Are you away from family this festive season? You may be travelling abroad and plan to spend Christmas lunch with people you barely know. Perhaps you are spending the holiday with your partner’s family for the first time, or attending Christmas dinner at a friend’s house. Whatever your plans away from home are this year, it is important that you respect your hosts hospitality by being a presentable and polite guest.
Bring a little something for the host(s)
Your gift doesn’t have to be anything lavish; it is the thought that counts. Try and find out as much as you can about the host and what interests them. If you are abroad, it is a nice idea to bring them a gift from your home country. You may want to look into some unusual gift ideas as this is likely to leave a lasting impression. If you don’t know the people who are hosting very well, a bottle of wine or Christmas cakes and biscuits will be well received. It might be helpful to ask if you can contribute to the meal by making or buying a dish.
Offer to help
When you arrive, ask if you can help them in any way. Offer to set the table, pour drinks, hand out nibbles, or if you are good in the kitchen, you could volunteer to help prepare the meal. Remember that cooking Christmas dinner for lots of people can be stressful so try to help out wherever you can. However, do be wary not to offer your assistant too often as this may add to the stress.
Don’t drink too much
It may be tempting to over-indulge, but remember you are in another person’s home, and so it is wise to be aware of your limit. You don’t want to turn into a slurring, difficult and noisy guest or even worse, passing out on their bathroom floor. That’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy yourself though; it is Christmas after all!
Suggest a game
If you are not very familiar with your hosts then, you could suggest breaking the ice with a game. Before the meal, you could suggest everyone takes part in a secret santa. You don’t necessarily have to know the recipient for this to work, it is just a fun activity to enjoy together. ‘Charades’ is a popular game with big groups at Christmas time and will encourage everyone to relax and have fun.
Everyone likes to take photos with their family at Christmas time. If you are doing something different from what you are used to this year then the chances are, you will want to remember it. Ask if the hosts and the other guests at the party would like copies of the photos.
Thank your hosts
A simple thank you will be very appreciated by your hosts. If you want to do something extra special for them, you could send them a thank you note, flowers or a gift of some description. If possible, you may want to repay the favour by inviting them for Christmas at your house the following year.