They say there’s no place like home for the holidays, so how can you make the most of the celebrations if you’re playing guest to another family? If you’ve been invited to take part in the festivities with a significant other or friend this year, you may be feeling the pressure to make a good impression — but we don’t want you to miss out on the fun of the season! Scroll down for eight tips on being a great guest this holiday. These simple rules are sure to make you a popular visitor, no matter whose family you encounter.
1. Do your homework. Families are rarely simple, and if you’re adopting a new one for the holidays, it’s important that you take the time to learn about what you’re getting into. Find out who will be in attendance and how they’re connected to each other. If the person who invited you is willing to give you the inside scoop on their family’s drama, you’ll have your eyes wide open when you walk in the door, and it will make for a more relaxed visit.
2. Be a gracious guest. There’s a lot to be said for being a fantastic host, but being a charismatic guest is just as important — especially if you’re making yourself part of another family’s all-important holiday. Grab a simple hostess gift, whip up some treats to share or offer to make a festive punch for the celebration. It doesn’t matter what you contribute, as long as you do!
3. The usual rules apply — manners matter. Your hosts will likely want you to feel at home, which is lovely, but resist the temptation to get too comfortable. Clean up after yourself and remember that basic manners go a long way.
4. Don’t be a follower. After initial introductions have been made, allow yourself to detach a bit from the person who invited you. Offer to lend Grandma a hand in the kitchen, watch a movie with Uncle Bob, or teach the nieces and nephews how to make Christmas cookies. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to forge your own relationships with these family members, and your S.O. or friend will benefit from having time to do their own thing.
5. Stay mellow. If the family you’re visiting prefers a more formal holiday, don’t show up in a wacky Christmas sweater. If your hosts aren’t big drinkers, hold off on getting tipsy until New Year’s. It’s important to be yourself and to let your hosts get to know who you really are, but it’s also important to show that you’re willing to go with the family’s flow.
6. Your presence is present enough. Well, not really, but our point here is to be present and engaged with your hosts as much as possible. Instead of sleeping the holiday away, make an appearance outside of bed at a reasonable hour. Put down your phone and talk to the people in front of you instead of your Instagram followers. You’ll win a lot more friends by making it clear that you’d like to get acquainted.
7. Don’t forget your own family. If there’s one scenario when it would be totally appropriate for you to have your phone out as a holiday guest, it’s to share a little love with your own family! Don’t get so caught up in the excitement of new traditions that you forget to call or text your loved ones.
8. Send a thank you card. So you’ve mastered the other seven tips and were a top-notch guest for the holidays. Mission accomplished — right? Not quite. Take the extra step by sending a thank you note. Whether your thank you comes via snail mail, e-card or text, this thoughtful gesture will make your hosts wish you’d never left — and will likely lock up an invitation for the next holiday too.
Do you have any more tips for making a good impression on a special occasion? Tweet us @BritandCo!
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