Owners It’s 5am on Christmas morning and I’m in my favourite spot – curled up in front of the fire with a mug of Tim Horton’s chocolate. BBC Radio 2 is on – wonderful commercial free entertainment that reminds me of Xmas mornings back in UK – and my living room looks wonderfully festive and really cosy. I’ve been thinking about the guests down at my cottage that arrived last night and hoping they got the WOW effect when they opened the door.I had trouble leaving there yesterday after I’d prepared it for them. The woodstove was alight; the table decorated and set for two; Christmas music was playing on Classic FM; table lamps were softly glowing, the hot tub up to temperature, and the lights on the mantel and tree completed the picture. We left a festive wicker gift basket filled with chocolates, wine and some scented candles, and for a couple enjoying their first Christmas together, I can’t think of a more welcoming effect.Making that extra effort to create the welcome pays benefits all round. Our guests will be happy, and I’m content I’ve done everything I could to make their stay memorable. It took less than a half and hour to do that final preparation and could make the difference between it being an ordinary and an extraordinary experience.These simple steps could be done by a caretaker if you are not available to do the pre-arrival preparation. Just provide him/her with a checklist and relevant supplies. It is so important, particularly in winter, to create a warm welcome.I’m off to spend the day with my son and daughter-in-law, so I hope you all have an enjoyable time with families and friends. Happy Christmas to everyone.