How to be a Great Host: Thoughtful Christmas Houseguest Welcome Gifts

How to be a Great Host: Thoughtful Christmas Houseguest Welcome Gifts

Today’s post is full of personalized gifts and gestures to be used as festive houseguest welcome gifts to make the time spent together at the holidays more comfortable, organized and memorable.
Read on for all the details!

The excitement of the holidays is upon us! As you wait for your in-laws and/or extended family to descend upon your house for Christmas, grab a glass of wine (or two) and your laptop and get to work ordering some really thoughtful houseguest welcome gifts to help everyone survive the holidays.

These ideas aren’t your average Christmas gifts or simply cute ideas for houseguests.

These gifts will make your holiday houseguests feel special while simultaneously helping to manage the mayhem that accompanies a full house.

Houseguest welcome gifts do not need to be elaborate – only heartfelt. But don’t worry if you don’t know where to start. I provide tons of inspiration below so you can pick and choose what gifts you’d like to incorporate the next time you host Christmas at your house.

little girl and boy running and holding hands in a living room decorated for Christmas

Showering your houseguests with personalized gifts shows you are excited for them to be your guest and that you are really trying to include them in all of your family’s holiday traditions.

Read on for all the details about using houseguest welcome gifts to make your visitors feel at home for the holidays.

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through them, I may receive a commission from a third party at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own, and I only share links to products I personally use, love and trust.

What are some personalized gifts for holiday activities houseguests would enjoy?

At our house, our favorite Christmas pastimes include: 1) thankfulness activities 2) cookie making (and the subsequent eating), 3) binge-watching Christmas movies and 4) naps. Lots of naps.

When we have houseguests for the holidays, we like to include everyone in these Christmas traditions. I find the best way to instantly incorporate guests into the fold is to have personalized gifts for them to use at our house while we are doing said activity and for them to take home with them when they go.

You can create a houseguest welcome gift of sorts by making a gift basket using the Christmas pastime gift suggestions below!

Thankfulness gifts for Christmas

Thankfulness Activities During the Christmas Countdown

It’s really important to our family to remember the reason for the season and count our blessings. This may sound totally cliche, but recognizing what we are thankful for puts us in the holiday spirit and creates the best environment for doing the other fun holiday activities described below.

So first and foremost – thankfulness.

You can share thankfulness activities with your holiday houseguests in a few different ways:

Share your Joy Jar with holiday houseguests

What is a Joy Jar? So glad you asked! Joy Jars are a quick way to take stock of what brings you joy on a daily basis.

“Joy Jar” Christmas gift, including instructions for making your own, tied on with Christmas ribbon

During the holidays, invite your guests write down how they experienced joy that day on a little slip of paper. Then, add that slip to your Joy Jar and watch your joy accumulate over the time your houseguests spend with you.

Break-open the Joy Jar during your big holiday meal and read the ways everyone is thankful. Instant holiday happiness.

Share your Christmas countdown and thankfulness chalkboard with your holiday houseguests

Another way to keep track of what you are thankful for is to jot it down on a thankfulness chalkboard like mine! Like with the Joy Jar, invite your holiday houseguests to participate during their visit.

double-sided holiday chalkboard signs and roundup of favorite chalkboard signs from

Even if you aren’t crafty or own a Cricut, take a look at some of my favorite holiday-themed chalkboards on Etsy.

If you are planning to make Christmas cookies (or pies or cakes or candies) while your holiday houseguests are under your roof, consider personalized and festive baking tools.

Your guests will feel special when they see the themed gift you’ve assembled just for them! My favorite cookie baking supplies include:

Cookie-making themed Christmas gifts

1. personalized aprons for adults | 2. aprons for kids | 3. personalized pot holders | 4. rolling pins | 5. Christmas cookie cutters | 6. Christmas-themed measuring spoons | 7. personalized tins for baked goods

The beauty of most of the gifts listed above for the Christmas cookie baking theme can also be used for any houseguests helping to cook any other meals during their stay. Never worry about not having enough supplies!

Christmas Movie Themed Houseguest Welcome Gift Baskets

In our house, it’s not Christmas unless you watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, The Grinch, Elf, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and The Polar Express (in that order and without a break).

