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For those of you with whole home rentals, and who have separate sets of guests over Christmas and New Year’s - when do you take down your Christmas decorations? - Most importantly, the Christmas tree.
My minimum night stay for Christmas week and New Year’s week is both seven days for each. My New Year’s guests are taking their own vacation for a break after the Christmas holidays - (they will be arriving on Dec. 27th) - Christmas guests are checkin out same day.
So for those of you who only have maybe 5 hours to turn over the home, do you arrange to take down the inside Christmas tree before your New Year’s guests arrive?
In France and southern Europe the use is to keep Christmas decor until the Epiphany (first Sunday of January). On that day we eat a delicious puff pastry filled with almond cream (cooking pastry right now)
in Switzerland it’s Dreikönigskuchen (three kings’ cake), a sweet bread sold with a paper crown. The bread is torn into pieces, and shared as somewhere within it is hidden a little plastic king. Whoever finds the king gets to wear the paper crown, and be royalty for the day.
As long as my tree is not in a pile on the floor I leave it up until the weeknd after New Year’s and then I take it down the next time I am up from the city. For the last few years I have had renters for the week between Xmas and NY and that’s what they expect - a festive holiday cabin on the woods. I don’t over-do, though. A simple tree and a couple seasonal pillows and that is it. I also do the tree in a minimalist style that is easy and quick to put up and take down.
Our family tradition was to not put the tree up until Christmas eve. Then my parents would hide in their bedroom and wrap all the gifts.
I thought this was a significant part of my heritage, but had to let it go with my kids as it just didn’t work (we are always out of town for Christmas). I asked my parents how this tradition came to be and how long it had been going on. Turns out they only did it that way because my mom worked long hours during the holidays and that was the first chance they had to do it!! It wasn’t a family tradition at all!
I thought that was always the tradition…to put up the tree on Christmas Eve. And then Americans just became so anxious that they put it up right after Thanksgiving. Funny that it coincided with your mom’s work schedule…lol.
It’s the same here. Usually here, the figurine is made of porcelain though (nowadays they often are characters from popular movies, Minions, Frozen, Star Wars, whatever). The whole process here involves the youngest of the party hiding under the dining table while someone else cuts the galette into pieces and asks the youngest “Who is this piece for?”.
Actually, years ago I ate one with Italian friends and one of them almost broke a tooth as we had forgotten to warn them.
cabinhost, why don’t you just send them a message before they arrive and let them know you’ll be coming in on whatever day you choose to take the tree down? I would think most guests would be perfectly fine with that.
Just to add - that I don’t decorate our rental for Christmas. For various reasons, it’s not my favourite time of year and when I look back through by previous guests I have hosted Muslims, Jews and plenty of other people who are not interesting in the Christmas tradition.
I prefer to leave our rental as a ‘blank space’. If guests want to decorate, they can.
We went to a party a few years ago and there was a Kings cake. Inside was a plastic baby Jesus. I chomped down and almost broke a tooth on the precious child, so it was up to me to have the next party, and I had to host it within three months. You’d think that would be enough to make me swear off cakes, but no…
I never got the whole thing of throwing the next party…unless everyone runs within the same social circle. You aren’t under any kind of “etiquette” obligation to invite everyone at the current party…to the party you host - are you?
Once my guests get into the house and their tour is done…they don’t want someone entering their private space during their vacation. If they can’t get the electronics workiing or something…then of course my partner will go over to help them. But other than that…they don’t want people over unless it is necessary.
It is imperative to take the tree down before New Years? We also have back to back Christmas and NY’s guests. Think we are just going to leave the tree up for the NY’s guests. It’s hard enough to turn the house over with check out/check in the same day. Besides it’s still the holiday season! We’ll take it down when there’s time - which will be well into the first week in January.