It’s always courteous to be polite and helpful when you’re a guest in someone else’s home – so, if you’re planning on staying at a friend’s or significant other’s house this holiday season, you’ll need some etiquette tips. Whether you’re a first-time guest or an annual addition to the holiday table, here are a few pieces of advice to abide by:
Be On Time
Nothing is worse than inviting someone into your home, only to be kept waiting. Make sure you know when the event starts, and give yourself plenty of time to get there on time. If you aren’t sure what time you’re expected to be there, just ask the host!
Make Sure You Have a Good Introduction
Plan out a good introduction, especially if you’re meeting your significant other’s parents or family for the first time. Talk about how you would like to be introduced with your S.O., and ask them what their family or friends are expecting, too. Do their parents like to be called “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” or are they more casual? If you’re not sure, it’s always better to be respectful and err on the formal side.
Make It Clear How Long You Are Staying
Sometimes you are asked how long you plan to stay. Think about this ahead of time, or discuss it with the person you’re going with. Remember, you don’t want to overstay your visit.
Don’t Show Up Empty Handed
When you’re a guest in someone else’s home (and especially when you’re planning on eating their food), it’s nice to contribute something of your own. For example, a pre-made pie or a bottle of wine if you’re 21 and over. It doesn’t have to be something expensive - he thought is what counts.
Don’t Bring Additional Guests
If someone is expecting you, don’t bring additional people unless they say it is okay. It’s rude for you to invite others into someone else’s home.
Help the Host
If you see your host preparing food, setting up, or doing the dishes, offer to help them out. The host will really appreciate the offer. (Plus, if you’re staying at your boyfriend or girlfriend’s house, this is also a good time to bond with their family!)
You’ll usually be told to make yourself at home, but remember, you’re still in someone else’s house. Always ask if you need something before you get it yourself.
Avoid criticizing your host’s habits, lifestyle, their taste in food, or household items. Just say everything is wonderful, and leave it at that!
Don’t Talk About Your Family’s Disagreements
Avoid talking about the arguments you have with your family. You don’t want to come off as someone with many problems. When in doubt, keep it to yourself!
Stay Off Of Your Phone
Not only is this rude, but you don’t want to seem like you can’t have a decent conversation without your phone. Unless it’s an emergency, keep your phone out of sight.
Keep Your Area Clean
Make sure you clean up after yourself!. After you eat, make sure no crumbs are still on the table. If you use the bathroom, don’t leave the towels messed up, and be sure to turn the lights out when you’re done. Make your bed in the morning, and don’t leave a mess behind in your room. It’s simple stuff, folks.
Say Thank You
It’s always important to thank your host for having you. You should also add that the food was great and their home is lovely. Saying a quick “thank you” shows your appreciation for being a guest in their home, and when you’re a respectable guest, there’s a better chance you will be invited back next time. Don’t forget to send a thank you card after, too!