Are you expecting guests this holiday season? Today's the day to start getting ready for their visits. If you will only be having non-overnight guests your to-do list is much shorter (but no less important).
Check your primary guest bathroom (a half-bath in many cases) and make sure you have the following:
* Hand soap (if your bottle is getting low, think about just replacing it with a new one, or refilling)
* Extra toilet paper that's easily accessible. If you have a vanity under your sink this is a great place. If you have a pedestal sink you'll need something more creative - like a pretty basket that sits on the back of the toilet or a nearby shelf. Whatever you do, please don't use one of these. Please, for my peace of mind.
*Air freshener of some sort. This can be whatever you prefer. Some air freshener spray discreetly hidden under the sink, one of those little air fresheners that "puffs" when you press it, or a candle that you light before guests arrive. Whichever you choose, please have something that guests can use to make themselves feel better if they need to use your restroom for something a little bit, well, stinky.
Now, if you are having overnight guests you have a bit more prep.
* clean sheets
* clean towels, hand towels & washcloths
* light-bulbs that work (I know this seems silly but it's easy to not notice that a bulb is burned out in the guest room if you never go in there)
* space in the closet
* extra hangers in the closet
* extra blankets & pillows
* trash can in the bedroom & bathroom
* tissues (especially in winter with all those runny noses!)
* easy-to use alarm clock (most people have cell phones with alarms so this isn't top priority)
* key to the house (or garage door code)
* list of important numbers (your cell phones, the home number, the address of your house)
* list of places they can easily walk or drive to, including nearby churches
* local area map
* hair dryer
* basket or medicine cabinet with essentials - toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo & conditioner, lotion, floss, shaving cream, razor, over-the-counter medicines (antacid, ibuprofen)
There are of course a lot of other things you can add to these lists to make things that much more comfortable for your guests but these will suffice for most short visits.
Take the time to check on these things now. Change the sheets, add anything you need to buy to your shopping list and generally tidy up so the day guests arrive you aren't feeling frantic and unprepared.