08 Dec How to Be the Perfect Holiday Houseguest
Christmas gifts are great and holiday food is delicious, but the best part of the holiday season is spending quality time with your friends and family. You may even be invited to spend a few days with a friend or family member — lucky you! Having someone open their home to you is a beautiful gift, but don’t take your role lightly. Remember that, as a houseguest, you have responsibilities, too. Read on for how to be the perfect holiday houseguest, and to ensure you get invited back for more holidays!
- Bring a gift.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, but a thoughtful gift of gratitude is a must. Think about what might make your hosts feel appreciated: a nice bottle of wine, a beautiful houseplant, treats from their favorite bakery.
- Stick to the itinerary.
If you’ve planned to arrive at 5 pm, don’t call at 5 to say you’re running late. And don’t overstay your welcome; it’s stressful to not know when guests are planning to leave. For everyone’s sake, stick to the arrival and departure times you’ve agreed upon.
- Lend a hand.
Always ask your host or hostess what you can do to help. This might mean helping to prepare a meal or keeping an eye on little Timmy while your hostess takes a shower. Be gracious and helpful and always clean up after yourself.
- Follow the house rules.
If you’re a smoker, ask politely where you can smoke. Don’t smoke or vape inside or near doorways or windows. Remove your shoes if it’s a no-shoes home.
- Nix social media.
If you’re spending time with your hosts, it’s expected that you will be fully present, which means not responding in monosyllables with your eyes glued to Facebook or Instagram. Save your social media time for when you are alone.
- Don’t expect to be entertained.
Your hosts may or may not have a slate of activities planned. If they don’t, that’s fine — you can find ways to fill your time, just let your hosts know of your plans.
- Be considerate of pets.
If your host has pets and asks you to bring yours, make sure you pack everything that your pet needs. Also be aware of the limits of pet socializing. Your excitable little terrier may not be on the best terms with your host’s cat, for example. Keep an eye on your pet and don’t allow any altercations or pet messes.
- Say “thank you!”
Take your hosts out for a meal at least once during your stay. It’s a nice way to say “thanks” for opening their home to you during the holiday season.