So it’s only fitting to make our holiday houseguests feel at home with our Christmas movie marathons. And how do you do that? By creating a houseguest welcome gift basket including all of my favorite Christmas movie-themed gifts:

Christmas movie themed Christmas gifts collage

1. Christmas movie watching blanket | 2. personalized Christmas movie mugs | 3. Christmas movie socks | 4. Christmas popcorn bowls | 5. personalized Christmas movie pajama sets | 6. Christmas movie bingo!

Holiday Rest & Relaxation Themed Houseguest Welcome Gift Baskets

In between Christmas cookie making and movie marathons, we like to squeeze in a nap here and there. These adorable gifts that encourage some shut-eye are great options for houseguest welcome gifts.

Check out my favorites and create a houseguest welcome gift basket with a naptime theme:

Houseguest rest and relax welcome gifts collage

1. holiday naptime pillow | 2. naptime eye masks | 3. seasonal scented lotion for relaxation | 4. holiday scented candle | 5. cozy naptime sweatshirt | 6. ear plugs | 7. ‘All I want for Christmas’ mug | 8. ‘Long Winter’s Nap’ gift tag | 9. naptime socks

What are some personalized gifts for houseguests on Christmas morning?

If you are looking to surprise your houseguests on Christmas morning, have personalized gifts waiting for them as they stagger down the stairs for their first cup of coffee.

My favorite personalized treats for houseguest welcome gift baskets on Christmas morning include:

houseguest gifts for Christmas morning collage

1. customized beverage kits | 2. Christmas morning mugs | 3. Christmas morning squad shirts | 4. removeable Christmas stocking nametags| 5. ornaments tailored to personal tastes and interests | 6. personalized Santa sacks

What can I do for a holiday houseguest who is celebrating a birthday?

Uh oh! It’s the holidays and one of your houseguests is celebrating a birthday during Christmas vacation, but you’re at a loss of what to do to make your guest feel special.

I gotchu! I’ve become an expert at celebrating holiday birthdays. My birthday is Christmas Eve, my son’s is July 4th and my daughter’s is Christmas Day. So yeah, I’ve had some practice celebrating holiday birthdays.

Luckily for you, I’ve got TONS of ideas for celebrating a holiday birthday – specifically Christmas birthdays! I give a glimpse of what it’s like to have your birthday on Christmas, ideas for Christmas birthday party themes, when to celebrate a holiday birthday and exactly what not to do when celebrating a holiday birthday.

Like I said, I’ve got you covered!

How can I tastefully wrap holiday houseguest welcome gifts without a ton of supplies?

It only takes a few supplies to make houseguest gift ideas beautiful for the holidays. If you’re in a pinch, grab a roll of brown kraft paper, and you’re good to go.

kraft paper wrapped gifts with hand bells

I pretty much exclusively use kraft paper as wrapping paper because it’s so easy to personalize and it cuts down on the number of rolls of wrapping paper I have cluttering my closet.

For kraft paper gift wrapping inspiration for every season, head to my full post!

Winter Kraft Paper Gift Wrap Inspiration

And for a look at my favorite gift wrapping supplies, you can always find them here:

Favorite Gift Wrapping Supplies: kraft boxes, kraft gift bags, cellophane bags, twine, double-sided tape, gift wrap cutter, scissors, kraft paper

How can I make houseguests feel at home for the holidays?

There is nothing worse than being in someone else’s home and not knowing where anything is. I hate asking 500 questions every two minutes to a (usually) stressed-out host.

So when I have houseguests, I try to make it as easy as possible to be self-sufficient.

What does that mean?

Have everything a houseguest might need at the ready by creating welcome baskets throughout your home: houseguest bedroom welcome baskets, bathroom welcome baskets, kitchen welcome baskets, and especially at Christmas: a gift wrapping station.

Guestroom welcome baskets for houseguests

After a long journey, there is nothing better than dropping your bags and flopping down in bed – even a guestroom bed. But when you walk into a guest bedroom and are greeted by a sweet welcome basket – complete with plush towels, snacks, water and the wifi password – comfort is taken to a whole new level.

houseguest bedroom welcome basket with towels, water and toothpaste

I love the guestroom welcome basket from Maddie Butterfield. There is something about the towels, candle and hand cream she included that makes me want to be her next guest!

Bathroom welcome baskets for houseguests

How many times do you get to your destination only to realize you left your toothbrush on your vanity or your shaving cream in the shower? Make these awww crap moments easier on your guests by stocking travel-size toiletries in plain sight in your bathroom!

houseguest welcome basket inspiration

Okay, so this technically isn’t a picture of a basket, but I spied this beautiful glass jar in a floating shelves post on and I tucked the idea away in my brain for a bathroom welcome basket of sorts for houseguests.

