Holiday Hostessing

As you all know, my parents were in town over the weekend for a brief visit.  We had such a good time, and I find myself looking anxiously forward to the next time I have them come.  It was a blast.  The truth is, I really enjoy playing the role of Hostess.  I’m not sure why, inasmuch as I’m not really a gracious or caring person in my normal life, but when people come to visit me, I just thrive on trying to make their stay as perfect as possible.  Maybe it’s because I’ve always harbored a desire to open a bed and breakfast.  Maybe I just like showing off.  I don’t know the reason—I only know it’s true.

At any rate, though I am far from being a perfect hostess (it would take several more million dollars and an acreage with a farmhouse in upstate New York for me to fully embrace that role, Eddie Ross-Style), I do try to do my best.  I think I’ve picked up a few helpful hints over the past few years since I moved to Canada and became a travel destination for Arizona friends and family trying to escape the summer heat.  And, as per my motto, my blog would not be my blog if I failed to share good things with you through it.  So share I will…

Camille’s Low-to-Mid-budget and Time-Saving Tips for Holiday or Any Other Time Hostessing:


I like to ensure my guests have the best possible sleeping arrangements.  That way, when they wake up in the morning and I ask, “How did you sleep?” {as is polite hostessing protocol, by the way}, I don’t have to cringe and expect the worst.  Here’s what I do to make the most of our guest room arrangements:

1. Bedding—if you can splurge on anything, splurge on this. We have two guest beds (one Queen, one King) in two different bedrooms, and both of them are castoffs from various family members who upgraded.  They’re fine beds, but a bit old.  They’re certainly nothing fancy—they don’t even have headboards.  We bought memory foam toppers for them, which helps them feel a bit more cozy, and have invested in nice bedding for each of them (silky smooth sheets and huge fluffy duvets) to make our guests’ sleep as restful as possible.  Since the beds themselves were free, we could rationalise spending a little bit of money to fancy them up (and actually, I think it was Poor Kyle’s poor mother who bought the memory foam toppers, so score!).

Kirkland Brand Sheets

Even if you can only spare a couch or a fold-out bed, consider buying a $60 set of Kirkland™ brand sheets from Costco to make up a nice bed, instead of condemning your guests to the lumpy cushions and a stinky blanket.  Also, don’t forget to have one or two spare blankets laying aside, should your guests lean toward the chilly side.

2.  Room Decor—if you’re poor like me, don’t even bother with it. Yeah, it would be nice to have themed guest rooms that actually had window hangings and pictures on the walls, but most of the time they’re in there, my guests are sleeping, and wouldn’t be able to enjoy the prettiness even if it existed.  That’s why I say, if you only have $10 to spend, spend it on a pillow for the bed rather than a picture for the wall.

3.  Clock—it would be useful, and your guests would appreciate having one somewhere in the room. I have had complaints from numerous house guests that they never know what time it is, because I have been so sparse with the room decor.  I’m sorry, house guests.  I just assumed that you would use your cell phones for a clock and alarm clock.  I need to make this a priority before the next guest comes.

Ikea alarm clock

I plan on purchasing two of these dearies from Ikea™ next time I’m in one.  I’ve always liked them.

4.  Smell—thirty minutes before your guests arrive, spritz air freshener in their room. It will make them think highly of you.  I use Bath and Body Works™ Concentrated Room Sprays, because they smell SO lovely (not all chemically like the ones from the grocery store), and linger for hours.

Bath and Body Works Room SprayPlease, though, only buy these when they are on SUPER sale.  Five dollars for 1.5 ounces (regular price) is a horrible rip-off, and not low-budget at all.  I, myself, like to get these as gifts (thanks, sis!).  If you could arrange that, it would be ideal.

Conversely, you could just plug in an air freshener in their room during their stay, but if it’s too strong, that won’t be a favourable amenity to your guests.  My sister unplugged one last summer because it got on her nerves.  Sorry, sis.

5.  Light—have it. Obviously, the possibilities are kind of limitless when it comes to lighting. Me, I have just a normal overhead light (again, someday, farmhouse, chandeliers, awesomeness) and a nightstand lamp.  That way, my guests can turn off the light and climb in bed, and then read by lamplight if they need to, without getting out of the comfy bed I’ve prepared for them.

