- Bring a bread-and-butter gift. This is a token gift to thank your hosts. It it is ALWAYS less expensive to find this at home and bring it along, unless you stop by Home Depot for a blooming basket or container herb garden. It doesn't have to be extravagant--just thoughtful. Something to eat is always appropriate. I brought my mother-in-law a paper placemat and napkin set from Isabella de Borchgrave's new line at Target (along with various other gifts).
- Help prepare at least one of the meals during your stay. This can be an alternative to taking everyone out to eat at a restaurant, especially with busy schedules. A breakfast casserole is always easy, coupled with fresh fruit and a bread.
- Plan a picnic lunch away from your hosts. This gives them a break from meal preparation and time to run needed errands.
- Bring your own snacks, if possible. You won't have to raid your host's pantry if there are children hungry at night.
- Offer to help with any outstanding projects around the home (at your host's mention). Sometimes it takes a second person for moral support!
- Make up the bed, strip the sheets, or launder them--depending on your hostess. Hostesses always insist, "Oh, no, you didn't have to do that!" but isn't it so nice if you do? I know I always collapse after guests leave!
- Follow up with a thank-you note immediately upon leaving. Be specific about your trip. Include a photo or two, if possible.
- Do all of the above if you are staying with friends. Do them twice as well if you are staying with family. Don't they deserve your best, too?
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
How to be a welcomed guest
It doesn't cost much to be a considerate houseguest. Here are a few things I like to do whenever we are invited to stay overnight at someone's home: