While many social occasions surrounding Christmas are anticipated for months in advance, unexpected pop-ins are also the norm this time of year.
Rather than being caught off-guard, individuals can take steps to prepare for unexpected guests.
Have food available
Even if guests pop in for a little while, it’s nice to be able to offer them something to eat. Keep cheese and crackers, fresh fruit, pretzels, and other snacks on hand.
Make-ahead, crowd-friendly foods can be prepared and frozen. Casseroles, pasta dishes and stews are hearty and can serve in a pinch when unexpected visitors arrive. Simply take out to defrost and heat up.
Keep cookies in airtight tins and purchase a pre-made frozen pie to serve, if necessary. In a pinch, you can always order out, but over time the cost of having food delivered can add up.
Keep the bar stocked
Toasting to a happy holiday season is the norm during this time of year. Toasting requires hosts to have some spirits on hand.
Stock the bar with a few staples, such as red and white wine, vodka, rum, whiskey and mixers. Also, you may just want to create a signature or seasonal cocktail that can be served when guests arrive, such as a spiced punch or a holiday eggnog.
Cue the playlist
Put together a playlist of favourite holiday music that will provide the ideal ambiance should guests ring your doorbell.
Thanks to services like Spotify, Amazon Music and Pandora, holiday music that fills a home with the sweet sounds of the season is now always accessible.
Keep things neat
Set aside a closet or space that can serve as a catch-all where errant items can quickly be stored should guests arrive.
Gather loose toys, books or stray papers in a basket and then stash the basket in the closet until guests depart. Routinely empty the dishwasher so dirty dishes left in the sink can be quickly loaded before guests arrive.
Create an aromatic atmosphere
Scented candles that evoke the aromas of the season can refresh stale indoor air.
Butter cookie-, apple pie- and cinnamon-scented candles can make it seem like you just finished some holiday baking.
Guests tend to drop by on a moment’s notice come the holidays. Preparing for the unexpected can make such visits more enjoyable.