31 Replies Latest reply: Nov 26, 2018 7:21 AM by u0999 RSS

    How do you decorate for Christmas?

    mribar Contributor

      Hi!  This is my first year as a host and I have a guest coming in Dec 23rd.  We are close to the beach and they wanted to have a family vacation for the holidays. 

       

      I did setup a few things for Christmas but I'm kind of wondering if I did enough.  For example, I have a very small 4' tree but nothing big or fancy.  I have a few beach theme Santa and decor items but again, our home decor is more on the beachy side and I'm realizing that I didn't really go "all in" as far as Xmas decor goes. This guest leaves on the 30th and a new one comes in on the 1st so I also wanted to be able to change over quickly. 

       

      Got me thinking....what do others do?  Would you be disappointed to arrive to a house by the beach and find there's not a lot of Xmas decor or a large tree?

       

      I can't say I have ever rented a home or condo during Christmas but I also don't think I would expect everything to be all decked out either. 

       

      Thanks!

      Michelle

        • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
          feibus CommunityAmbassador

          I have one guest every other year ask whether we do decorations for Christmas.  I don't and explain that we just don't have room in the home for anything that would only get used a few days a year, there's just not enough storage space.  So I tell guests to feel free to decorate, but please remove any decorations they buy for the holiday when they leave.

           

          That said, by providing decorations, you make some assumptions: (1) that your guests view Christmas the way you do; (2) that your guests want you to decide what decorations to put up instead of leaving it to the guests to decide for themselves.  Some guests will like it, some will accept it, some will be annoyed by it... but you won't know which is which unless you communicate with your guests about that.

          • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
            thaxterlane Premier Contributor

            I agree with feibus re communicating with your guest.  Don't assume your guest (1) celebrates the holiday - they may celebrate a different holiday or not any holiday at all, and (2) wants holiday decor.  Also I would consider decorating for the season rather than the holiday if you do not know a guest's preference.   

            • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
              mribar Contributor

              Thank you both!  You both are absolutely right about being careful when it comes for decor to celebrate a holiday not everyone celebrates.  Luckily, from my conversations with our guest she mentioned that instead of getting each other gifts they'll never use, they decided that a vacation at the beach would be the Christmas gift for the family this year.  So at least I do feel confident that they celebrate Christmas. 

               

              She hasn't mentioned anything about decor and haven't asked at all so I really didn't think much about it until today.  I do feel a little better now about my min decor if for no other reason, it adds a little to the holiday but they certainly could very easily add their own flare and traditions because what I did isn't overpowering at all. 

                • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                  ashevillelookout Senior Contributor

                  We have Christmas guests each year.  When they book, we ask if they want the house decorated for Christmas, and for $75.00, we will have a real tree purchased, set up and decorated by our staff.  Our housekeeper puts a wreath on the front door, wires the deck railing with lights and adds a few decorations to the mantle.  We  put a holiday scented can of air freshener in each bathroom and hang colored hand towels instead of the basic white. 

                   

                  For the past 5 years the guests have asked to have the house decorated and paid for the tree.  We remove the tree for the New Year's guest (if not the same guest) but leave the door wreath and deck lights up.

                   

                  This year's guests do not want either the tree or the decorations.

                  • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                    feibus CommunityAmbassador

                    If there's a ceiling fan over the master bed... attach some mistletoe to it   (even if they don't celebrate Christmas, they'll get the point)

                  • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                    georgygirl1955 Senior Contributor

                    We do not decorate and I think it depends upon location.

                    I can understand that if I had a rental in certain locations that emphasize the Holiday as a draw.....like Branson ( just for example ) ..... then Christmas decorations would be more in line with guest expectation.

                    I think $75 is a bargain to put up a tree and decorate it, and then remove it.....besides isnt that something that families want to do together?  If I offered that service, I am sure I would charge at least $200 +

                    So, being a drive to location...I think our group(s) should bring their own artficial tree, or buy a local tree. and bring their mementoes and ornaments, and put the tree up together as a family if they want.

                    I wish everyone a joyous and successful Holiday Season.

                    Happy Holidays to all....Happy Hanukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year!

                    • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                      u0999 Premier Contributor

                      I would say expected (almost required) in my market. Since I m not there most of the time I am limited in decor. Larger cabin gets 2 Christmas trees, smaller cabin - one.

                       

                      DSCN1713.JPG

                        • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                          sanlord Active Contributor

                          For our mountain location Christmas decoration are pretty much required also.  I state in our listing in early fall that the cabin will be decorated from Thanksgiving through New Years so our guests all know in advance.  When I get inquires or BINs I always remind the travelers of the decorations so there will be no unwanted surprises when they arrive.  We have been doing this for the last 11 years and have had nothing but compliments.  Our beach condo is another story.  No one decorates at the beach and we rarely ever get any guests during the month of December.  Our building is virtually empty except for owners.  I've been wondering if decorating might be a good idea since no one else does it.  Does anyone else at a beach location decorate and has it helped?

