MSG 21+ I love having guests over the holidays, but I also enjoy being a guest! It’s not only fun to travel, but I enjoy being a part of the lives of my friends and family in their homes. Here are some time-tested tips on how to be ‘The Best Guest Ever’ so the invites to visit keep coming in over and over!
Bring a Gift
I love to bring consumables as a gift to the ‘hostess with the mostest’! I typically bring at least two bottles of wine. Wente Vineyards wines are readily accessible in many places across the U.S., and their wines are consistently delicious so they make a great gift. I can pick up Wente wines at my local grocery store, or stop off at a market if flying into town. Although the variety may vary from region to region, I always try to get at least one white and one red. Wente Vineyards wines make a great hostess gift, as it’s always fun to relax and reminiscence with friends with a glass of vino about the year that has passed and make plans for the future.
My favorite Wente Wines are the Riva Ranch Chardonnay and the Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon, or the Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon. I found my Wente Wines at Bevmo, but they are readily available many other retailers. Visit the Wente Vineyards website to learn more about their wine selection and where to stock up for the holidays!
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WATCH THE ‘BE THE BEST GUEST EVER’ VIDEO HERE
Offer to Make a Meal
It can be overwhelming to a hostess to prepare many meals for a house full of guests. In advance, call the hostess and ask if there is a meal that you can make. Or, if you’re not a home chef, plan a restaurant meal out where you offer to treat. I’ve had situations where I bought food for all the meals and then had guests show up wanting to go out – leaving a LOT of uneaten and expensive food sitting the fridge! Planning mealtime in advance is smart, cost-effective and actually fun. This way your host will also adjust their grocery shop list and also be relieved to have a meal (or two!) off.
I love offering to make heavy appetizers and pour wine one evening. I like to make a variety of hot and pretty cold appetizers.
Sometimes our little Happy Hours turn into dinner itself, as there is never any shortage of yummy food. If doing an appetizer spread, make sure to provide the wine as well!
Breakfast is another nice meal to prepare for friends. Let your hosts sleep in, while you make a simple quiche served with fresh fruit.
Bring Something for the Kids (or Fuzzy Kids)
It’s nice to bring a little something for your host’s kids as well! If they don’t have kids, no worries – bring something for a pet! Puzzles, art or craft projects and magic tricks sets are always a hit. Kids love having guests stay with them, and what better way to bond than to plop down on the floor and make ornaments with them, or to teach them a card trick. Your host will also appreciate any kid entertainment time that relieves them (especially with little ones). If your hosts don’t have kids, bring a healthy, all-natural snack for pets. I will often ask if there are any allergies, and then purchase high-quality treats or a funny fluffy chew toy.
This seems so basic, yet it’s important enough to state. Even though you may come into YOUR house and put bags, shoes, etc. on the floor or table and go about your business, your host may not. Try to put your personal things in the bedroom you’re staying in as to not add extra clutter to the main living space, and of course, always clean up after yourself in the kitchen. Don’t put dirty dishes next to the sink assuming a house fairy will make them magically disappear. Either put them in the dishwasher, or handwash them right away. I am still training my teenager how to do this, but never give up!
When it’s time to depart, ask your host if you can strip the beds and put sheets and dirty towels in the laundry room. Your host may tell you to simply leave everything, but always ask no matter what!
Thank You Note
Always thank your host in written form. Either leave a note behind somewhere where they may find it after you leave, or mail a card within two days of returning home. There’s still something very meaningful about a handwritten note and it will most certainly be appreciated!
The most important part of visiting with friends and family is to make the most of your time together and have fun!