The holiday season brings with it many worries. But it should be noted that to make more room for joy, it's best to toss out some of those anxious what-ifs. When it comes to getting your home prepared for the holiday season, there are plenty of things you can cross off your worry list right here and now.
1. That you don't have a dedicated dining room
Hey look, we all from time to time dream of having a huge, decorated-to-perfection dining room for entertaining out-of-town guests and loved ones for the holidays, but don't worry one bit if you don't have that yet in your current home. Guests don't ever really mind having to squeeze into a space when there's good food and conversation, and no one says you've got to be traditional and serve your gorgeous holiday food spread at a big table anyway.
2. That you don't have guest bedrooms
Remember that folks are mainly coming to visit with you; your personality and welcoming attitude are more important than an entire guest room. Make the time, money and energy investments transforming whatever space you do have into as comfy a space as you can.
3. Whether you have enough dinnerware that matches
If you are planning a huge get-together at your place this holiday season, the pressure to have every detail perfect can be overwhelming. But one detail you shouldn't stress too much about is whether you have a huge matching set of fancy dinnerware. Yes — using the nice stuff is a great way to honor you and your guests, but very few people are going to care whether or not you have a no-chipped set of matching china for 20 people. Get creative to mix and match what you do have to set a table you'll love, mismatched plate and all. Or focus on DIYing affordable entertaining objects that will take your mind off of your plates not matching!
4. Cleaning every inch of your home before guests arrive
While this time of the year is a great time to really deep clean every corner of your home, with all the things on your holiday to-do-list, it just might not be a priority for you. Focus on the spots that will make the biggest visual impact instead, and don't apologize about your home "being a mess" as soon as guests walk through the door.
5. That there's visual proof of pets or kids
For your own sanity you may undertake frequent tricks to disguise the fact that you live with pets (like hiding the litter box) or organizing methods of getting kids' toys under control. But don't go to extreme lengths of getting rid of all evidence that you have kids or pets for holiday guests. You should definitely try to vacuum some of the cat hair up but if you've got no other place for that giant primary-colored play house your kiddo loves, don't sweat it. Life is messy and beautiful and again, guests are here to spend time with you, not judge you on your amount of dog or kid toys.
6. That not every square inch is exploding in holiday cheer
Though we are firm believers in the power of celebrating the seasons with decor around your home all year long, it doesn't mean you have to look like you walked into Martha Stewart's house. If you are pressed for time or money, stick to high visual impact zones like the entryway, dining area and mantel when it comes to decorating for the holidays. And then just add those beautiful elements that make guests feel welcome anytime of year like a good smelling home or a fresh bouquet of flowers or greens.
7. That your home isn't "perfect" yet
If life got in the way of any home repairs or DIY projects this year, don't worry; that probably happened to a lot of people. And unless it's a gaping hole in your ceiling draped with a tarp, you don't really owe anyone who comes into your home an explanation, and they probably won't notice. So instead, focus on making your guests feel welcome, brag about the stuff you did do, and learn from your time management and DIY mistakes this year so you can do a better job in 2015!