How to be a Good Guest

Colleen Harding with Mike Polk Jr. of WKYC Channel 3

The season is upon us when frequent visits and invitations appear. Holiday time is an excellent time to rekindle old relationships and appreciate current ones. It has been coined “a time of giving” but only those who truly give (time, talent and treasure) appreciate the season in its true splendor.

While we are giving, visiting and traveling it is important to think about who will be in attendance and what can we do to make time well spent.

Here are some suggestions for being a good guest.

  1. Discuss topics that are neutral. Stay away from anything that may offend or cause chaos.
  2. Be ready with pleases and thank you’s.
  3. Bring a host or hostess gift.
  4. If you are an overnight guest, make sure you leave your room in the same condition that you found it. Offer to flip the sheets to clean ones.
  5. Eliminate technology during the time. This allows your host or hostess to know you are truly in attendance.
  6. Dress appropriately. This show respect for the environment, everyone around you and yourself.
  7. Use control with portions.
  8. Teach your children how to visit. This means eye contact, full sentences and patience.
  9. Be complimentary
  10. Offer to help with clearing, clean up and dishes.

Being a good host and entertaining is an art but being a good attendee is equally important.

Colleen Harding is a certified etiquette and protocol instructor and the founder of the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol. Programs and packages available for children and businesses.