. Preparing for Unexpected Guests, Meals, Gift Needs

There will be some surprises this holiday season.  They usually fall into three categories.  You will have some unexpected overnight guests which will need accommodating sometime during the next two months.  You will have to prepare an unexpected meal somewhere along the way (which needs to be just a little nicer than your usual fare), and you will have some unexpected gift needs.  You can be organized and prepared for such eventualities.  You can do it now and then relax.  May I suggest how?

Unexpected Guests – Have a drawer (or box) stored where you keep the supplies which you put out when company comes.  This might include a set of sheets and pillowcases for the hide-a-bed, those towels which only company uses, and a fresh toothpaste tube and bar of soap.  Also include some small paper cups and a pretty box of tissue.  When company comes, welcome them heartily and while they are visiting with the rest of the family, you can quickly and easily prepare for their stay.  Just go to your “company” drawer and all your supplies are waiting and ready.  You won’t have to run here and there finding an extra that and a spare of this.  Your company will feel special and needed because of your thoughtfulness and you can enjoy their surprise visit more!

Unexpected Meals –  It is also helpful to plan a “company” meal.  It should be a menu which can be assembled from supplies you have on hand at all times, and it should also be easy to prepare.  For myself, I usually serve canned ravioli, along with frozen, buttered green beans, garlic toast, and a thirty-minute homemade cookie cake (meaning it takes that long to prepare, bake and serve).  It is important to know exactly what you will serve when company shows up unexpectedly for then you won’t be in a panic, have to make a trip to the store, or feel pressured to default to eating out (which is fine occasionally but a little hard on the budget when you don’t know it is coming).

Unexpected Gift Needs –  The organized homemaker also has several small gifts wrapped and prepared for unexpected holiday needs.  These gifts are generic in nature, meaning they can serve their purpose in many circumstances.  They are wrapped in neutral gift wrap so the addition of a bow and a small appropriate card serves your purposes well.  For instance, you may choose to keep a set of small jams/jellies for giving to men, some bath oil for women, a card game for teenagers, or a bag of funny-shaped balloons for children.  Whatever you choose, wrap the gifts and keep them handy for your unexpected needs.

When you are prepared for the unexpected, you will be ready for special guests, can serve a meal to company on thirty-minute’s notice, and can produce a gift when it is needed.  You will just have a better holiday season!   Three ways, three preparations, and a whole different kind of holiday season!

Find more helpful ideas in “House of Order” Handbook.

Photo from sxc.hu.  Used with permission.


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