No Guest Room? No Problem! Simple Tips for Holiday Hosting

The holidays are in full swing and often that means guests are coming and going in our homes. Since buying my first home almost two years ago, one of my favorite things has been to have people stay at our house. I find great joy out of creating a space for those I love to come and feel relaxed, comfortable, and at home. After several house guests, I have picked up a few tips to make hosting, especially Christmas hosting, a little simpler.

“Guest” Room

No guest room? No problem. We don’t have a dedicated guest room in our home. But, thanks to hand me downs, we have queen beds in two of our children’s bedrooms. We’ve picked the one with the most comfortable bed to be the designated “guest room” when people come to stay. Find something similar that may work for you, even a room with space for a comfy air mattress will work just fine! Some other simple ways to make a non-guest room feel like a guest room :

  • Clear a shelf or two in the room for your guest’s belongings. Set out a few things to make it inviting (more “guest room” and less “kid room” in our case). I love to put flowers, a box of tissues, and a basket of water bottles and snacks. Ever stayed somewhere and been thirsty or hungry at night but felt awkward asking or leaving the room when everyone else was asleep? Problem solved. The WiFi password doesn’t hurt, either.
  • Keep one or two sets of bedding on hand that are just for use when guests come to stay. I use the storage bags that previous comforters have come in and store a comforter or blanket and a set of sheets. We keep two on hand since we have two queen beds. It makes it so easy to just pull them down from the closet and instantly change the look of the room.
  • In the bathroom, clear a shelf, drawer, or cabinet for guests to store their things. Set out clean towels, extra toilet paper, and a bottle of shampoo and conditioner (Suave Coconut is my favorite).


You could say that food is our family’s love language. We love to make good food, eat good food, and find good food. Feeding a crowd can sometimes be intimidating, so here are a few ideas for easy meals:

  • Snacks & Appetizers: I love this for easy lunches for a crowd at home. Set out bowls of fruits and veggies, chips, and dips, a plate of lunch meats and cheese, a fun drink or two, and you have a delicious meal for all your guests. We did this recently when family came for the Thanksgiving holiday and it was such a hit.
  • Build your own: Any type of build your own meal is a great idea for company. Tacos, salads, sandwiches. Set out all the fixings and let your guests customize their meals.
  • Go out! Having guests in town is a great time to go out and show them your favorite local places. Our go-to restaurants are Hutchins BBQ, Babe’s, and Mexican food!


I’m great at the prep work for having company. But sometimes the planning of activities tends to stress me out a little. As an introvert and a homebody, it’s hard to come up with a list of ideas, especially with the pressure of pleasing a crowd!

  • Ask your guests! What do they want to do and see? An easy way to maximize activities is to choose a bigger activity and then just do a drive by of local sites to help your guests get to know your area.
  • Spend some time at home. Some of the best times we have with our guests is connecting over activities at home. We play games, watch movies, take a walk around the neighborhood, and play at the local park.
  • Keep your expectations flexible. With a lot of people comes a lot of feelings and expectations. It’s best to keep an open mind and positive attitude to maximize the opportunity for the best experience.

One of the best things about this season is the time spent with family and friends. Happy hosting!

Amanda Stewart
Amanda moved to the Dallas area as a child, moved away for college, but then returned “home” with her husband and new daughter. Now five years later, she and her family are putting down roots in Collin County. Her educational background is an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and a graduate degree in Early Childhood Studies. Most days you can find her doing her best to put her knowledge to work with 3 of the sweetest students around- born in 2010, 2014 and 2015. Once bedtime hits, you can find her doing some instructional design work, blogging, or finding the next great series on Netflix, usually with a cookie in hand. You can read more about her collection of thoughts on everything from motherhood and parenting to DIY and fitness, and whatever else is on her mind at her new blog <a href "" This Collective Life .