How to Navigate House Guests During the Holidays

Published on 11/24/2021

How to Navigate House Guests During the Holidays

We all approach houseguests differently. Some of us love hosting and enjoy going out of our way to make friends and family feel comfortable. We may light candles, arrange the linens and towels perfectly, stock the guest bathroom and bake cookies. Others of us may not enjoy hosting as much (or at all). And that’s ok too. It is our home and safe haven first and foremost. If you fall into the second camp, here are some tips when navigating hosting friends or family who may be visiting during the holidays. 

Structure your space wisely 

If you don’t have the space for guests, this provides you with an easy out. But if you do have a spare bedroom or two, you can always outfit them as purposeful spaces that you use regularly. Perhaps one is your office or a workout space. This way you won’t offend guests when you say you don’t have the setup or space for people to stay over. 

Provide alternatives

Be ready with recommendations for nearby hotels, Airbnbs or Bed and Breakfast options. Have a nice list put together so when family or friends ask to stay with you over the holidays, you can give them a thoughtfully crafted alternative. This way it’s not just a “no” and they know you still want to spend time with them. But you’ll also establish your boundary.

Hold back on invitations

If you’re not feeling up to hosting this year (or ever), it’s ok to be stingy with your invitations. It’s tempting when we’re with friends or loved ones to say the blanket statement of “You’re always welcome at our place.” Especially if someone else invites us first. But hold back from these generalized invitations if you’re truly not up for it. It will prevent them taking you up on it and showing up at your doorstep down the road.

Practice saying no kindly

It’s also totally fine to just say no. It’s your home and if you’re not comfortable for any reason having guests, that’s completely valid. You can say it kindly but you also don’t have to make excuses. You could say something kind but firm along the lines of “We would so love to see you, but we don’t have the space. There are some great Airbnbs nearby though and we could meet you for dinner. I’ll send you a list.”

It can get tricky navigating how to host (or not host) friends and family who ask to stay with you over special holidays and occasions. Try implementing these tips to help you stick with your boundaries and feel more comfortable over the festive season.