Two-fifths of Brits to host friends and family this Christmas


Two-fifths of Brits to host friends and family this Christmas

With Christmas drawing closer, many of us can get lost in what the festive season is all about - getting together with loved ones and making new memories. For many people in the UK, spending time with loved ones often means having friends and family to stay over during the festive season.

New research carried out for Ocean Finance* has shown that 40% of those surveyed are planning to have people stay with them this Christmas. Of those respondents, more than one in five said that they will have more than five guests stay with them in their home. And one in 20 revealed that they will be hosting up to eight or more people this December.   

If you have had family or friends over for Christmas in the past, you will be well aware that it can often be a tight squeeze. As much fun as having all your family under one roof can be, resources at times can feel stretched during the duration of their stay. This feeling was echoed by respondents, with a third of the people who plan to host their families admitting to asking some or all of their guests to sleep on a blow-up mattress or camp bed.

During the hotly anticipated Christmas meal, nearly a third of those respondents planning to host guests shared that they will have to push together tables or extend them with the help of a board in order to create more space. But it’s no good sorting out your table plan if your guests have nowhere to sit. To remedy this, one in eight respondents revealed that they will have to call on neighbours and friends to borrow extra chairs this Christmas.

These results highlight how many people will have to stretch their resources to accommodate loved ones during the festive season. If you’re planning to house family and friends this Christmas, here are a few ideas that could help you create a little extra space in your home:  

Ideas for the future:

If, when hosting guests every Christmas, you’ve noticed how little space you have to entertain, some home improvements could help to resolve this. Extending your property to create a larger dining space or to include a conservatory with room for a dining table could provide you with the hosting space that you desire. Alternatively, a more affordable option could be to knock through between your kitchen and dining room to create an open plan kitchen-diner. But with Christmas only a few weeks away, you may not have chance to go embarking on any building projects until next year.

Quick fixes:

If you’re having house guests this Christmas, there are some simple things that you can do to utilise the living space that you already have.

Sleeping arrangements:

If you don’t already have a sofa bed that you can make use of, you can buy affordable air mattresses or sleeping bags for your guests to sleep on. Alternatively, if you’re feeling charitable you could give up your own bedroom to sleep elsewhere. You could do this with little ones as well, as they are sure not to mind handing over their bedrooms for the novelty of sleeping in a sleeping bag.

Christmas Meal:

To create more space around the dinner table, you can buy some fold-away chairs that will do the trick on the day - or even ask your guests to bring any that they have if they are not travelling far. This will save you having to ask your neighbours! You can do the same with tables; little ones can be separated from the adults at a smaller table while everyone else sits together at the main table.

In the build-up to Christmas, make sure to clear out the room that you will be having your meal in - you will be amazed at how much space you can create when you clear out belongings that you no longer use. Another option might be to set up your table and chairs in a different room. If your living room is larger than your dining room or kitchen, you could move the table in here temporarily so that everyone has room to sit together and still breathe.

*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 24th September and 3rd October 2014.