidays

Make out-of-town guests feel welcome with thoughtful gift baskets

Make out-of-town guests feel welcome with thoughtful gift baskets

November 15, 2008|By JULIE E. GREENE

We've probably all had the experience of staying overnight at the home of a friend or extended family member, and feeling a little awkward about asking for something.

Maybe it's wanting another blanket or a snack, but not wanting to intrude too much on your hosts.

When hosting friends or family overnight at your home, remember how it felt to be a guest in someone else's home, and, with little extra effort, make your guests feel special.

Here are some suggestions:

o Who hasn't forgotten a toothbrush or other toiletry item when traveling? Have extra toiletry items on hand so you don't have to take time out for a trip to the drugstore. This might include toothbrushes, razors, dental floss and feminine hygiene items.

o When you're staying at hotels, bring home the miniature shampoo, conditioner and lotion containers. Display them in a container in the guest bathroom to give your visitors some options.


o Provide a mixture of plain and perfumed soaps, as well as bubble bath so your guest can bathe in luxury.

o Go ahead and put an extra pillow and blanket or two in the guest bedroom so your guest doesn't have to ask for them. A quilt provides a homey touch. Some people who have back problems sleep with a small pillow between their knees to keep their spine lined up.

o In addition to setting out guest hand towels, provide an extra bath towel. Some women like to use a second towel for their hair.

o Pick up a list of upcoming events or museums in your area from the local tourism office or get a copy of the local newspaper's weekend guide to provide ideas for you and your guests to pass the time. Visitors might get cabin fever and want to go see a movie, play, art exhibit or concert.

o Provide a disposable camera to capture your visit.

o Put a mix of magazines in the guest room for a visitors to peruse or make available your book collection for downtime. Many people like to read in bed before going to sleep. Make sure there's bedside lighting so you don't have to move lamps around later.

o Surprise your guest with a mint on the pillow.

o Some people prefer to use an exfoliating bath sponge instead of a washcloth. They cost about a dollar or two and can be found at grocery and discount stores.

o If you know what your guest's favorite cereal is, buy a small box. Or have options available for breakfast. It helps get the day started off on the right foot.

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