How to be a good guest
WELCOME to the holidays and a constant flurry of entertaining and socialising.
Friends and family will be stopping by for days, and in some cases, staying over.
While it can be wonderful to catch up with long- lost cousins and a joy to play with your nieces and nephews, the holidays can bring with them some unwelcome stress and exhaustion, especially if one of your holiday tasks is hosting a house guest.
A good house guest can be pleasant and enjoyable, while a bad one can cause tension at an already busy time of a year.
So, if someone opens their home to you over the holiday season, try to return the favour by spreading holiday cheer. Here are a few tips on being a good holiday house guest:
1. Communicate your arrival and departure dates in
advance. Give your hosts a chance to prepare for your visit, by letting them know ahead of time, when you will be visiting.
2. Be clear about who will be joining you. While it’s obvious you’re coming, it may be a good idea to let your hostess know that Fido will be making the trip with you. The same goes for significant others and kids.
3. Don’t complain. If conflicting lifestyles or allergies are a problem, make plans to stay elsewhere. Don’t complain about a house with pets or meat eaters. Stay at a hotel instead.
4. Respect the house rules. If your host doesn’t smoke or drink in the home, you shouldn’t, either.
5. Offer to cook or buy groceries. Preparing meals for more than the regulars can be taxing, so help your hostess out by taking charge in the kitchen or by making a trip to the shop.
6. Treat your hosts. If cooking isn’t one of your best skills, offer to take everyone out for a meal.
7. Lend a helping hand. Be prepared to do simple tasks such as washing dishes, folding laundry or vacuuming.
8. Don’t make yourself at home. It’s not your house. Ask before adjusting the thermostat or changing the TV channel.
9. Clean up after yourself. Wash the glass you drank from, straighten up the room you were sleeping in and keep the bathroom tidy. This is someone’s home,
not a hotel.
10. Leave a thank you gift. A hand- written note or card will suffice. Flowers or even a small gift are thoughtful gestures.