Holiday season is here, and with that comes a lot of quality time with loved ones and inviting people into your home. There’s so much fuss about the menu during the holidays, but a true hostess knows that food isn’t the only thing that creates a welcoming atmosphere for your guests. For those who are holiday hosting, it is important to create a warm and inviting environment.

There are simple solutions to turning a house into a home for hosting guests. Cue the music. Dim the lights. Here’s how to create a warm vibe when hosting this Christmas.

Make the Entryway Welcoming

Your entryway is the first thing your guests will see. Make a good impression as soon as your guests arrive at your door. You don’t want it to be dirty, so sweep away dirt, dust, leaves and spiderwebs. Clean the entryway, and add some holiday decor to spice it up. Drape some fun lights around the door, add a festive door mat, hang a wreath and place a few, fragrant potted plants to make the entryway festive. 

Play With Festive Decor

Hospitality and entertaining expert Charese J, the owner of Charese J Entertaining, suggests selecting decorations that reflect the holiday you’re celebrating. 

“For Christmas, I always love using garland and ornaments that can be used both and off the tree,” she says. “For a New Year’s Eve celebration, you can create a party vibe with sparkly and shimmer elements like placemats, runners, or a linen. It’s all about the shine.”

Keep Your Space Open and Clutter-Free

When your home is cluttered, it creates an atmosphere that feels like it’s in disarray. This can be distracting and overwhelming for your guests. Instead, create a space for your guest that is open, organized, and clutter-free. A minimal space will ultimately be more welcoming to your guests.

Provide Ample Seating

One of the best ways to make your home feel welcoming this Christmas is to offer ample seating for your guests. Set up chairs in an open area, place pillows on chairs and bring out your stools and loveseats. Whatever seating you have, take it out and make room for your guests.

Be Intentional About the Bathroom

The bathroom can easily be overlooked, but it’s actually a space that you should put a lot of care and intention into when you are hosting guests. Start by cleaning your bathroom. You should wipe down the counters, refill the toilet paper, rinse the tub and remove dirty towels. Place fluffy, fresh towels on the counter, refill the hand soap and light candles. 

“For candle selection, choose a seasonal scent to set the holiday mood,” she says. “During the holidays, I love using candles scented with spruce, bergamont or cardamon citrus.”

Add Personal Touches

When holiday hosting, add warmth to the space by adding family photos around the mantle, lighting candles throughout the home, placing pillows on the chairs and sofas and adding some plants or flowers by the window seal. These small touches will add a coziness and homey feel to your home that will make your guests feel welcome.