                          • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                            kymberlee Contributor

                            That's so pretty!! 

                          • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                            ohst8er Senior Contributor

                            We celebrate Hanukkah, so I'm one of those people who NEVER assumes people celebrate as I do, and I certainly never assume they celebrate Christmas. Therefore, we don't decorate for the holidays, any holiday.  If someone wanted to stay at our place for Christmas they are certainly welcome to bring some decorations, so long as they leave things just as they found them, including NO holes in the walls. 

                              • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                                u0999 Premier Contributor

                                Hmm, in my location the whole TOWN is dressed in lights, trees, wreaths etc (called Winterfest) Nov thru Feb. So I guess they assume that having cheerful bright decor is good for business ;-) I guess assumption works for the area as tourism is growing.

                                  • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                                    ohst8er Senior Contributor

                                    I'm not sure you actually MEANT to direct your comment to me, or just clicked reply after you read mine, u0999.  Doesn't really matter either way.  I'm not the least bit offended by Christmas decor, I grew up celebrating Christmas after all.  I think it's beautiful.  But being on the other side of the fence now, I don't ever assume anyone celebrates as I do. 

                                • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                                  scowol Active Contributor

                                  At the risk of offending a guest by making an assumption what holiday they celebrate, we don't decorate our properties for the guest.  Not everyone celebrates the same holidays, or chooses to celebrate at all.

                                   

                                  In the past our housekeeper discovered real Christmas trees in the house after check-out.   It was disatrous mess with sap and needles galore, and needless to say a dead tree to have hauled away.   So we immediately purchased pre-strung artificial Christmas trees for each house with ornaments.  Every holiday, we offer the guest who stays during Christmas or before the option to self set-up the artificial tree and decorate it.  If the want that, we leave tree in the box along with a box of ornaments.   In our five years of doing this, it's been mentioned in the VRBO reviews.  The guests enjoy the opportunity to self-decorate the tree themselves.

                                  • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                                    twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                                    This conversation, along with patriotic and religious items have been discussed quite a bit. I think that each owner needs to do what they are comfortable with. If a guest is strongly offended by someone’s decor then they should probably “ask” in advance OR stay in a sterile hotel room. Which by the way will probably have a Christmas tree in the lobby.

                                     

                                    My feeling is this....if I go to Israel I would expect to see the Star of David, Hannakah items, etc. NONE of these THINGS would offend me in the slightest. In fact I would thoroughly enjoy the seeing the cultural and religious differences.

                                     

                                    Bsides a Christmas tree and decorations does not necessarily mean anything but Santa, some Reindeer and some Elves!!!

                                    • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                                      kand325 Active Contributor

                                      No, I would not be disappointed if you didn't go all out for Christmas.  Although, I'd try to stay away from "Santa" themed stuff and just stick to general holiday decor.  Your four foot tree is fine.

                                       

                                      If a guest  is so concerned about having the place all decked out, or not having the place all decked out...then the guest should ask these questions before booking.  Especially for a beach place where it isn't likely expected anyway. 

                                      • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                                        feibus CommunityAmbassador

                                        One more thing to note: I used to have a live tree for Christmas and found that a large tree in a room triggered really bad allergies, lots of sneezing, running nose, etc.  Seeing them outside doesn't bother me at all, but the concentrated smell in the enclosed space... big problem for the entire holiday season, so much that I eventually had to stay out of the main living area until the tree was gone.  Happy Chistmas, right?

                                         

                                        I have no idea if what I'm describing is common, but do you really want to put your guests through that?

                                        • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                                          kymberlee Contributor

                                          Michelle, it sounds like you did just the perfect amount of decorating!  It sounds very nice   I have Guests arriving on the 22nd, and I am totally going to put up a small pre-lit tree; nothing too much or too complicated.  No time for a lot, lol!  I think I will get some pretty, and inexpensive, ornaments and tell my Guests they can decorate.  And I already know they celebrate Christmas, since they told me they are coming for "Friends Christmas".  And I have a poinsettia (spelling?) at my house and I live right next door, so I'm just going to run my plant over there and put it on that dining room table for the weekend and then bring it back to my house  

                                          • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                                            ambidextrous Active Contributor

                                            I put up a wreath and some outside lights, but I'm in agreement with those here who do not want to impose a Christian day of observance on others. If I were guessing, the majority of my Christmas-time guests are not Christian. We do have a small tree that we can put out if guests indicate they are coming to celebrate Christmas.

