Take the stress out of host­ing fam­ily and friends with our guide to happy hol­i­days, writes Robyn Wil­lis

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FOCUS - Robyn.wil­

To para­phrase the great Charles Dick­ens, Christ­mas can be the best of times and the worst of times. Most of us gen­uinely en­joy spend­ing time with fam­ily and friends at this time of year but there’s no doubt that, when you’re host­ing, there’s a lot of work in­volved.

If you have the added plea­sure — or pressure — of hav­ing guests stay­ing with you, there’s so much more to think about, from where to set up their bed to what time to serve break­fast, lunch and din­ner.

Bet­ter Homes & Gar­dens pre­sen­ter and se­rial crafter Tara Den­nis (pic­tured) says hav­ing peo­ple stay with you does re­quire a bit of pa­tience: “You do have to be a bit tol­er­ant. If you need some space, go for a walk and re­mem­ber — it’s not for­ever.”

Ready for any­thing

While some overnight guests might be ex­pected weeks in ad­vance, for oth­ers it might be more spon­ta­neous, es­pe­cially af­ter a big night, says in­te­rior de­signer for Kur­mond Homes, Cassie Mobbs.

“A lot of peo­ple like to stay home to en­ter­tain now, es­pe­cially with the lock­out laws,” Cassie says. “They might have friends over for a drink and then they stay over.

“We have friends in the next sub­urb with a guest bed­room and when we get to­gether, we know there is a spare bed if we want it.”

Whether you’re the host or the guest this year, keep in mind the words of Ben­jamin Franklin: “Guests, like fish, be­gin to smell af­ter three days.’’

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