Remember when you invited the whole family to your cabin for the holidays? It seemed like a great idea at the time, but now you’re starting to have your doubts: “How will I feed 20-plus people?” “Where will they all sleep?” And “What was I thinking?” Before panic sets in, take heart–we've compiled our best tips to make the holidays enjoyable for everyone (host included!). Stress less and help your cabin guests feel welcome when hosting over the holidays with these tips:
1. Decorate together.
Has trimming your primary home left you short on holiday décor for the cabin? Instead of purchasing more, encourage your guests to bring some of their own ornaments or find objects outside (e.g., pine cones) to hang on the tree.
2. BYOB (bring your own bedding).
If your guests ask what they can bring, politely suggest that they pack their own sheets, pillowcases, comforters, etc. When your guests leave, the linen laundry goes with them.
3. Contain the stuff.
Give each guest his or her own container (e.g., galvanized pail, wire basket, etc.) to store toiletries and such.
4. Schedule showers.
Keep the peace by posting a chalkboard or whiteboard near the bathroom where guests can sign up for showering times.
5. Make mealtimes easier.
Plan meals that will feed twice (once as leftovers). Look for opportunities to make or prep food before your guests arrive. Have plenty of grab-and-go snacks on hand and invite guests to help themselves.
6. Increase table space.
Lay planks of wood across two sawhorses, then cover the makeshift surface with a festive tablecloth.
7. If your guests offer to pitch in, let them.
Hand off small tasks like setting the table or doing the dishes. This way, everyone feels like he or she has participated or contributed to the event.
8. Make clean-up a snap.
Don’t be afraid to use disposable, recyclable dishes and utensils to cut back on the wash load. Clearly label cleaning supplies and organizing containers, and keep them in plain view.
9. Bust boredom.
Create a list of activities to choose from, and keep plenty of board and card games on hand for both the young and the young at heart. Create a small library of books and magazines, and encourage guests to swap titles they’ve already read.
10. Capture the memories.
Display a scrapbook or journal so your guests can record their favorite cabin moments.