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Are You Hosting Others This Holiday Season? Here Are 3 Ways to Create a Little Comfort and Joy for Yourself

By Marcia Smalley November 18, 2022 Lifestyle

‘Tis the season of guests and gaiety! 

After a couple of years spent quietly observing the holiday season, many of us are gearing up for joyful reunions and higher levels of interaction. We’re opening our homes, setting our tables, and welcoming our loved ones.

We’re running headlong into that time of year when being hospitable is the name of the game.

At this stage of life, some of us have passed the baton to others when it comes to playing host. But for those of us who are still planning and executing holiday gatherings, it’s helpful to remember that the gift of hospitality is a bit of a Trojan Horse.

Being the hub of holiday merriment is heartwarming, but getting everything done is exhausting.

The grand plan for a sumptuous meal for 15 people can become an energy drain. What begins as excitement about all the grandchildren sleeping over can end with our “energy tanks” on empty. Constant lively conversation can have us wishing we were nestled snug in our beds instead.

‘Tis also the Season of Self-Care

If you can relate to the down side of being the hostess with the mostest, then here are three gift ideas for you to stuff into your own stocking. Best of all, you can enjoy them throughout the new year.

Give Yourself Some Time

As the holiday hustle-and-bustle ramps up, give yourself 5 minutes to breathe, 15 minutes to stretch, or 30 minutes more to sleep.

Unless you take to your bed for days, your guests won’t notice. They may even appreciate how refreshed you are. This season, put your oxygen mask on first.

Give Yourself a Voice

Not up for yet one more trip to the mall? Dread fighting traffic to meet up with your brother’s best friend’s aunt who lives across town?

There are no have-to’s in the hospitality game. Remember that you have permission to decide what feels right for you. 

Speak up. Even bow out. 

Give Yourself a Break

So, the guest bed is too hard for Cousin Frank but too soft for his wife? It’s okay. Your room rate beats the one at the local inn. Didn’t realize your neighbor’s spouse refuses to eat anything made with a berry? It’s not your fault. Offer them a cookie.

It doesn’t matter if the tablecloth has a crease, the china doesn’t match, or the gravy is store-bought. These things are not windows to your soul.

Let them go. All of them.

It’s always more fun to exchange gifts than to be the only one giving or receiving. And the gift of hospitality is a two-way street.

It’s possible to open hearth and home to others and put yourself on the list. It’s possible to make others feel welcome and take care of yourself.

Welcome that equal exchange of energy this holiday season. Snag a few moments of peace on earth. Your guests will appreciate it, guaranteed.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What are some ways you can take care of yourself this holiday season? What has worked for you in the past? Join the conversation!

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Beth Londner

I’ve laughed while reading this delightful and enlightening article.My guests,true they are my children and grandchildren, love coming to me and I love having them and also visiting them.
They’ve just been here for three days and it was simply great fun. My daughters- in- law and sons either baked or cooked the main dishes and desserts for each meal, set the tables, cleaned up afterwards and insisted I sit down and relax.I.feel good about it all. I had more than enough to do.
Now I am basking in the afterglow and looking forward to the next good time when we’ll get together again.
Once our children are grown our mindset changes accordingly and it’s a way of moving forward for all the generations when we share in the responsibility of making our get -togethers enjoyable and meaningful.

Marcia Smalley

I couldn’t agree more, Beth. Thanks for reading, and Happy Holidays to you and your!

Mary OConnell

This was a timely and spot on reminder to remember to be as kind to ourselves as we are to our guests !

Marcia Smalley

I’m glad it resonated, Mary. Thanks for reading!

Lynn Terhar

Do as much advanced meal prep as you can. Anything that’s freezable should be done ahead. Don’t hesitate to ask guests to bring sides or desserts. Hire a maid service to clean just before overnight guests arrive.

Gee Farrow

Marcia – thanks so much for reminding us that we deserve to have a little fun too. Lovely piece … Merry Christmas!

Marcia Smalley

Thanks, Gee, and thanks for reading. Merry Christmas!


The Author

Marcia Smalley is a certified retirement coach and life coach, a writer and a teacher. She delights in helping mid-life women step confidently into their next act and design a joyous, expanded life. Marcia provides coaching support to women who are navigating retirement or other life transitions and writes a monthly e-newsletter to her entire online community. Please visit her website at

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