Mind Your Manners: Gracious Hostess

mind-your-mannersPerhaps a friend is coming into town on a business trip and you invited her to stay with you for a day or two. Or your cousin and his girlfriend are popping in for a Labor Day weekend and you are busy tidying up the spare bedroom. Whether long-planned or accidental, you have become a hostess. Now roll out the welcome mat and greet your guests with a smile!

BEFORE THE DOORBELL RINGS…

Learn the details of your guests’ stay. When will they arrive and leave? This information will help avoid confusion and give you a chance to plan activities together. If they arrive by plane or train, offer to pick themup from the airport or direct them to a reliable car service or public transportation. If your guests are coming by car, make sure they know the directions to your house well and email them a list of tricky turns if necessary. Also inquire about any dietary restrictions or breakfast preferences to make them feel welcome and avoid misinformed allergy accidents.MIMCollageDesign

WHEN GREETING YOUR GUESTS…

Have snacks and drinks standing by on the kitchen island or coffee table. Your guests will be weary from travel and will appreciate a small bite to eat and a refreshment before sitting down for a full meal. Lemonade works every time! Once you guests had a chance to rest a minute from the road and talk, show them to their room or sleeping area making note of bathroom location and closet for their belongings.

PAMPER YOUR GUESTS…

By setting out a few beauty products, an extra pair of new slippers and a shawl in case they get cold at night. Empty or free up space in the closet to make room for their clothes. Show the guests how to adjust the heater or air conditioner, work the coffee machine and where to find the home phone. Let them know where snacks or beverages are in the pantry as well. The more independent and comfortable your guests feel, the more enjoyable and warm is your house!
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GRACIOUS HOSTESS CHECKLIST:

  • Bed, sleeper sofa or air mattress made up with clean sheets and pillowcases
  • Extra warm blanket at the foot of the bed
  • Nightstand with a clock, good reading light and a box of tissues
  • Coat hangers in the closet
  • Fresh towels and bath mat
  • Fresh cake of soap
  • Glasses for brushing teeth or drinking
  • Extra rolls of toilet paper
  • Wi-Fi password in a written form

CHARMING EXTRAS:

  • Vase of fresh flowers
  • A few magazines for reading material or a coffee table book
  • Lint roller
  • Small set of toiletries (mini shampoo & conditioner, shower gel, new toothbrush)
  • Headache or stomachache medicine in the bathroom drawer

WAVING GOODBYE…

Help your guests with luggage to the car and make sure they left nothing behind. If the guests are departing late at night, call them a cab ahead of time. Make sure to see them to the door and stand on the porch until your guests are out of sight. And, of course, tell them how much you enjoyed their company because you truly DID, the fabulous hostess, you!