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Hosting Stress: 3 In 4 Americans Feel Anxious About Holiday Guests

Survey reveals common stressors and wish list for less stressful hosting

Planning on hosting at home for the holidays? Three in four Americans are feeling stressed about hosting guests this year.

The poll of 2,000 US adults revealed, while a majority (59%) stated they enjoy hosting guests at home, many are still running into stressors when hosting: making sure everyone enjoys themselves (32%), what food to serve (30%) and cleaning up in time for their guests’ arrival (28%).

Planning on hosting at home for the holidays? Three in four Americans are feeling stressed about hosting guests this year. NICOLE MICHALOU/PEXELS

Many said they felt like they never have enough seating (18%), space (18%) and food (14%) for guests when they arrive.

Thirty-two percent simply almost never feel prepared to have people over.

Commissioned by Article and conducted by OnePoll, the study found many have a “wish list” of things that would make hosting less stressful for them: a bigger budget (32%), a larger room (30%), convenient food and drink options (27%) and more chairs and seating (23%).

A majority (71%) said they need at least a day to prepare their homes to have people over; on average, they need three days to be ready for guests. Only one in five scramble to clean within hours of their guests’ arrival.

Ahead of arrivals, hosts will rush to clean-up/organize (62%), cook meals (61%), plan the menu (41%), prepare drinks (40%) and prepare a background music playlist (24%).

The survey found 55% said it’s important to them that their guests have a favorable opinion of their home and a third (31%) admit to worrying so much about their guests being comfortable, they end up forgetting to enjoy themselves.

“People enjoy hosting at home and many design their home with guests in mind,” explained Madison Adam, interior design manager at Article. “Finding the right furniture for your space can eliminate entertaining worries as you’ll be more prepared to host on any occasion and guests will feel more comfortable. While seasonal decor can make your home feel festive, outfitting your space with stylish, functional furniture will leave a lasting impression.”

Planning on hosting at home for the holidays? Three in four Americans are feeling stressed about hosting guests this year. NICOLE MICHALOU/PEXELS

The results also found 71% of respondents host guests in their living rooms, with a quarter (28%) also admitting that they feel like they don’t have enough space for guests in their home.

Nearly as many (27%) said their guests have to at least occasionally stand, due to not having enough space to sit down. Likewise, 25% have to hold their own cups and plates because there’s no space to put them down.

Of course, all this effort comes with some ground rules. Nearly seven in 10 (69%) of people said they have a “number one” rule in their home when guests come over.

Many even shared their rules: take off your shoes before you come in, eat at the dining table, if you make a mess, clean it up— and most importantly — make yourself at home and have fun.

“Incorporating thoughtful touches throughout your home makes guests feel welcomed,” continued Adam. “Entryways with convenient shoe storage, sideboards, and well-placed side tables and ottomans ensure glasses, platters, and extra guests have a designated spot to perch. Choosing furniture that has an everyday purpose in your home and delights guests when they visit will help make sure everyone has a good time, including the host.”


  • Making sure everyone enjoys themselves – 32%
  • What food to serve – 30%
  • Cleaning up in time for their arrival – 28%
  • Having enough room for everyone – 21%
  • Having activities to keep guests entertained – 18%
  • What drinks to serve – 14%
  • Making sure no one damages anything – 14%
  • Seating arrangements – 9%
  • Decorations – 7%

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by Article between October 6 and October 10, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

Produced in association with SWNS Research

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