The cookies are baked and the stockings are hung. The turkey is stuffed and “Santa” has wrapped all the gifts. All the dust bunnies have been coaxed from their hiding places and the tree is a sparkling masterpiece. There’s an air mattress in the craft room for Aunt Lucy and Uncle Harold and a row of sleeping bags next to the fireplace in the family room, so all the kids can “camp out”. Grandma and Grandpa will sleep in Simon’s room and Aunt Polly and Uncle George will be comfy in the spare bedroom. Relax. Everything is on schedule and going fine.
“Surprise! Uncle Cosmo and Aunt Harriet will be able to come and celebrate with the family, after all! That’s so cool!”
“Fantastic! — Wait? Where are they going to sleep?”
“Well, the bathtub is pretty big.” (Insert blank stare, here.)
lol You laugh, but I remember a Colorado vacation as a kid where my folks and the five of us kids traveled in a fifth wheel camper with my grandparents. My youngest brother DID sleep in the bathtub on that trip and lived to tell the tale! We were cramped, with 9 people in a single camper, but since the point of a trip to Colorado is being outdoors, it wasn’t that big a deal. Providing a comfortable, welcoming place for holiday guests is a LITTLE more complicated. Don’t worry. Hampton Hotels has your back.
Hampton Hotels is all about celebrating the little moments that make a big difference through what the brand refers to as Hamptonality. Hamptonality has five basic tenets:
- Unexpected delight
- Being anticipatory
- Sharing a compliment
- Providing a moment of humor
- Showing empathy
There are 1900 Hampton locations and each of them serves a free, hot breakfast with fresh waffles, each morning. They also provide free wired, or wireless, high-speed Internet in every guest room, so you or your guests can share pictures and updates about your Christmas celebration. And I don’t know if you’ve ever stayed at a Hampton Hotel, before, but I have, on several occasions, and my favorite thing about them is one of the features they take a lot of pride in, too — their beds! I love the crisp, clean, white sheets and pillowcases, and the luxurious, high pile duvets with soft, white duvet covers. That comforter is featherlight and yet, incredibly warm and comfortable. So many people love Hampton Hotels bedding that it is actually available to purchase for your home! Now, THAT’s a Christmas gift I could get excited about. 🙂
So, seriously. Don’t put Uncle Cosmo and Aunt Harriet in the bathtub. Set them up to enjoy the most fabulous family holiday rest they can remember. Give them your bed! 🙂 And you go take a break and relax just a little, from all your holiday preparations with a night at your nearest Hampton Hotel! You deserve it! lol Ok. You COULD probably send Cosmo and Harriet over to the Hampton. That would be good, too! Either way means you and all of your guest are comfortable and you can relax and focus on what is most important – enjoying them and making great family memories! Everyone will wake well rested, and excited, for your Christmas festivities.
Hampton Hotels has also partnered with entertaining expert, Jenny Steffens Hobick, to share some holiday hosting advice that I heartily concur with. These simple tips can help you slow down and enjoy the holiday along with your guests. Here are a few of Jenny’s suggestions:
Be prepared with lots of snacks – We all get a little grouchy when we’re hungry – adults and kids alike! Anticipate those moments by having snacks planned for afternoons and before dinner to keep everyone happy. Be sure to include fresh options like fruit and crunchy veggies, along with filling cheeses and more decadent treats so you have something for everyone.
Plan one special night for the adults – The holidays are really all about the kids, but it can be really nice for the adults to get some time for themselves, too. Hire a babysitter for the night for the children (or let the grandparents take over), so the parents can enjoy a special night out on the town. Everyone (even the kids!) will appreciate a night of freedom. [As a grandma, I suggest the babysitter. Grandma and Grandpa want to go out with the grown-ups, too! :)]
Stock up on extras – Don’t forget to stock up on extra necessities like shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, contact solution, and other toiletries that guests tend to forget! Take a cue from your local Hampton and anticipate everything that your guests may need and put a basket chock full of products right in their bathroom or bedroom.
Make your home “help yourself” friendly – Guests oftentimes feel like they are “in the way,” so make sure that your home is “guest-friendly” before they arrive. Set up a refreshment center that is available to them daily – coffee in the mornings, bottles of water to take for the day, portable snacks to have at home or on the road, etc. Make a list of local area “hot spots” with their phone numbers and websites that they can easily reference and tack it on the refrigerator. Make a few sets of spare keys, so that people can easily come and go as they please. Basically, be their “at home” concierge.
Ask your guests do some work – Make your guests feel useful by asking them to help with tasks you know they’ll enjoy. Give your mother-in-law the ultimate compliment by asking her to help you make her famous chocolate pie for dessert. If you’re hosting young nieces, ask them to help make the table decorations because they’re such great crafters. It’s a great compliment to your guests to make them feel like they are PART of the activities, rather than just spectating.
Prepare! – Do as much preparation in advance as you can. Plan menus around recipes that can be made ahead of time – freezer-friendly, one-dish meals like lasagna, or a hearty-braised beef stew are great options when serving a crowd. Run a supermarket sweep a few days before for toiletries. Do your own laundry before guests arrive, so that the washer and dryer can be available for them, if necessary. The ultimate holiday hosts know that being prepared is the absolute best way to make your guests feel welcome in your home because you can actually enjoy them while they are there!
I hope you will ALL be blessed to be surrounded by those who love you, friends and family, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior! May your Christmas be blessed with love, laughter, fabulous food and no house guests in the bathtub!
Follow Hampton Hotels on their social media channels to find out all they have planned for you for the holidays and be sure to enter this fabulous giveaway!
MomTrends / Hampton Hotels “Holiday Hosting” Twitter party: 12/17 /2013 at 1 p.m. EST
To enter the giveaway for a one-night stay at a Hampton Hotel, share one of your favorite Christmas memories, in a comment on this post! Once you’re finished, register your comment, in the Rafflecopter form, below, and several optional entries will become available to increase your chances of winning the drawing.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Hampton Hotel via MomTrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Hampton or Momtrends.