Some other little conveniences to consider: I TRY to have a little basket of goodies set up for my guests (don’t always get to this, though).  It includes hotel shampoo and conditioner, a tiny bottle of lotion, a water bottle, and maybe a little snack.  I set this on a stack of folded towels, and then my guests should be set for their ablutions, should they happen to forget anything.  Plus, who doesn’t love surprises in baskets after a long day of travel?  It’s just fun.

Okay, that’s all I’ve got for the sleeping arrangements.  Do you have any other ideas that I’ve never considered?  If so, please tell me—I am always looking for ways to be more impressive and amazing.  Wink, wink.  Also, stay tuned for more house guest tips: bathroom, kitchen, and miscellaneous.  It’s going to be a very guestful week here at Archives of Our Lives™.

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
This entry was posted in do what I say, family, Overall Good Things, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Holiday Hostessing

  1. Jordan says:

    I’m such a bad hostess when people come to visit us. I like to blame it on the fact that we live in a tiny little place where everyone has to share the one bathroom, and the only place for them to sleep is on the futon in our living room.
    But I am a married person and should strive to be better than that! Thanks for making some goals for me :)

  2. Cristin says:

    Wow, I am such a lousy hostess. Last time my sister came she had to make a bed out of couch cushions on the floor. It was pretty miserable for her. Good tips.

  3. This is how bad of a hostess I am: instead of using our spare rooms as guest bedrooms, one is my office and one is Clint’s music room. Ha! So nobody ever stays with us, and maybe that was on purpose… Someday though, I’ll be better.

    Anyway, when can I come visit?

  4. I’m so excited for the follow-up posts!

    I love love to be a hostess. Of course, we’ve never had anyone stay the night in our little one bedroom apartment, but I definitely go all-out when we have anyone over for dinner or otherwise. I really want to try the bed bath and beyond sprays. I have a hard time with a lot of scents, but haven’t even thought to try theirs. And the mini gift basket idea is genius! I think I’m going to do that every time we have someone over. In the future of course.

    Every time you post about something you want or would like I always think, “Oh gee I should order that and have it delivered to her house (since I’m so rich and all).” and my next thought is that you don’t for reals know me and I don’t know you and that would probably just be weird and creepy and I’m already weird and creepy too often. Plus where would I send it to? Camille…in….Canada.

  5. Yeah I meant bed bath and body works. Sorry, I’ve had the other place on my mind today.

  6. Wow Camille, you are legit!! I’m coming to your house!

  7. chelsie says:

    I use my cell as an alarm.

  8. Okay I love this post. Possibly one of my favorites of yours, crazy huh? I think this is why… I love hostessing and I love guests. I also love nice bedding and I love lists. Plus I love to please people. The only thing you forgot to mention was to have chocolates on the pillow. You don’t know how excited I was when you and Kyle came to visit Cayman just so that I could put chocolates on the pillows. :)

  9. Kristy says:

    My aunt (on the other side of the family) is the best host! she has a basket similar to yours with engraved towels on it in your own initials. In the morning she has all fairly easy breakfast stuff layed out on her island so she doesn’t have to do a huge breakfast but the guest doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable looking for everything nad not sure what to take etc. The only con for going to her place as a guest though is that it takes about 5 minutes to take off every throw pillow and another to put them all back on in the morning. I think my mom counted 50 throw pillows on the

  10. Camberley says:

    I love the Brown Sugar and Fig scent from Bath and Body Works. Last time I was in there they said they had discontinued the scent. I was devastated.


  11. Chloe says:

    Great tips! Thank you Camille!!
    You’ve saved my Christmas! haha :)

  12. Carmen says:

    I too love hosting. You have a king size guest bed? We are coming over and sleeping sometime. jks. We only feel like we need a king size bed when both the kids decide to come in our bed at the wee hours of the morning (6am) and want to sleep with us. Which doesn’t happen often because they are usually promptly sent back to their own beds or what usually happens is they sleep till 7. Jeff and I just got a new bed set from our Black friday shopping trip. It was only $35 and I love it. Add in a sheet set that are 700tc for $40 and you have a nice sleep awaiting you. I love our sheets. Used to not think there was a difference in sheets depending on TC, but I sure do now. Anyways enough of my rambling, obviously I need to go to bed.

  13. Kat says:

    DO NOT buy those Ikea alarm clocks! I too love how they look but I promise to God they will scare the living daylights out of you AND your guests. Had I been 20 years older I would have had a heart attack. So unless you hate your guests, don’t do it! If you must have one, take mine!!!!

Comments are closed.