I found one of my favorite quotes about hospitality in Food & Wine Magazine, when they interviewed Bronson van Wyck.  He said, “Hospitality in its truest form was always about giving respite to travelers.  If people have traveled to see you, you want to make it worth their while.”  I love that!

With Christmas just around the corner, I’m getting ready for guests.  Are you?

Here’s my “Hospitality Checklist” for making sure that guests are nice and comfy when they stay in my home this holiday:

1.  A welcome Basket  with the basics – snacks (sweet and savory, or guest favorites if I know them), water, Blistex, lotion and allergy medicine (hey, West Texas is DRY I tell you!).  I also like to include a new loofah and personalized gift of some sort (stationery or a Jon Hart airport chico are my usual go-tos).  I also print a “welcome” card with my Wi-fi password and house alarm information, as well as a house key if they need it.


2.  Plenty of bottled water in the fridge, as well as the guest’s favorite beverage on hand.  Whether it’s decaf coffee, whiskey, Dr Pepper or apple juice, I like to have a familiar drink for my guests on hand if possible.  It just puts people at ease when there’s something familiar away from home.  In fact, if I know someone new is coming, I like email them a little survey to fill out.  It’s super dorky, but it helps me plan!  If you want a chuckle, you can see my nerdy survey here.  (ha)

3.  Fresh towels and sheets, because everyone likes a clean place to sleep and bathe.  There’s nothing more off-putting then staying with a friend who clearly hasn’t cleaned the sheets since their last guest.  I believe in a “hotel experience” – so it’s really important to me that the room is fresh and ready for guests at any time (even spur of the moment) Even if those guests are my parents (and they were here the previous weekend), I refresh the room when they leave (you never know).

4.  Speaking of bathing, I like to stock my guest bathroom with a few basics:  Poo Pourri (not a joke, it works), bubble bath, extra toilet paper, plenty of towels, toothpaste, floss, rubber ducky toys for the kiddos, and extra “guest” toothbrushes (these wooden ones are my faves, aren’t they cute?).

DSC_0177sm5.  Food.  To cook.  Because there’s something really special about making a meal and eating “at home” with your guests.  If you’re feeling extra hospitable, plan to have enough groceries to cook one of two menu options (just in case your guests have dietary restrictions or preferences).  I’ve found that meals around the table with friends and family who come to visit is often my favorite time of their visit!

Do you have any great tips for welcoming guests into your home?  I’d love to hear them!