You know that old saying, “Guests, like fish, start to smell after three days” (Ben Franklin). Holiday time almost always involves traveling to see family and friends. That time together can be joyous, or it can be miserable, it’s up to you. Here are 10 tongue-in-cheek holiday guest tips so you get invited back again next year.
1. R.S.V.P: If you have R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for your hosts, R.S.V.P. in a timely manner. Let them know you are coming and when. There is nothing more frustrating (as a host) than running around all day cleaning, just to find out that you won’t arrive until the next day, or that you are not coming at all. Even worse? When you call to say that you are arriving in 20 minutes, and your hosts did not know you were coming. Are you C.R.A.Z.Y? Finalize plans at least a week before arrival.
2. Bring a Gift or Flowers: A gift is a nice gesture to thank the host for
putting up with having you. If you don’t want to deal with carrying a gift on the plane, stop at a grocery or drug store and grab a gift on the way to the hosts house. Get them something unique to show your host you care, such as flowers, a plant, gourmet coffee, wine, or chocolate. If you are a difficult guest, bring two gifts…as a matter of fact, just bring two to be on the safe side.
3. Don’t Act Like Royalty: You may be a guest, but that does not mean you should be waited on like royalty. Holidays are a busy time, so put your tiara in the suitcase, roll up your sleeves, and get to work. Most hosts would welcome an extra pair of hands or two.
4. Tame the Beasts: Teach your children how to behave at other peoples’ homes. If your kids are playing Pilgrims and Indians in the dining room, chasing the Thanksgiving turkey (Grandma’s chihuahua) around the table, chances are you may not be invited to “gather round the table” again next year.
5. Don’t Act Like You Are At Home: Make yourself at home does not mean acting like you are at home. Flush the toilet, and don’t leave dirty socks, diapers, razors, or wet towels laying all over the bathroom or bedroom. You will probably share that bathroom with the hosts, and they do not want to see that nastiness!
6. Entertain Yourself. Don’t expect the host to keep you entertained 24/7; they may be busy with household chores or dinner preparations. Bring a book, cards, or game to keep you and your kids entertained. And no, entertaining yourself does not include finger painting with the sweet potatoes.
7. Ask Before Bringing Your Furry Friends: Ask before bringing family pets to someone else’s house. You have seen “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” right? You know what happened to the cat? Enough said.
8. Don’t Bring a Surprise Guest: The same goes for uninvited guests. Ask first before bringing a guest with you. Hosts usually plan food, bedding, etc. based on the number of planned guests, and if you show up with an extra person, you could throw their whole game off (and if your uninvited guest chews on the Christmas tree lights, you have bigger problems than you realize).
9. Step Away From the Electronics: Do not use your hosts cameras, laptops, and other electronics without asking. A guest once used my work laptop and “accidentally” deleted a project I was working on. I “accidentally” deleted her from our guest list. Oops.
10. Give Your Host a Break: Offer to take your hosts out for dinner one night, to give them a break. If you cannot afford to go out, offer to make dinner, which includes doing the dishes after (without grumbling).