‘Tis the season for visiting friends and family for parties, dinners, and extended stays for the holidays. We all want to be good guests, but with all of the holiday activity, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so here are some easy tips that will ensure that you’re invited back!
- If you will be a houseguest, communicate your schedule and itinerary to your hosts so that they know exactly what to expect. Even if you have a perfect relationship, they will want to know when they can expect to get back on their regular schedules. Be sure to remind everyone in your group (such as children) that it is especially important to pick up after themselves to avoid burdening your host with the task, and to be courteous about their sleep schedules.
- Offer to help with meal preparation and cleaning. Your host may feel uneasy about accepting help from a guest, so be specific and let them know that you want to help. For example, say, “I know that you’ve been cooking for hours. I’d like to clean up the kitchen so that you can relax,” or “Your sister has arrived. Can I mash the potatoes for you so that you can greet her?” It doesn’t have to be a big task, just a helpful one!
- Unless you are absolutely certain that everyone shares your views, do not discuss religion or politics! If someone attempts to goad you into an argument about a sensitive subject, be armed with the response, “My views are my own and I’d rather not discuss them at this time.” Stay on message and repeat it as often as you must. Your host will appreciate that you do not start or participate in an argument.
- Let your host know if you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions, and ask if any of the other guests do. If you’re bringing a dish, this will allow you to bring something that everyone will be able to enjoy!
- If you are not contributing to the meal, bring a gift for the host. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but something the host will enjoy – if you’re stumped, a gift card or a donation to a charity they support are always well received. If you’re staying for several days and nights, offer to take your host(s) to dinner or brunch.
- Bring slippers so that you can remove your shoes or boots and avoid tracking in dirt, mud, and snow. If you’re in a colder climate, bring an extra sweater so that you will be comfortable without running up your host’s electricity bill!
These tips, along with being your normal, courteous selves will land you on the guest list for events still to come!