It’s officially that time of the year when our doors feel like they might be revolving. Out of towners are coming to stay, unexpected guests are landing on our doorsteps, and impromptu nights around the fireplace become a mainstay. Personally, I love it. I love the sound of laughter in my home, meals being shared over great conversations, and quality time spent with friends and family.
While I love all guests in my home, there are certainly those who I look to invite back more frequently … They’re the good guests! To make sure I’m a good guest too, I’ve created this list, laying out all my tips to be invited back time and time again.
80% of the time I take the “easy” route and bring a bottle of wine when invited to someone’s home. While that is a great gift, as well as a gift that your host can easily regift, let’s get a bit more personal. I’m not sure if it’s a trend or maybe just my age, but everyone seems to be drinking less and less alcohol. So one simple and useful gift I am leaning on is either Brightland or Kyoord olive oil. Both have beautiful bottles and will impress your most amateur friend in the kitchen to your friend who makes gourmet meals. Edible options are another great choice! Making my Maple + Mustard Pretzel Nut Mix with gluten free pretzels for a friend you know is gluten free ads an extra special touch that says “hey, I thought of you.”
Another food option? How about granola! I love that you can package it in a reusable jar and your hosts can either use it as a snack or for breakfast in the coming week. If you’re a fan of ginger, try my Almond Ginger Granola.
Relaxed conversation is great, but you know what’s better? Conversation that happens around an activity. Some of my favorite memories of recent years have been when I’ve spent time engaged in an activity with a group of friends. Whether it’s baking cookies together (which I did recently with my colleague Selena) or playing a game of Scrabble after dinner, I love it when my guests bring an activity for us to experience together.
Spending time together (particularly after all we went through in 2020) is such a gift. So it means a lot to me when my guests put their phones away and are truly present. Plus, it prompts me to do the same, which I always welcome! I’ve started to put my phone in a drawer so it’s out of sight, out of mind.
I know we were all raised to use our manners. And there’s never a more important time to flex that muscle than when you’re a guest. Getting up to wash the dishes, making your bed in the morning and offering to help out; those little acts of kindness don’t go unnoticed. I also think that if you’ve made the decision to stay in your friend’s home, you’ve actively opted in to experiencing life their way. So tag along to the market, take the dog for a walk or do bedtime stories with the kids. It’s all part of the joy of staying with a friend.