A Minimal Thanksgiving: 7 Ways to Help Your Thanksgiving Guests Feel Welcome

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Oh my. Can you believe it’s November already?

It’s like Halloween for us was almost an afterthought this year. We move straight from jack-o-lanterns to pumpkin pie, goblins and ghouls to turkey and green beans, and from trick or treat to Thanksgiving.

With Thanksgiving may come some stresses - so we’re going to be talking about how to make your life easier, happier, and streamlined for this holiday season.

First of all - let’s talk about a big stress for people: having people stay with you.

Whether it’s your friends who are crashing on your couch, relatives coming in from out of town, or your first time hosting your in-laws for Thanksgiving, having guests stay with you is wonderful and amazing - but it also can be stressful.

Don’t worry, being stressed about it doesn’t make you a bad person - in fact, it just shows that you want to ensure that their stay is as comfortable and awesome as possible - but you want to be happy that someone is staying with you, not dreading or being anxious about it.

You want to make sure that your guests are comfortable and happy when they’re staying with you, and frankly it can seem a bit harrowing to try and think of everything to keep them comfortable.

We’ve hosted friends and family over the years,, and have learned a couple things along the way that we hope will make your role as a host easier!

1. Provide clean sheets and towels and linens

Of course making sure the bed has freshly laundered sheets is a must, but we like to go the extra mile to ensuring everyone is comfortable. We also like to provide extra pillows in case they want some more support or cushioning when in bed, an extra blanket or two in case they get chilly, and plenty of towels for their use in the bathroom.

If you really want to make your guests feel luxurious, provide bath robes for them. Not only will it make them feel absolutely pampered, but it makes using the shower less stressful too!

2. Make sure you take care of the electronics aspect

We are all connected these days, and your guests are no exception.

We like to leave the wifi password in the guest bedroom so that our guests don’t feel awkward asking for it. Teens and kids especially will appreciate your wi-fi :)

Having charging stations or a power strip available is important so people can charge their phones, especially if you’re having a lot of people over for an extended period of time. You can use the power strips or outlets with the built-in USB ports as well.

3. Stock your refrigerator like a mini-bar

Despite their bad wrap, mini-bars are really a great idea in concept. A small cooler stocked with all sorts of delightful chilled bottles of water and soda, little snacks that aren’t too big, but enough to get you by until you can get real food.

We like to stock up on coffee, tea, sparkling water and other beverages in case our guests get thirsty. A little basket with small assortments of snacks, maybe some fresh fruit in the kitchen, and items in the fridge like single serve yogurts or cheese cubes are great to have on hand. Just make sure you show your guests where they are and welcome them to help themselves.

4. Fresh flowers are always welcome

Nothing is more thoughtful than stocking fresh flowers in a guest’s room.

You see, it takes thought and effort to go out and get fresh flowers. Even if they are cut from your garden, it shows that you have gone the extra mile to think about them, are excited for them to be here, and want to ensure that they feel welcomed and appreciated.

Even male guests will appreciate it, even if they may not voice it.

5. Have activities around - or planned at least

Just in case you sense that your guests may be bored, it’s great to have an activity ready in the wings. Favorite movies and television shows are always a great staple to have (Britannia, Kim’s Convenience, and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are our favorites to introduce people to at the moment) but depending on your guests this can be anything from an impromptu game of touch football to an evening of Cards Against Humanity.

You don’t have to feel obligated to offer the activity - but have it just in case. Also a great way to integrate people who may not be as familiar with everyone (like a sibling’s significant other).

6. Schedule flex time

If you’re like us, you’re going to feel the need to be constantly hovering over your guests to ensure that they’re well fed, hydrated, sleeping well and happy and healthy.

Resist that urge. Not only for your guests, but also for you.

Take some time to part ways, let your guests hang out in their room or have some quiet time. Let the brain relax and enjoy the moment.

Even better, schedule some flex time out of the house if you can. Take your entire family with you if you need to - it will be a great time for your guests to relax - maybe make some phone calls, take a nap, listen to some music or watch a movie. Let them be.

7. Enjoy time with your guests

After your flex time (and you’ve let your guests have some alone time) make sure also that you’re enjoying your guests’ stay.

Sometimes, with the holiday and intentions to make plans and keeping everyone happy, we don’t leave ourselves enough time to enjoy the experience.

Even if you’re busy shopping, cooking, and managing and directing everyone during the holiday, make sure you set aside some time for you to spend with your loved ones. Yes, the dishes may need to start soaking, and yes, there may be a hundred things that need to be taken care of. But they can wait. Live in the moment and enjoy it.