Cleaning Up after Christmas Visitors

by April Reinhardt
(last updated December 30, 2013)

I have a supervisor at work who loves to recount the tale of her exhausting wedding reception cleanup. She had worked for days to prepare for the after-wedding party by making pans of lasagna, ensuring her husband-to-be picked up the cheesecake to serve 100 people, decorated the outside venue herself, and made each table centerpiece by hand. At the end of the party, all of the guests left, taking centerpieces and leftover food with them, leaving her and her new husband with all of he cleanup until well after three o'clock in the morning.

Have you found yourself in a similar situation while entertaining visitors and houseguests through the Christmas season? I have. But, throughout the years, I have found ways to play the role of hostess, while still having the time to enjoy my guests and be part of the party. Cleaning up after Christmas visitors can be easily accomplished if you follow these tips and guidelines:

  • Table protection. If you know that Uncle Harry is notorious for setting his wet glass of eggnog onto your wood end table, make sure that you have coasters set out to use. Barring coasters, set out small piles of Christmas napkins on every end table, coffee table, and other flat surfaces.
  • Buffet. Instead of having a sit-down dinner, serve a buffet. Place small place cards on the table, indicating to the guests where the trash can is so that they can throw away their napkins and uneaten food.
  • Help. Before the party, ask for help. Assign tasks to one or more of your friends or family. Throughout the evening, have Sue pick up used napkins and plates, ask Jeremy to collect empty bottles and glasses, ask Dawn to wash plates and utensils, and ask Andrew to resupply the nut and candy dishes. If small children are accompanying their parents, have your older niece or nephew help entertain them while you enjoy your guests.

If you're having a particularly large crowd, you could hire a maid to come in the next day to help with the cleanup. Several maid services offer special discounts throughout the holidays. Find one online or in your phone book. The key to cleaning up after Christmas visitors is to plan ahead, get help, and make your visitors self-sufficient by having everything for their use at-hand.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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