It’s the holiday season and we all know what that means…It’s time to show up on the doorsteps of our friends, family and loved ones, and demand they look after us.
Seriously, though, one of the best bits of Christmas is rocking up at someone’s house and expecting to be treated like royalty for a few days.
But it does kind of suck to be on the other side of the equation when, instead of enjoying a well-earned break over the holidays you spend your whole time pandering to rellies who for some reason believe they have become royalty overnight.
That’s why we’ve done up this handy guide on how to be the perfect houseguest for your hosts. OK, perfect is a strong word. Try to follow most of these points and at least they won’t smother you with a pillow in your sleep.
1. Do bring your weight in seafood for Christmas Day.
2. Don’t have a secret pig out session on prawns and forget you left the shells (and heads) in a bag outside the back door, which will end up smelling like the sulphur pits of hell within 48 hours.
3. Do offer to help with the washing up. And not just a one-time token offer! Every time!
4. Don’t throw out or bury the casserole dishes you can’t be bothered scrubbing.
5. Do bring a present for every member of the family you’re staying with.
6. Don’t bring just one “family present” which happens to be a nice bottle of whisky which you happen to drink three-quarters of by yourself on the first night.
7. Do lavish any kids with heaps of attention; talk to them, play with them, give them great gifts.
8. Don’t break any children’s bones by suggesting a game of full-contact footy.
9. Do restrict yourself to communal areas.
10. Don’t snoop through drawers, read teenagers’ angst diaries or have sex in the host’s bed.
11. Do respect any pets that live at the house—remember, you’re invading their space.
12. Don’t bring any pets of your own that are capable of eating the other pets (large dogs, boa constrictors, alligators, rabid giant badgers etc.).
13. Do try to be neat and stick to your little corner of the house.
14. Don’t allow your crap to rapidly spread throughout the house, then into the yard, then into the neighbours’ yards, like a fast-moving virus.
15. Do flush the toilet after having a tinkle in the middle of the night. Come on, the “I didn’t want to wake everyone up” excuse just doesn’t cut it after you’ve turned eight.
16. Don’t even dream of not flushing if you do that other thing (a poo).
17. Do leave the house occasionally so your hosts don’t have to be around you 24/7.
18. Don’t set yourself up in front of the Boxing Day Test with a giant leg of ham and chamber pot so you don’t have to move an inch all holiday.
19. Do limit your stay to the agreed-upon time period.
20. Don’t get to late January and say, “We’ll, it’s almost Easter time now, we might as well stick around till then!”