Thursday, December 22, 2005

Rules for Holiday Guests

As all of us get ready to celebrate Christmas with family, whether we're the hosts or the guests, it's important to keep some things in mind so the hosts and the guests don't end up killing each other! I've come up with a list of tips for houseguests and those who host them.

1. When visiting another person's home, don't go snooping through drawers, cabinets and rooms in which you have not been invited. It's rude, an invasion of privacy, and will really make those who live there very upset.

2. Don't overstay your welcome. Hosts, set a time limit for your guests. Before they arrive, discuss when they will arrive and when they will depart, and then stick to it. Guests, pay attention to the verbal and nonverbal cues from the hosts. If you get the feeling it's time to leave, it probably is.

3. Guests should help with dishes and meals whenever possible, and should offer to help pay for meals spent outside the home. Assuming the hosts will take care of all of the housework and pay for everything you do together is treading into dangerous territory, and will only lead to resentment.

4. Don't bring up controversial issues that you know will cause great disagreement. Unless everyone in the house enjoys arguments (including little children and elderly adults), you don't want to discuss things that will cause distress. If you do, you probably won't be invited back.

5. If you're planning a stay of more than just a day or two, make sure to allow time for everyone to break out and spend time by themselves or with their immediate family (those living in their own household). This will create the little bit of space that everyone needs in order to keep relations on the up-and-up.

6. Include everyone in all of the activities that are enjoyed by the whole group. Leaving one or two people out of family activities is just wrong, no matter how different they may be.

7. Make sure you do things together that make you and everyone else happy and laugh.

8. Girls need girl time and guys need guy time. Deal with it. You may not understand it, but that's the way things are. And we girls are probably going to talk about you guys at one point or another. Don't ask, though, because we won't say.

9. Make sure you have things to occupy your time in case things get boring or the rest of the clan decides to take a nap and you're not tired. Bring a book or a quiet game or both.

10. Remember the reason for the holiday you're celebrating. Christmas is about remembering the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and that He was given so He could become sin for us and bring us salvation and everlasting life.

Most of all, enjoy the time you have together, because no matter the age of anyone who's there, it could be their last Christmas. Make sure they know how much you care about them. Don't ever take for granted the time you spend with those you care about. Keep them in your prayers and ask for theirs.

Love and Peace

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