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Christmas time hosting for those with private rooms

Hi Folks, Just wondering do you host over the Christmas period ? . Christmas is really big in Ireland and it starts in October, well actually some shops already have their Christmas section open.

Do you host over the Christmas period ?

I would imagine its a little strange as in Dublin, everything is closed so guests can’t go out shopping or visiting. So they will be in the house.

Do you invite your guests to join you for Christmas dinner ?

This year, am staying at home and have a muslim girl staying over the Christmas period. I am not sure if she is working on the day or not.

What have other hosts done ?

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I have in the past kept that day blocked off and will again this year. I do not even decorate for that holiday, I live alone, with no family in the area, sometimes I am scheduled to work (usually just a 4 hour shift), and when not working, I volunteer to deliver meals/food baskets to the more rural areas as no one ever seems to want that route (again, usually only takes 4hours).
I would feel obligated to have some kind of meal for guests as there are no restaurants open near me, unless of course they were visiting family and just needed a place to stay.
Rather than take a chance though on guests needing some kind of meal, I prefer to keep that day closed off.
I really like to use that day as a "me day’, when I’m done working or volunteering. A long walk unless the weather is a blizzard, a gentle restorative yoga practice. The world is so quiet for me that day, I like it, and I really don’t want the disruption of guests.


If someone wants to book Christmas and Boxing day that’s fine. But they will not be invited in to the main house for our family celebrations.


Our family is super busy all school year; it’s a whirlwind. (A good whirlwind!) So we do take that week as some down-time, play board games, put puzzles together, take walks.

Sadly, here, @brook2adks, it’s not such a quiet day anymore. I remember growing up in New Hampshire, just loving that there was a day that nobody went anywhere. I wish we could have that again, but alas, commerce rules all days. Except for nature’s occasional interference, “the show must go on”. Wouldn’t it be cool if each equinox and solstice could be days of rest? They don’t need a religious meaning, just a recognition that the earth is spinning quite fast and it would be wise for us all to sit and breath and enjoy at least 4 days out of 356.

Yes these threads sometimes do spin in interesting directions!


I hosted my first guests during Christmas last year. I was too new and inexperienced to raise the price. My guests were awful and stayed three weeks (I was too naive to restrict length of stays), and were scheduled to check out on the 26th. The guests wanted to extend their stay, and I said no, I had new guests coming on the 26th, so they left a day early, on Christmas. They left the suite so messy that I needed the extra day to clean. I had to skip a family Christmas function to clean, though it was in-laws with a lot of dogs. I’m allergic and they let the dogs climb all over the furniture and guests, so honestly I was happy to not go, but not happy to spend Christmas cleaning.

These are the guests who used the space heater to cook, for those who were here when I joined this forum last December.

My lesson learned: raise your prices on Christmas and New Years, and don’t allow any check in or check out on the 24, 25, or 26 so you don’t get stuck cleaning during your own holiday.


We did the hotel with family last year and loved it, was able to go swimming after breakfast but the children prefer to stay at home. I have my calendar blocked off, just so can spend some family time. I am on call for voluntary work over the Christmas period , so its more suited to be at home than in a hotel this year.

Don’t fancy cleaning over Christmas, just done 7 beds today ironed, washed and replaced and scrubbed 2 bathrooms, 4 bedrooms and 2 sitting rooms, and am ready for the scrap heap now. Your poor pet Xena.

Is boxing day the normal way to describe the 26th of December in US ? we call it St. Stephen’s day in Ireland, or in rural parts it can be called Wrens day or hunt the wren.

I don’t celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving so I’m happy to host on those days. I almost always invite our guests to join us for dinner if they wish. I certainly do so on days when many restaurants and stores are closed. I don’t eat meat so having another person or two join us for dinner is not a big expense.

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I have kept my calendar open for anyone to book over the Christmas holidays. I only have a single bed available, so I figured it would not be that much of a bother to include a person for Christmas dinner. I have changed the price back to my summer rates for the time frame though.

YES YES YES~~~~!!! I learned this very thing the very same way!!!
No more cleaning hairs, grime, or toilet stripes on that merriest day of the year… or the night before…when the family is drinking rum and cider, making cookies and watching Little Women. No WAY!!! Never again!

