This article originally appeared on the Springs "You're Home Blog."
Will this be the first holiday season on your own in your new Springs Apartments home? Even if you've celebrated several holidays, preparing your home can present an annual challenge. We've come to the rescue with some no muss, no fuss tips to get your home ready for the festivities.
1. "Good Enough" Really IS Good Enough
First order of business is to give yourself an attitude adjustment. Your home does not have to look like a photo from the pages of Martha Stewart Living. Friends and family are coming to spend time with you, not your apartment. Obsessing over preparations will leave you too stressed out to be good company.
2. Make Sure the Bathroom is Well-Stocked
Whether guests come for the evening or stay overnight, the powder room will be used by all. Avoid emergency trips for toilet paper, hand soap or other necessities by keeping a ready supply. Add a gracious touch by setting out a tray or basket holding helpful items like hand lotion, dental floss and a stain removal stick. If you have overnight guests, include shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and extra toothbrushes.
3. Games: They're Not Just for Kids
Games are a great way to provide lively entertainment that encourages interaction. Have a few on hand along with a couple decks of playing cards for those casual spur-of-the-moment get-togethers.
4. Go for the Natural Look
Decorating with items like holly, pine cones, berries and fruit creates a warm, natural look. Candles cast a soft glow that is more soothing and attractive than artificial lighting. Seasonal scents like cinnamon apple or pine add sensory appeal. As a bonus, you can continue to enjoy these decorations after the holidays are over.
5. DIY Centerpiece
A holiday centerpiece doesn't have to be expensive and elaborate. Just fill a large bowl with ornaments for a simple but elegant piece. It serves double duty when you invite guests to select an ornament as a parting gift.
6. Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Stock up on snacks and appetizers that need little or no preparation. Gourmet crackers, cheese, hummus, pita chips, salsa, olives and pickled vegetables are easy choices that are a step up from potato chips and dip. You might want to include heat-and-eat items like mini-quiches or meatballs. If you don't want to maintain a full "bar," a bottle of red, a bottle of white, some craft beer and soft drinks will cover basic beverage needs.
Are you a pro when it comes to holiday entertaining? Leave a comment telling us about your one must-have item!