The Effortless House Guest

thanksgiving-photoIn the next few weeks, many of us will either be guests at the homes of friends or family, or be welcoming guests into our homes.  Some of my best holiday memories involve making my family’s stay with us one of warmth and fun.

Being an “effortless” house guest insures that you will always be invited back.  What do I mean by effortless?  I mean being someone who does not require that your host and the household activities revolve around you.  I am reminded of my nephew, a vegetarian, who says at any home-cooked meal or restaurant visit, “Don’t worry about me. I’ll find something to eat.”  He does not want us to fuss over him and that makes him an effortless guest.

So here are some tips for being an effortless house guest, whether it be for Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve:

  1. Tell your host when you are planning to get there, and if possible, arrange your own transportation.
  2. Keep the room and bathroom you use neat. Don’t expect anyone else to pick up after you.
  3. Offer to help with the preparation of the holiday meal, or any other tasks when your host is clearly busy with something for the group.
  4. Eat what is being served, unless you have informed your host in advance about food allergies.
  5. Don’t expect your hosts to keep you entertained. In addition to time for visiting and talking, they may have other responsibilities.  Be prepared to entertain yourself.
  6. When it is time to leave, offer to put your sheets and towels into the washer.
  7. If you are there more than a few days, offer to take your hosts out to dinner in an effort to reciprocate their hospitality.


Enjoy the holidays and help your friends or family to enjoy theirs by being the best house guest you can be …an effortless one.