The Christmas atmosphere start as early as November in London, as evidenced by the beautiful light decorations lining the high streets, window displays in the city, the emergence of local Christmas markets and the much-hyped Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. Christmas is a joyous occasion bringing traditions & communities together and it is well celebrated around the world, both from a religious and cultural standpoint.
Since you will be hosting guests over the festive period, we thought it would be a great idea to share some easy tips to spruce up your Airbnb home without breaking the bank. Most of the items suggested below can easily be found in your local shops, ranging from the affordable variety: Asda or Primark to mid-range shops like M&S and to higher quality items from John Lewis. Online retailers such as Amazon also provide a wide-ranging selection to choose from.
The tree is the main feature that screams Christmas in every home and you can easily purchase a medium-sized reusable tree online at very little cost. The advantage of this type of tree is that it can be assembled with little mess, packed & stored after Christmas and reused the following year. You should consider simple decorations for the tree such as battery-operated string fairy lights, decorative balls, ribbons and a beautiful tree-topper. Like the tree, all these items can be recycled and reused in the future.
If you would like to take it a step further, why not decorate your home with some Christmas stockings. They are colourful, fun and always a hit with the kids. You can stuff them with some peppermint candy or anything Christmassy, just let your imagination run wild! Having a Christmas wreath hanging outside your main door is also a nice touch. There are various designs from the traditional pinecone specimens up to the sparkly LED type. Additionally, there are fantastic DIY ideas online for making a wreath if you are on a budget.
We find that a modest Christmas basket sends a warm welcome message to your guests when they arrive at your home. Load them up with festive treats such as mince pies, peppermint biscuits or minty hot chocolate, especially a hit for families with kids. If you are feeling generous, why not provide a bottle of spiced mulled wine, which is ideal for a cosy winter night. On a personal note, you can also include a Christmas card with a short festive message to your guests.
We love candles and there is always a huge range of Christmas inspired flavours available at this time of the year. Place a few scented candles in strategic spots around your home (i.e. living area and bedroom) and let the air permeate with notes of cinnamon, pine or orange. This will set the atmospheric mood in your home and we hope your guests will thoroughly enjoy it. Please be careful when using candles as they can be a fire hazard and make sure that you inform your guests accordingly.
Consider providing your guests some suggestions for activities to do locally around Christmas. We are positive that they will appreciate the gesture! Some recommendations that spring to mind are Christmas markets in Southbank and Covent Garden or Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park which hosts a market, games & rides. Consider introducing them to Pantomime, which is a musical comedy stage production especially popular during Christmas and New Years. We have included Time Out’s 2016 Pantomime Guide here as an excellent reference.
You can also provide a list of recommended skating rinks in London for your guests. These locations are usually set against a beautiful backdrop such as the Natural History Museum and Somerset House. If your guests are avid shoppers, let them know where your favourite shopping spots are in the city. You can either choose to highlight the fantastic bargains available or warn your guests of the mad shopping rush on Boxing Day Sales!
We hope that you find the above information useful for welcoming Christmas to your home and for sharing the festive spirit with your fellow guests. Please try some of these tips and we would love to hear any comments or feedback that you may have.