                                             

                                            Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, everyone!

                                            • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                                              mribar Contributor

                                              Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply and share your experiences.  Thought I would give a quick update....knowing that the family was coming in town to celebrate Christmas and that the vacation was their Christmas gift, I kept the min beach theme Christmas decor and mini artificial tree on display.  I knew they were cooking in so left some goodies as a welcome gift. 

                                               

                                              Athough they never commented on the decor one way or the other, I did get text messages about how lovely they thought our home was and how pleased they were.  So it appears everyone was happy and all went well.  They ended up being wonderful guests!!! 

                                               

                                              Happy New Year everyone!! 

                                                • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                                                  kymberlee Contributor

                                                  My Guests LOVED that I had a tree there for them!  I told them ahead of time I would have a pre-lit, artificial tree at the house, but I was leaving the decorations there for them to decorate it together.  After they left, I walked in to find the most prettiest tree!!  They used the garland, candy canes, some Christmas balls and the Star I left for them, but they had also made a paper chain and snowflakes and even a Santa made from construction paper they brought!!  Happy New Year!!

                                                • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                                                  twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                                                  I am reviewing this thread again as it is coming up on the holidays. So, my Thanksgiving guests will see Fall items, pumpkins and pine cones, a small scarecrow (LOL)  and lots of Fall color through-out the home. Then, since we will be here after Thanksgiving for a week I will be changing those out for more winter and Christmas decor. It won’t be overdone, but pumpkins, and fall decor will be stored, white pine cones and holly will replace them, along with a pointsettia (artificial) some snowmen and a lighted gift. I have a tree, but since my cleaning lady would probably not be able to take it down by herself, I’ll leave it in the garage and the guests this season can decide for themselves If they want it up or not.

                                                   

                                                  I Would love to hear if others change out for the coming season and for those who celebrate other religious holidays.....do you decorate for that holiday and what would the decorations be?  (I really am interested in learning!!)

                                                  • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                                                    familyfirst Contributor

                                                    I have a Christmas tree and Christmas lights outside, ALL my guests love it. Even my non-Christian guests who love the holiday. Every hotel has a Christmas tree and it's our home and that is how we celebrate.

                                                    • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                                                      familyfirst Contributor

                                                      And we also put up a Christmas wreath for the front door. MANY non-Christians celebrate Christmas, even Muslim and Jewish families, I know plenty. Good friends of mine in the US who are strict Muslims, don't drink alcohol, have a Christmas tree every year...it's about Santa Claus for their kids and joining in the American traditions. Some People are way too touchy or are worried about political correctness that they miss out on the fun things in life, just my opinion.

                                                        • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                                                          sonenalpmammoth Active Contributor

                                                          I do not decorate for religious holidays. I don't see this as political correctness, but rather cultural sensitivity and business savvy. We host a huge number of culturally and religiously diverse guests from Thanksgiving -Jan 6 and I want them all to feel welcome and comfortable in our home.

                                                           

                                                          Our rate during this time is at least 4x our usual summer rate so it is important to me to cast as wide a net as possible by making everyone feel at home, not just guests who share our customs.

                                                           

                                                          We do have traditional Christmas decorations stored and if a guest ever requests, I provide them.

                                                           

                                                          For the record, 85%ish of our guests are from LA, 10%ish from San Fran. So expectations for religious decorations are probably very different than they would be in other parts of the country.

                                                            • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                                                              twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                                                              I am sorry but as previously described every store, town etc has Christmas decorations. I suppose my feeling is that if they will be offended by my Christmas decoration it is their responsibility to ask first before booking over the holidays.  I would never be offended by another persons home with their own choices for the holidays...

                                                               

                                                              Way too many “offended” people by things that if they are firm in their own beliefs should have no effect what so ever????

                                                              • Re: How do you decorate for Christmas?
                                                                u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                                I will give you a totally unique perspective on this. I grew up in USSR which, as you may know, was a secularized society and religion of any kind was frowned upon. Well guess what. this very secular society had New Years celebration.. with decorated tree (called new year's tree), Grandfather Frost (aka Santa Claus in the West) who brought presents to the kids, lights and wreaths and overall joyful celebrations and parties were held involving gift giving etc. basically a copy of Christmas sans religious component. USSR encompassed 15 republics, with people from totally different backgrounds. Everyone celebrated and looked forward to it as biggest holiday of the year, and no on was "sensitive" about it or offended. Not advocating for USSR, but just saying that everyone can celebrate and I would not worry much about so called "cultural sensitivity". So whomever does not celebrate the religious aspect of Christmas will likely enjoy the sight of decorations, lights, trees etc. JMO.