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Creating a welcoming entry during the holidays with a place for gifts, coats and purses.

It’s the holiday season! Whether you’re hosting a large family on Christmas Day or expecting friends to visit throughout the month, your entry is likely to experience a lot of traffic over the next few weeks. Using a few of my tips, you can create a welcoming entry space during the holidays that looks festive and works well for you.

  1. As guests approach your home, one of the first impressions they’ll have is at your front door. Does it say, “Welcome and Happy Holidays”? I prefer clean, simple door décor that lasts into the New Year. A bit of greenery and ribbon goes a long way. Also, clear from your entrance any plants that have turned brown with the cooler months. Traditional poinsettias in red or creamy white are great substitutes to welcome holiday guests.
  2. Creating a welcoming entry during the holidays extends beyond the front door. Even if visitors are just stopping by for a few minutes, they often come with gifts in hand. Do you have a small table or settee that can be placed temporarily nearby to place gifts to give and receive?
  3. I love strategically placing a mirror near the front entrance. When the doorbell rings, in a matter seconds you can quickly check your appearance before answering the door. Framed nicely, the mirror also serves an art piece and can make smaller entries appear larger.
  4. For entertaining, consider where you would like guests to put their coats and purses? With a short winter in Houston, many homes have small coat closets. Will a mud room substitute? Or is there another area that’s conveniently located near the entrance that stow outer wear? If you’re expecting many guests, consider asking a friend to welcome them and point out where to put their personal items. This way, everyone feels welcome, even if you’re pulled in another direction as often happens when you’re the host/hostess.
  5. I host an annual Baubles & Sweets cookie & ornament exchange with my Phi Mu sorority. Sometimes, participants are invited to bring items to be donated to a local charity. I placed a box in my courtyard to collect the donations upon guests’ arrival. (Of course, the weather was cooperative.) The proximity of the box near the entrance helped the attendees clearly see where to place the donations and simplified the delivery.

Which tips do you have for creating a welcome entry that addresses your practical needs during the holiday season?  Share your tips in the comments field and we’ll comment back. After all, creating a welcoming entry during the holidays is really about having positive experiences with friends and family.

If you like this post, you may also enjoy Pamela’s interview “From Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year’s Eve, easy ways to transition your table” on Fox 26 as shown on our press page.

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