Do you host guests over the holidays?  Or are you the designated “planner”?  I am!  Whether we have family staying with us or we have a big family trip planned, I am the one in charge of the decorating, menu, and all the extra’s that keep everyone festive during the holidays.

My brother doesn’t have children yet, and my parents are empty nesters so with me being the one with young kids I am the elected planner.  When we are staying home for the holidays, the kids don’t want to leave their presents or change out of their Christmas pajamas so my house is perfect.  My brother comes up from South Carolina and my parents are over.  When we travel and rent a house at a resort, I am still the one who wants everything to be decorated, holiday cookies to be baked for Santa, and crafts to be done with the kids.  So I am still in charge of shopping and planning when we travel.
The holidays are a busy time of year for everyone but they are especially busy for us moms who have to prepare our homes for the kids and house guests.  Luckily through out the years I have learned what to make sure we have stocked to keep everyone happy and what not to waste time and money on.
Here are my must haves:
Decorations; It’s hard to get in the holiday spirit without a Christmas Tree, nutcrackers, and mistletoe’s.  I can’t imagine curling up on Christmas eve night without the glimmer of lights coming from a Christmas tree.  This is why even when we travel over the holidays I make sure to drag everyone out to get a tree and decorate it with hand made ornaments from the kids and dollar store balls.
Popcorn and Holiday Movies;  We love gathering everyone up at night to watch The Santa Clause or Home Alone with a big bowl of popcorn before bed.
Paper Towels;  I stock up on plenty of Viva Paper towels.  Between baking with the kids, cooking Christmas dinner, and all the spills in between, we go through a ton of paper towels.  Plus Viva towels do so much more, if you remember my post about the Viva Advantage party you know I was thrilled at how much they do and now Viva is my go to brand.  From washing vegetables to cleaning faces, these durable cloth like paper towels do it all and this is very helpful when things get hectic with a houseful of people.
Paper plates, cups, and utensils;  I know some folks think the holidays are when you pull out the fine china.  However for me,  the last thing I want to think about is doing the dishes when I’m surrounded by family and friends.  Three meals a day, countless drinks, and snacks in between, would mean endless time in front of the sink.  If there is any time I want to shell out the money and go with paper products, its over the holidays.
Hot chocolate;  It doesn’t matter if we are celebrating in Massachusetts where it is freezing outside or are in Florida by the beach,  hot chocolate and Christmas just seem to go together.  I like to set up a hot chocolate bar with whipped cream, marshmallows, candy canes, and all sorts of fun mix ins on Christmas eve and Christmas night.
Snacks and Filled Candy Dishes;  With all the fun goofing around and reminiscing people seem to constantly want to pick at food.  I make sure our candy dishes are full and then refilled throughout the holiday and put out some light snacks through out the day.
Coffee;  Spending time together for my family usually equals late nights, so everyone is looking for a good cup of coffee in the morning.  I make sure to have plenty of coffee stocked for guests, plus sugar, sugar substitutes, and cream.
A Fully Stocked Bathroom;  With guests we go through everything a lot faster than usual.  I keep hand soap, tooth paste, room spray and of course toilet paper well stocked.  There is nothing worse than being a host that runs out of toilet paper, luckily both Scott and Cottonelle keep my bathroom filled.  Scott 1100 sheets rolls deliver long lasting value and performance.  Cottonelle Ultra Comfort Care is cushiony and luxurious.
Kleenex;  I keep boxes of Kleenex throughout the house.  In the bathroom for makeup touch ups, in the living room for quick hand wiping and nose blowing, and everywhere in between.  I am super excited about the new Kleenex Holiday Ovals this year, They are so cute and easily add to all my holiday decorating.
Extra Towels, Blankets, and Pillows;  One perk of traveling is that I get to knock this off the list because resorts take care of it.  However if everyone is staying at my house, I pull out all the extra towels, pillows, and blankets and make sure they are clean and fresh before guests arrive.
With all these items on hand, I can ensure that my family is able to enjoy this festive time of year worry free.
I always make a large shopping trip to Walmart to stock up on my holiday must haves and this year with the Ibotta app I am able to have my household needs covered while saving money!


With the Ibotta app, get:
$1 off Cottonelle 12-ct or larger
$1 off Scott 12-ct or larger
$1 off Viva 6-ct or larger
Buy two products and get an extra dollar back

What are some of your holiday must haves?  Make sure you check out all the great deals at Walmart using the Ibotta app!  Plus check out these 10 Tips and Tricks for Holiday Hosts.


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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