Have you been invited to stay over this Christmas?
Are you panicking about what to do and bring?
Well, don’t because you’ve come to the right place.
Although I was raised in a Russian family I’m pretty sure that the ‘guest etiquette’ is the same in our modern family as it is for most Brits. Here are 9 easy to follow tips that will help you be a great house guest this Christmas season.
1. Bring Something for the Table
Don’t come empty handed. A small gesture of festive food, chocolates or an alcoholic drink will make a great first impression. You want to contribute to something, even if it’s small, especially if the host is cooking and preparing everything for Christmas dinner themselves.
2. Ask If They Take Shoes Off Inside
Some households don’t like people wearing shoes indoors. Don’t assume that if you don’t take your shoes off at home that it’s the same for your hosts. Have a think about whether they have carpets downstairs as it’s usually harder to clean and so it’s more likely they’d like you to take your shoes off.
3. Bring Wrapped Christmas Gifts
If you’re staying for Christmas Day it’s a good idea to bring every family member a Christmas present. If you wrap the gifts then then it’ll offer an extra element of surprise, even if the present is small. This will bring everyone together too and create a very merry atmosphere where everyone is having fun.
Tip: Make sure not to forget anybody!
4. Consider Their Pets
Pets are a part of the family so don’t forget them either. Think about bringing a treat or a toy. Also, be considerate of the animals in the house. If they are shy then don’t pet them too much and if they’re excited then don’t ignore them completely. Offer the right amount attention and ask the host if you are not sure!
5. Babysit the Children
If your hosts have children then play with them whilst the host cooks and prepares for Christmas. Whether it’s last minute cleaning or cooking a special meal, it’s always easier to complete the tasks when the children are occupied and happy.
6. Keep the Guest Bedroom Tidy
When you stay, be sure to keep your room or area tidy. As a guest, although you’re not expected to clean, it will make things much more pleasant and easier for the host if you kept the space neat. It’ll also work in your favour if you’re to stay there for longer than one night as you’ll come back to a tidy bedroom.
7. Ask the Host to Help
Always be helpful when possible. It can be hard to look after guests as there is more to do so offering a helping hand means it’ll be that bit easier. It’s also a great way to be asked back to stay over again in the future 😉
8. Bring your Own Towel and Toiletries
Unless you’re close to the host you might find it awkward to ask for a towel and toiletries so be sure to bring your own. If you don’t have enough space in your luggage for a towel then be sure to ask in advance if they’re happy for you to borrow one rather than assume that they will have a spare.
9. Don’t Overuse the WiFi
This etiquette is definitely one that’s only for the 21st century. The modern way of living means that we use internet a lot, whether it’s a phone or tablet. Don’t forget that the WiFi is finite so do be considerate when using it. Also, don’t be rude and actually enjoy the company of your host and their family rather than spend your time on your portable devices!
So, I hope you’ve learnt a thing or two about guest etiquette and that you and the host have a very merry Christmas!
What do you do to be a good house guest during the festive season?
*All photography is by Alina Ghost from Living Etc House Tours 2016