December 19, 2017
There’s no place like home for the holidays — but when you head back to your parents’ place in December with your significant other, the sleeping arrangements can get tricky. When the house is packed with other relatives, you’ll definitely have to be flexible. Here’s how to make sure you get the good night’s rest that you need while still being a helpful, polite house guest this season.
As a guest, the most polite thing to do is to allow your host to take the lead on how they want to use their home during the holidays. Chances are they’ve already thought out how to best use the extra beds in their home to squeeze in extra friends and family. Unless your significant other was specifically invited, don’t assume they have space. Instead, check in and ask if it’s okay to bring your +1 well in advance. And be prepared to stay in separate rooms if that’s how your host has arranged things — it’s only a few days, and you can laugh about it together back at home.
If you know you have certain needs or preferences, pack your special items in your suitcase just in case. It’s always smart to bring your own toiletries, toothpaste and hair dryer since you’re not staying at a hotel. Other things to consider for a good night’s sleep are a neck support pillow (in case the guest pillows are flat), a book light, book and your cellphone filled with relaxing music or meditations. Earplugs and a sleep mask will also help you to create a cozy cocoon and tune out distractions at bedtime. If you have special dietary needs, you could also bring a stash of emergency snacks to nibble on when you have downtime so you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings or make your host feel put out.
Your host is doing a lot to make the holidays special, so show your appreciation by offering to help out around the house. Make the bed each morning, and be sure to tidy up in the bathroom when you’re done showering. If you’re sleeping on a sofa bed in a public space, do your best to clean up your sleeping area and make the room comfortable for others at a reasonably early hour. If there are other chores to do around the house — such as washing the dishes or walking the dog — vounteer to take some work off of your host’s plate.
Finally, don’t forget to pack an extra gift for your host — in addition to whatever holiday gift you already had planned. A nice bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers or a useful kitchen gadget is a good touch, or you can go with gift cards to a local restaurant or cafe that your host can enjoy in January. If you’re bringing a partner along, make sure he or she brings a thoughtful token, too.
After your stay, don’t forget to write a thank you note — and encourage your +1 guest to do so as well. It’s not always easy to sleep well in a packed house, but being a good guest will help keep everyone holly and jolly during the holiday season.