Christmas and NY are the only periods where I require a block booking. Last year it was 7 days. This year I am making it ten. They won’t find anything at all cheaper so if they want to book here they will meet my price. Period.

In Kona, Hawaii, you can NAME your price for those weeks and that is what I intend to do!

I couldn’t invite my guests for Christmas dinner last year, but much to my surprise (and slight annoyance) my neighbors did!!!

So glad that my neighbors are not bothered by my Air guests. So much so that they invite them for Christmas dinner. :smile: D

It was the funniest thing… I kept hearing this festive party next door… wondered if my guests (who I thought were downstairs) might be bothered by a party, and come to find out… THEY were the ones having a party at the neighbor’s! :smile:

I evaluate the holiday requests very carefully. Never ever again will my holidays get ruined by the wrong type of guest or by my Airbnb guests checking in on Christmas Eve and leaving on Boxing Day. Never!!!

PS… This is a resort area so nearly every restaurant in town is open with a special Christmas dinner.

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Hehehe, see, there is no situation without solution. If someone wants to party, they will find it. I had both rooms booked also, one for a week, one for 10 days but i did not limit how many days, it just happened. This year, i put 1 week minimum.

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Maybe they’ll be amazing guests that you want to invite into your main house!

Cassid – I call Dec 26 Boxing Day because my Lady Partner is British and her family has always had Boxing Day dinner with roast beef, Yorkshire puddings, roasted potatoes and parsnips, gravy of course, and usually a trifle for dessert.

I love Celtic music and have followed The Chieftains for fifty years (yes, I’m an olde farte). Their Bells of Dublin is my all time favorite Holiday album. It was there, or an old Tommy Makem/Clancy Brothers album that I first learned The Wren Song.


@cassid and @KenH - Another Clancy fan here! I believe Hunting the Wren is still (or perhaps again) celebrated in rural Ireland - and luckily no actual wrens are harmed during the proceedings!

“So up with the kettle and down with the pan, and gi’ us a penny to bury the wran!”

Last Christmas I hosted a lady who was in town to spend the holidays with her extended family, but they didn’t have space for her to sleep, so she stayed with me, and spent her days with them. It was a great deal.

I probably wouldn’t host a guest who expected to be part of my family Christmas celebrations or who would spend all day around the house. I go to my parents house on Christmas Day anyway, and I wouldn’t want to leave them home alone on Christmas Day, nor would I really want to invite them to my parents house.

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I doubled my prices for the month of December. I haven’t blocked off Christmas. A lot of college students are traveling during that time for winter break.

If no one books, I’m not concerned, and if I have half the bookings for twice the price, even better.

If you have Jewish guests many would very much like to be left alone on Christmas day. I am an atheist of Jewish ancestry. I don’t celebrate Christmas. If I were traveling a host who would not try to get me to celebrate a holiday that is not a tradition for me would be a breath of fresh air.

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Point well taken. I guess what I should say is I wouldn’t want a guest who expects me to entertain them over the holidays, or who would feel left out if I didn’t invite them, but if they are happy doing their own thing (whether that’s spending time outside the house or happy with a quiet day in the house), then it’s all cool.

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Brilliant Ken, you know your celtic music what about the furey brothers, love the ballad" the green fields of france" . Have you listened to Clannad ,very haunting music. Have started to listen to some of the older musicians as I love the uilleann pipes

Love the concept of the wren hunt, going house to house and all the community coming together. Sadly in the city it does not exist and St.Stephen;s day has become about sales and shopping. I hate to see old traditions disappear.


Oh! I love Clannad (and Enya) and all Celtic music as well. Ireland is definitely on my bucket list.

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Furey Brothers + Travelers made good. I hadn’t heard their version of Green Fields of France – very nice. I first heard Eric Bogle’s version (he wrote the tune). Another in the same anti-war vein is There Were Roses by Tommy Sands.

Clannad, Capercaille, Silly Wizard, so many more.

If you haven’t, check out Fellside Recordings, out of Cumbria, Scotland. Paul and Linda Adams have been publishing Celtic folk music for 40 years. Linda is a fabulous vocalist, on a par with Maddy Prior. Fabulous music, and Fellside has a histoy of giving newcomers their first break in the business. Paul and Linda, Maddy Prior and a handful of others also put together my second all time favorite album Steel Bonnets songs of the Border Reivers, under the Fellside label.

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