It’s 2 PM on a crisp fall day, the chatter of family rising and falling around you. Football flashes on the living room TV, and the most amazing buttery/savory/make-your-stomach-growl smell fills the air. You guessed it—Thanksgiving day. A well-executed holiday meal is magic. But like all things with a delicious payoff, there’s work to be done leading up to the big day, especially if overnight guests are involved. A little planning ahead can ensure you and your guests stay happy and healthy this holiday season. Take a look at our guide to surviving Thanksgiving guest prep so you can enjoy the day and all the joy (and turkey and mashed potatoes and pie) that come with it.
Linens and Towels
The first step of guest prep is ensuring your linen closet is stocked with clean, soft sheets and towels. If your towels or sheets are looking a little threadbare, considering shopping for yourself and your guests. Guest planning can be the perfect chance to spruce up the practical, everyday items that sometimes get overlooked. Tip: Stock up on a few extra sheet sets so laundry duty doesn’t interrupt your visit.
Want to really impress your guests? Ask for their preferred sleep style ahead of time, and stock their room with the perfect pillow match. Bonus points if you can tell them why it’s the best match for their sleep style.
Stomach sleepers will appreciate a flat option that helps them avoid a crick-in-the-neck situation, back sleepers will want something that conforms to the shoulders and doesn’t push the head too far forward, and side sleepers need a lofty model that bridges the gap between head and shoulder. Hot sleepers will be thrilled with a cooling gel pillow—especially if you like to keep your house a little warmer in the winter.
If your old mattress lives in the guest room, chances are it’s not in the best shape. If your guests are staying multiple nights or if they’re a little older, you’ll want to make sure the comfort level is up to par. A traditional innerspring mattress with a medium-firm comfort level will appeal to the widest audience. For a great guest room value, consider the Hampton and Rhodes’ mattress line.
Depending on how hot or cool your guests sleep, it’s a good idea to give them a few blanket options—some lighter and some heavier—that they can peel off or snuggle under during the night.
If turkey dinner is the main attraction, keep your fridge stocked with smaller snackables that’ll keep guests sated but not stuffed. Cheese and crackers, fruit and yogurt, or sliced veggies and hummus are popular and won’t fill up your guests before the big meal.
A gift basket filled with sleep essentials (think slippers, a lightly scented candle, bottled water, and a good book) is a great way to welcome your guests into your home. They’ll feel immediately cared for and at ease and will appreciate the great night’s sleep that inevitably follows.
Take Time to Yourself
Fun and rewarding, yes, but holiday planning is also a lot of work. Make sure you’re giving yourself plenty of down time to rest and relax in the midst of preparations. If stress starts to get you down, try deep breathing, mediation or yoga to make sure it doesn’t get in the way of quality sleep. Remember to focus on the positives (family time, health, an abundance of food) and let the little things roll off your back.