How to be a good guest

Andrea Schwartz shares some of her thoughts on how to be a gracious overnight guest.


By Jennifer Shapira

Andrea Schwartz knows a thing or two about a hosting holiday gatherings. Thanksgiving is, by far, her personal favorite. Her grown children balk at any suggestions of trying out new recipes, instead insisting the menu stays unchanged The result? A host of wonderful traditions. Here, she shares some of her thoughts on how to be a gracious overnight guest.

◗ Keep your stuff confined. Don’t leave personal items in a common area. Pick up after yourself. Use the hangers in the closet or the dresser drawer designated for guest use.

◗ When it comes to meals, help with the set up and the clean-up. Even if your offer is declined one night, ask again the next.

◗ If you’re visiting for an extended period of time, take the host out to dinner. Or go grocery shopping to pick up ingredients for a meal you’ve offered to cook.

◗ Bring a nice little gift that the host can use during your visit. Think pumpkin bread or muffins, some nice chocolate, coffee or tea, or a bottle of wine.

◗ If your host has house rules, always abide by them.

◗ Offer to strip the sheets and blankets from the bed on your last day. That way, your host can drop them right into the washing machine.

◗ Along those same helpful lines, empty the trash in the guest bedroom and/or bathroom and put it into the host’s main kitchen trash or into the trash pail.

◗ And finally, send a thank you note. Expressing your sentiments in writing “really means so much to people,” says Schwartz. “There’s something really nice about getting a note in the mail.”

(November 2013)