I know there is a deluge of posts right now on how to be the perfect host, make the best gravy, and plan a stress-free Thanksgiving, but what about being a good guest?
For some people, the only time they visit other homes is around the holidays, and while the host is rushing around, it's always nice to know that their guests have arrived, are enjoying themselves (and are behaving). Whether you are staying for dinner, or popping in for dessert, here are some ways to get you invited back again:
- Let them know you are coming. If they ask you, answer them; don't wait for a better offer, or until you are parked in their driveway.
- Always ask what you can bring. If they tell you not to bring anything, ignore them. It's the thought that counts; something they can enjoy/share, but don't have to cherish forever (flowers, plants, wine, pie, cookies, chocolates etc).
- If you want to bring someone who wasn't invited, just ask. (They will always say yes, but ambushing your host is unfair, and makes everyone feel uncomfortable).
- Before you leave your home, make sure you have your phone, the address and phone number. (Just in case you get lost, are running late, or there is an emergency).
- Don't arrive early. Plan on within half an hour after the time they said. (No-one wants the doorbell ringing when they are still in their underwear, trying to baste the turkey).
- Turn your phone off. (It annoys everyone, and you will be talked about later if you are texting under the tablecloth).
- Control the gossip. (Large groups mean lots of ears, and big mouths; you can't assume that what you say will be confined to the table).
- Be aware of how much you drink. It's stressful for everyone if you are arguing with the cat, and trying to unlock the neighbor's lawnmower with your car key.
- Offer to help, or, at the very least, stand up and move some dishes around. (It's a lot of work hosting, and even if they say no, a little effort is always appreciated).
- Know when to leave. If you're hosts are yawning, putting on their fuzzy socks and turning off the lights, you probably should have left an hour ago....