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The Welcome to My...

The Welcome to My House Kit

Creating a welcome kit is an easy way of saying, “I’m glad you’re here—now buy me dinner.”

Just kidding. But it is a great way to make guests feel excited about their trip, at ease in a place that’s not their own, and ready to have a great time. And you’ll be known as the greatest hostess of all time. Legends will be told about the woman who made a vacation so much better just by having a welcome kit waiting in her guest bedroom.

We arrived at our friends’ doorstep tired, reeking of airplane, and in need of a shower. They welcomed us in and immediately helped us relax with wine and cheese. Ahhh, relief. After catching up and gossiping about friends and relatives, our friends showed us to their guest bedroom—our digs for the next several days. Imagine my delight when I saw a basket of treats on the nightstand! I squealed like we had just entered a hotel room and discovered everything in the minibar was free! Our incredibly thoughtful friends had put together a collection of goodies, including toothpaste, two toothbrushes, two bottles of water, chocolates, hand lotion, hand sanitizer, aspirin, and a candle. I nearly cried, I was so excited. For the rest of trip, I was falling all over myself with gratitude for our hosts.

Since this memorable occasion, I’ve been offering the same welcome kit to my own houseguests, and receiving the same excited reactions. I know, I know. It’s not about receiving. It’s about giving. But I can’t help it. I like knowing that my houseguests appreciate my extra efforts to make them comfortable. I take delight in another person’s delight. Is that so wrong?

I change the supplies in what I’m now calling the “Welcome to My House Kit” to match the person who is taking up residence in my guest bedroom—trying to consider what he/she might need while in town. It’s a good idea to always include soap, shampoo/conditioner, toothpaste, and lotion. Pick up travel-size bottles of these items at a drugstore (or if you’re like me, use the toiletries you’ve stockpiled from high-end hotels).

When assembling your “Welcome to My House Kit” ask yourself the following questions:

What will my guest be doing while in town? If they are merely on a vacation, include a city map, or a list of things happening around town. You can include a beer or food that’s native to your city and a disposable camera. If it’s a business trip, always include aspirin, breath mints, a summary of great restaurants, and phone numbers for local cab companies.

Is my guest male or female? This is a very important question, because the contents of your kit can be girly (chocolates, bubble bath, lip gloss, the newest issue of Vogue) or masculine (shaving cream, a bar of soap, beef jerky, gum, and an issue of Details). If a couple is staying with you, be creative—mix and match.

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