The winter holidays are a time to spend time with your friends and family, a much needed hibernation away from the world of work and academics. But often times the East Coast flight isn’t worth the time or money.

That’s when your best friend offers to take you in for Thanksgiving. And while your friend may be able to order mom to do his laundry and dad to cook him food, you as the guest cannot do any such thing. It’s time to break out those manners you never learned.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to be a good guest for the holidays.

Ask to do everything yourself

Cool parents will often times be happy to take care of you when it comes to cooking and cleaning, but when you offer to clear your own plate, make a cup of coffee, make your bed, organize your clothes etc., you will come across looking like the responsible, “have-your-shit-together friend,” even when you’re the “I’m-high-right-now” friend, which is a great thing. The trick is to make yourself so responsible and likable, that their parents want to replace their own child and adopt you.

Make friends with their friends and relatives

The worst guest is the one you have to babysit. If your friend is shy, can’t be left alone and must follow you throughout the house, that’s the wrong person you want to have around. You want people who are comfortable walking into a room of strangers. It makes you look better if you surround yourself with high-caliber people.

Don’t know what to say? Make small talk about your friend. The easiest topic? “What embarrassing stuff did Sally do in high school?”

Please and thank you go a long way

That goes for overall manners. Kids get comfortable being waited on hand and foot and forget to thank and acknowledge the people caring for them. Remind them that their hospitality is appreciated.

Whatever you do, do not get in trouble

College kids on break is plain old bad news. High school friends have a lot of catching up to do and are finally legal to drink. Shit happens, people get hurt, in trouble, stupid. If something happens to you, it’s your friend’s parents who are responsible. Don’t make them think twice about having you over again.

Send a Thank You basket when you get home

You can already hear it, huh? “Aww that was so sweet of him. He’s welcome back anytime.”

 

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