In a week you’ll be nearly all packed and ready to head to the family Christmas gathering, but will the family Christmas gathering be ready for you? What I mean is, does your family entering the doors make everyone hold their breath?
You might adore your “rambunctious children,” and make light of their rowdiness, but when they go tearing through Aunt Linda’s house, oblivious to her belongings, to other’s privacy or the work she spent getting the house just right for the gathering, your presence might not create the delightful day for her that it is to you.
The truth is, holiday gatherings can cause friction, and often it’s caused by guests that aren’t as gracious as they could be. As you prepare to head over to someone else’s home – whether they’re relatives or friends, could I encourage you to consider others as you head into their home? Here are a few tips about being a gracious guest that we ALL need to heed:
- Arrive on time. Don’t get there after the meal has been served or everyone is seated. Be a little early – ten minutes is good.
- Be prepared to help. See what needs to be done with the meal or clean up and lend a hand.
- Be appreciative. Let your hosts know how thankful you are for them opening their home – even if it’s your mom and “she always hosts us for holidays!” When it’s your turn, you’ll know what a hero she really is!
- Take a hostess gift. Suggestions are here on this post.
- Talk to your children before you go. Give them restrictions about what rooms are off limits, as well as what kind of behavior is acceptable. We know you love your child, but be nice and train your child so others will love him too! =)
- Don’t stay too long. Know when things are winding down (that’s before children are crabby and doors are slammed!) and make a gracious exit. Before leaving, have your children clean up any messes they made in their play areas. There’s nothing like finding your child’s room torn apart after guests are gone!
- Send a thank you note to your hostess. Swift gratitude is the sweetest. I recently had to apologize for an overdue note! Shame on me!
A little thinking and planning ahead, along with instructing your children will make your family gathering a happy time for both you and your host. And they won’t think twice about inviting you back!
What suggestions do you have for being a gracious guest?