Having Family Home for the Festive Season

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Christmas is one of the primary times each year when families spend time with each other. For some it may even be the one and only time, if relatives live abroad, for example. For many parents in their 50s and 60s, Christmas time is when their grown-up children return from university or their new lives in various locations to spend a week or two back in the family home.

Depending on how often family members see each other at other times of the year, the Christmas holidays with various relatives living under the same roof again can sometimes feel rather strange. What can be done to make everyone feel more comfortable?


Although it can be tempting for parents to naturally want to wait hand and foot on their children who have come to stay for Christmas, it can actually make the child feel guilty. Letting them help with putting up Christmas decorations, wrap presents and even pitch in with preparing the Christmas dinner will help them feel like they’re making a contribution towards the family having a good time1.

Homely touches

Being provided with a comfortable bed in a guestroom in a warm home is reassuring in Having Family Home itself but to make guests feel even more welcome, consider laying lovingly folded towels on the bed along with some slippers and perhaps even a small box of chocolates for that special touch1.

Positioning a traditional clock in a guest room can make a home seem more comfortable, as can the provision of Wi-Fi so they can keep in touch with their contacts over social media and check their emails.

Practical steps

If your home doesn’t have a private room for guests, who will therefore end up sleeping on a sofa-bed in the office, for example, make sure you declutter and tidy the room before they arrive so that they don’t feel they have placed you under undue stress. Open the window to allow fresh air into the room in advance of their arrival and if it’s a room that typically gets cold, ensure the radiators are turned on for their stay.


Family members returning to the family home for Christmas may be used to living on their own or having entirely different routines, so although life is about respect and compromise, it’s sensible to realise they may wish to be alone at times.

We all lead busy lives these days so don’t be upset if a son, daughter or other relative who has come to stay over the festive holidays needs to spend a couple of hours per day keeping on top of their work or maintaining a healthy exercise routine they may have worked hard to develop3.

Another aspect to consider is providing physical room in which to open their suitcase, preventing guests feeling cramped and unable to get comfortable in their surroundings2.

Showing consideration

Staying in the family home at any time of year can bring back memories for relatives. These can sometimes be painful, such as relationships that have now ended, family members who have passed away, or other stressful times4. It’s important to act considerate of others in these circumstances and not cause any unnecessary arguments or unhappiness.

Focus on enjoyment

It’s fair to say that underlying issues affect a lot of families but for the sake of everyone having the best possible time at Christmas, try to forget about any grudges and focus on the positives. You should also take a moment to spare a thought for less fortunate families5.

Genuine smiles, loving warmth and practical considerations shown during the festive holidays will give the family an excellent chance of a happy New Year ahead.


  1. http://www.stonegableblog.com/tips-for-a-cozy-guest-room-during-christmas/
  2. http://home.bt.com/lifestyle/christmas/9-ways-to-prepare-your-home-for-christmas-house-guests-11363858441716
  3. http://lifehacker.com/5961297/top-10-ways-to-survive-going-home-for-the-holidays
  4. http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/features/home-for-the-holdays-stress-tips
  5. ttp://greatist.com/happiness/avoid-family-stress-holidays
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