Thanksgiving is on the horizon, and Christmas is already upon us for some (ahem: retailers). Here are some tips on how to be a good house guest to help ensure a coveted spot on the re-invite list for next year’s gatherings:
1. Prep/cook off-site as much as possible.
The host is usually in charge of the turkey, ham, or a slew of other dishes so asking them an hour before the party to use their counter space or oven can be stressful. That’s just poor planning or decision-making. Start earlier, choose a different dish, or clear it with the host ahead of time.
2. Clean up after yourself.
The rule of thumb is to leave a place as good or better as you had found it.
If you can see the crumb you dropped, so can everyone else. Leave it and karma will make sure you step in something fierce if its doing its job. Also, don’t forget the bathrooms.
3. Top it off, drop it off.
Don’t be that person who pushes all the trash down to make room for your own out of laziness. Chances are, three others have already tried before you, and you’ll end up tearing the bag, creating an even bigger mess.
4. Take home your leftovers.
Don’t be offended. Some people just don’t do leftovers, and there is such a thing as too much food. Respect the host’s wishes and take your dish home. Share it with others, or get creative with your next few meals.
5. Respect the no-shoes rule.
When asked to take off their shoes, the resistant responses are endless:
“Do I have to?”
*rolls eyes* “Sigh, fine…”
Not every household does this, but it isn’t just for Asian households, folks. Imagine walking through late autumn/early winter rains and snowfalls, then trudging all of that water and muck through someone’s pristine home. Sure, it’s not your home, but… it’s not your home. Play by their rules.
6. Be sensitive to others’ dietary needs.
By all means, make the dish you want, but if you can help it, why not put the bacon bits on the side if you know a vegetarian is attending? If you can’t help it, make a sign that says, “This dish contains peanuts.” Don’t put yourself out too much, but people will note your thoughtfulness.
Also, if you have an allergy, let it be known or you’ll have little reason to complain about your limited food options the day of.
7. Have fun!
It’s a gathering. Enjoy good food and drinks surrounded by good friends. If you are down about something, use the party as an opportunity to focus on the good in your life. Smiling can make a big difference, and causing others to smile makes an even bigger one. =)