Holiday Guest Tips


Holiday entertaining can be quite stressful for any host, even with these tips I’ve shared. Since majority of us will be guests this season there are a few things we can do that will help out the host tremendously. You’ll be a great friend and guest by following these simple tips this holiday season.

1. Be Proactive 

  • Don’t be shy about dietary restrictions or other special requests you need for your meal. Whether it’s gluten-free, vegetarian, or allergies, you and your host will enjoy the holiday knowing that you will still be able to savor it.
  • Let your host know if you will or will not be attending with plenty of time beforehand. Make sure to let them know if you will be bringing a guest. Not only will this help them prepare enough food, if they are planning to make place cards they can properly prepare their seating arrangements.
  • Ask what the dress attire is, unless they suggest a super-casual holiday, dress appropriately. No offensive, skin-tight dresses. It’s definitely a time to show off great season looks, but don’t steal your host’s thunder, respect the home you’ll be in and other guests as well. Plus, remember you want to feel comfortable too!

2. Ask How You Can Contribute 

  • A simple ask to bring an appetizer or pie makes a big difference for any host. If you’ve got restrictions, offer to make a dish you can definitely eat, just make sure to make enough to share with others as well.
  • Providing your own dish or a buffet style holiday? Bring utensils and serving ware. Your host may overlook that small detail or they may not have the proper tools for your dish.
  • Most hosts really do have the menu down to a science, but they could still use the extra hand with setting the table, lighting candles, or laying out food. If they don’t want the help, the offer is kind enough, so enjoy the day with other guests.

3. Recognize Your Host

  • Bring a small gift that shows your host your thankful for their hard work.
  • A bottle of wine is always a good item to bring. It can be tricky choosing white or red, and a label your host will enjoy, so a great alternative is a dessert wine, like Muscato or Port Wine.
  • I prefer thoughtful gifts. Be creative and bring them something delicious and light for breakfast the next day, like fresh fruit for a smoothie.

4. The Big Day 

  • Don’t arrive too early. Most hosts are rushing to get ready the hour before guests are to arrive {I know this from personal experience}, so let your host have those few precious moments to themselves.
  • Don’t be over 30 minutes late either. There’s nothing worse than walking into a room of hungry guests, or missing out on delicious appetizers and quality mingling time. If you are running late, make sure to let your host know.
  • The holidays are about family and friends, catching up on lost times or new interactions. Put your social life on hold. There isn’t anything I find more rude than guests on their phones at the table or amongst a conversation with a group of guests. Picture taking, on the other hand are more than acceptable!
  • Leave complaints and bad attitudes at the door. Regardless of what kind of morning you had or whether the food isn’t to your liking, remember the hard work your hosts have put in for you.
  • Don’t be that guest sleeping on the couch long after others have left, unless you’re staying the night of course. If you know you will most likely doze off sometime during the day, make sure to offer to clean before the tryptophan kicks in.
  • Help clean up, it’s the best you can do for your host! Dishes need to be collected and cleaned, food put away, dessert placed on the table, trash bags put out, or someone to entertain the kids – let them know where they can put you to best use.
  • Avoid controversial topics! Unless your family normally finds themselves in heated debates, stick to engaging conversations everyone can participate in. Also, don’t force yourself on guests that may want to stick to themselves, holidays can be stressful for quiet people, so let them enjoy the day on their own.

 5. Say “Thank You” 

  • Send your host a quick note or phone call thanking them.  Note things that you loved or stood out to you. It shows them that their hard work was worth it and appreciated.

Remember have fun, help out, and enjoy the holidays!

{image via The Pretty Blog}

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