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Ten Rules for being a good houseguest over the Holidays

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Richard O. Jones
The holidays are here and with them, friends and family from out of town. While lots of people love to have houseguests there are those who might have had bad experiences. To assure a better chance of a good experience certain rules of order must be put in place – in advance. It is a touchy situation to set rules before friends and family, lest you alienate them.

I know from experience that relationships can be damaged by a lack of basic good manners with
extended visitors. To save friendships from suffering and to avoid family feuds from occurring, the ten etiquette tips are written for the houseguest to observe. If you can’t follow these rules of courtesy consider staying in a hotel this year.

• Let your host know when you
are arriving and when you plan to leave.
Keep them posted if plans change at either
end.

• Be flexible to work around
their schedule. Don’t assume that they will
entertain you 24/7. Don’t have them driving
you around everywhere without putting
gasoline in the tank, more than just passively
offering gas money, insist on it.

• Ask before using various appliances
and gadgets including your host’s
computer. Especially don’t make long distance
or toll calls without their permission
and also pay for this additional expense.
Just because the host told you to make
yourself at home doesn’t mean that it’s
okay to make yourself at home.

• Be sensitive to their daily routines
and habits. If you are an early riser,
think in terms of quiet times when others
are sleeping. Don’t turn on the TV or put on
your exercise video while the host and/or
other household members are in bed.

• Do something nice, such as
bring a small gift or take them out to a
restaurant for a meal or pay for a night out.
Send a thank you card after you return
home.

• Always clean up behind yourself
and/or your children especially in the
bathroom. Keep your sleeping area clean
and offer to help around the house. Pay for
anything you and/or your children damage
or destroy.

• Don’t act as if you’re in a hotel.
Don’t expect maid service, and don’t
parade around undressed.

• Don’t overindulge in alcohol or
anything else that will alter your good
behavior. Don’t smoke in the house if any
member of the household doesn’t smoke
including babies. Don’t even ask if it’s
okay to smoke in the house – for the sake of
their health take your bad habit outside.

• Don’t disturb the peace by
arguing with your spouse or children. If you
must discipline your children, do so as if
police officers were watching.

• Don’t accidentally or on purpose
leave with any of your host’s large or
small, inexpensive or expensive possessions
without permission.

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

Email: richardojones1@verizon.net

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