Include assorted toiletries (like Liz Marie) or add a mini hair drier, new razors (with blade protector!), toothbrushes, combs, brushes and even loofas!

Kitchen welcome baskets for houseguests

Self-serve snack baskets for houseguests

Whenever I have overnight guests, I like to have snacks at the ready. And when I have a house full of friends and family (especially kids), I set out grab & go snacks and napkins to make it easy on everyone. Am I the only one who would rather go hungry than rummage through someone’s cabinets?

kitchen welcome baskets for self-serve snacks and paper products

I saw this post at and I almost died! This is the ultimate kitchen self-serve basket in my book. Definitely something I’ll aspire to this Christmas!

Leftover Station Basket for houseguests

Help keep leftovers organized after the holiday feast by placing this leftover station in your kitchen and encourage guests to label their own doggy bags.

A fridge packed full of 100 containers of leftovers drives me crazy. And honestly, with a house full of people at the holidays, there is no room for disorganization.

'leftover station' kitchen welcome baskets for guests

Help grandpa call dibs on that second slice of pie or make sure your niece gets an extra helping of mac n’ cheese as a midnight snack. A leftover station helps everyone help themselves to round TWO!

Cleaning product baskets for houseguests to use

I also find it really helpful to have a basket of cleaning supplies on the counter in my kitchen. That way, guests aren’t rummaging around in your cabinets to clean up a mess they’ve made.

These baskets don’t have to be big and fancy – just a few basic all-purpose cleaning supplies and your favorite cleaning cloths (or an extra roll of paper towels – you can never have enough paper towels – am I right?)

kitchen welcome baskets for guests

I’m a big fan of Mrs. Meyers products, so when I saw this post by Anderson + Grant, I pinned it right away to refer to as I was assembling my own cleaning supplies basket.

Christmas gift wrapping station for houseguests

There are two reasons having a Christmas gift wrap station is super helpful for houseguests:

1) last minute shopping while the guests are in town and/or 2) for a guest that shipping their gifts early that may not have been wrapped.

Christmas gift wrapping station for holiday houseguests

Again, these baskets are super easy and quick to assemble. Just grab a couple rolls of Christmas wrapping paper, tissue paper, spare Christmas bags, scissors, tape, bows, ribbon, twine and gift tags. Tuck the basket near the Christmas tree or in the guest room (if you have space).

I love this gift wrap station from Restoring Order!

What are some personalized gifts for houseguests to keep us organized at Christmastime?

Christmas gifts for houseguests can be both adorable and functional. I’d argue that a personalized houseguest gift at the holidays MUST be functional!

Is there anything worse than walking around your house and finding half used water bottles, juice boxes, cups of coffee or even *GASP* glasses of WINE when you have a house full of guests?!

It’s inevitable that your houseguests will grab a beverage, set it down and walk away only to forget which one is there’s. Help everyone out with personalized cups, including mugs, wine glasses and can coolers (shown below).

houseguest gifts for an organized Christmas collage

1) Personalized Hot Chocolate Mugs | 2. Personalized Christmas Gift Crate | 3. Christmas Gift Labels from Santa | 4. Personalized Christmas Wine Glasses | 5. Personalized Can Cooler | 6. Santa Sacks

If losing your beverage doesn’t annoy you, this next one sure will!

Don’t worry about whose gift is where! Have personalized Santa Sacks, gift tags and/or Santa crates made for every one of your houseguests.

It keeps Santa organized, and after the gifts are unwrapped, the gifts can go back into these Santa sacks or crates until everyone heads home.

Crisis averted!

Still stumped?

If you are still having a hard time selecting gift ideas for visiting relatives at the holidays, check out my 3 Surprising Holiday Shopping Hacks and my 9 Christmas Gift Ideas for the Hardest People on Your List.

Did I miss anything?

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on how to shower your houseguests with extraordinary gifts during their stay! If you have any ideas that should be added, please contact me.

Reach out to me with all your gift-giving questions!


More later! The craft room is calling, and I must go…

More gift inspiration you’ll love

Natalie Administrator
Natalie Menke, the self-proclaimed Gift Guru, is always thinking about the next gift she is going to give. Her hope is to provide boundless inspiration for completely customized and personalized gifts. Happy gifting!
follow me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *