Guys, whether it is heading home to mom and dad’s place for the holidays or going to a friend’s house, we know you are excited to get away from the grind of work or school, right?

But just because your mom loves you, or your best buddy tells you to “just show up”, hopefully you remember that there is an etiquette to spending a weekend or a week at a home other than your own place.

Sure, maybe your mom told you to bring home your laundry, and you know she will love you regardless of how you comport yourself, but if you are adult enough to be out on your own, even mom deserves your very best….after all, she IS cooking your favorite holiday meal, right?

We thought we would pass along just a few handy tips on how to be an awesome, and appreciated, houseguest who will always be welcome back!

Be Respectful of Time!

That doesn’t just mean showing up at the dinner table while the food is still hot, but also:

  • Don’t arrive unannounced: Even mom won’t want to greet you when she just has just emerged from the shower!
  • Always ask: If you haven’t been invited, but you are going to be “in town”, be sure you ask if staying over is ok with your host(s)…make sure you aren’t either imposing or making someone feel guilty about not having you over!
  • Let your host know your schedule: Be sure that if you have plans, let your host know about them so they don’t plan on having you dine with them…or don’t lock you out by mistake!
  • Respect your host’s schedule: Even if you are a late diner, if your hosts have dinner early, join them. Be respectful of their routine.

Never Show Up Empty-Handed!

And no, that doesn’t mean bringing your laundry home to mom. It means always bring a gift for your host(s), whether it is a bottle of wine or other holiday cheer, flowers, or maybe some special holiday mugs and winter blend coffee or tea so you can all get cozy and reminisce after dinner.

Do Your Share!

Don’t expect to be waited on. Help with chores, clean up after a meal, do the dishes and let your host(s) know how appreciative you are of their hospitality. Even if it is refused, offer to chip in for food or, better yet, offer to take your hosts out for brunch or another meal. Then, when your stay is over, be sure to strip your bed and don’t leave a mess in the bathroom or guest room. Be sure that there are no telltale signs of your having shaved, brushed your teeth or cleaned your tongue left in the bathroom sink, take out the trash and never, EVER, leave an empty toilet paper holder!

Express your Gratitude!

Be sure that after you get back home you ALWAYS send a thank you note to your hosts. The old-fashioned way – write a note, with a real pen and on a nice card, and send it in the mail. No phone calls or emails for this purpose, guys – invest in the postage and be sure to offer your place to your hosts should they be in town.  A few minutes of your time will be so very appreciated, and chances are…. you will be asked back!

A Guy's Guide to Being An Awesome Holiday Houseguest