Visiting for the Holidays - How Polite a House Guest Are You?
Traveling from afar to share the holiday spirit is one of the best loved times of the year. While visiting can add enormous joy, have you been reasonably polite to observe some fair etiquette as a guest? I've already shared some homemade Christmas ideas for our favorite men, so allow me this time to share tips on how to be a delightful house guest.
Little something means a lot. If you can afford the trip, you can afford to buy a little something. If they have small children, get them lovely cookies, or bake them some. Aside from conveying warm thoughts for the season, kids will not forget you bringing them something good for Christmas. Whether it's anything homemade or purchase something along the way, your thoughtfulness will be appreciated.
It is self-explanatory not to bring another guest with you. Your hosts would love to spend time with you and not with your personal guest. Though some hosts find this acceptable, still it can be a brow raiser for some. When you say you're arriving after lunch, be there. Call to say you'll be late if you're expecting to be late.
If you're planning to take your dog with you, talk with your hosts first if the dog is invited. The children of the house might be afraid of animals, they're allergic, or could be the family simply don't like animals. If they do have a dog and you're bringing yours, that makes it more likely the dogs will fight.
If your dog is invited, you’ll want to ask the host about the facilities you could use. This will help you figure out how to prepare your dog to be a good guest, as well. Thanks Angela, had it not with you, I would have missed this important etiquette.
Be visible. Do not go to bed without telling your hostess. It is politeness to leave it to your hosts that it is time to go to bed, unless your eyes are starting to fall from an exhausting trip. They would understand if you really need to rest. You would not want your host to look all over for you only to know you've gone snoring. Ask permission if you need to leave the house. It is politeness to not leave your hosts guessing whether you went out or you're in your room with the door shut.
Give your hosts the pleasure of spoiling you. When its time for dinner, be appreciative. It is a great thing for your hostess to hear you enjoying the food, but always be honest. Don’t say you like shrimps when you really don’t eat shrimps. Try to get through it even if you only eat one portion and move to the next food.
You can offer to pick up something for the next meal if you feel that mealtime may be an on-going issue. When meal is over, quietly help clear the plates, but avoid putting things away without asking where they go.
Many hostess who entertain a friend for a couple of days or so would love their guest to behave like a guest and not to follow them around asking if she can help, but some would be glad if the guest would sit and chat with her while she is preparing a meal.
Share if you can. Your host most probably will offer to drive you around. Usually, hosts insist on paying for your entertainment which is a good idea of you insisting on buying him or her coffee or dinner, at the very least. Be cheerful. Invite them along on some of your adventures. Even if they cannot make it, they would be motivated to make some plans.
Respect and observe house rules. A guest always gets special treatment. However, it is nice to be courteous and abide by the house rules. If they take their shoes off at the door, you are taking your shoes off. If everyone goes to breakfast earlier than your usual schedule, you are taking breakfast early. If they don’t smoke in the house, you don’t smoke in the house. If they recycle, you recycle. With the right etiquette, you are less likely to offend.
Clean after yourself.
When it’s about time to go, let your hosts know what time you wish to leave. Fold up your sheets and pillowcases ready for laundry. Even if your host is a slob, leave the room tidy. In case you have used up all the toothpaste or shampoo, it would be very generous of you to replenish them.
Thank them for the wonderful time you had with them, the kids, and even the dog! Make your farewell as charming and courteous. A gracious, handwritten bread-and butter note sent immediately following your visit is a grateful gesture.
Mention how you have loved your stay, the dessert, the exciting talks, along with your sincerest “Thank You”. Your hosts will be happy to know how they have made your visit memorable.
MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all!
More by this Author
Etiquette is part of every day.
A family-style or sit-down meal, whether formal or informal, can be more solemn and intimate.
How many dress cut styles are you familiar with?