Holiday Houseguest Manners
As a guest, it’s your job to put all your positive qualities on display: enthusiasm, congeniality, consideration, and thoughtfulness.
- Arrive on time: Never show up early and if you’ll be more than 15 minutes late, call ahead.
- Turn off your cell phone: While you’re at someone else’s home, consider yourself “unavailable.” If you’re expecting something important, turn your phone on vibrate and excuse yourself to take the call.
- Be considerate: Don’t put your feet on furniture, use a coaster for drinks, leave the bathroom neat for the next person.
- Be complimentary: About the food, the décor, the garden, the company.
- Respect your host’s trust: Don’t snoop in cabinets, closets, or desks. If you break something, let your host know and offer to pay for the repair.
- Be a willing participant: Take part in whatever your host offers and be active in the conversation, chatting with people on both your left and right at the dinner table.
- All things in moderation: Try not to overindulge, whether it’s the hors d’oeuvres or the pinot noir.
- Offer to help when you can: Offer to pass hors d’oeuvres, light candles, help serve dessert. If your offer is turned down, don’t insist.
- Unless invited in, keep clear of the kitchen: If your host says “no thanks,” go enjoy yourself at the party.
- Don’t switch place cards: Your spot was chosen especially for you, so enjoy it!
- Leave with the group: Don’t settle in as others are saying farewell, unless you’ve been invited to stay.
- Thank your hosts on the way out: Make sure to say “good-bye” and “thank you” to each of your hosts as you leave.