Sonoma Christian Home Banner
Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: August 20, 2014.

Before we move into Fall and the rhythm of the new school year, there may be one last activity we want to program into our summer.

House guesting.

Even Busy Business Women enjoy having a special friend or two come visit to share time and relaxation.

It is harvest time in the vineyards of Sonoma County. In Connecticut the leaves are turning and it is cooling off on the beaches of Florida.

Ah — perhaps you have scored an invitation from special friends to one of these beautiful American locales for a weekend of fun and fellowship.

Visiting in the home of a friend can be a wonderful experience. It is not, however, without its difficulties. How best can we be welcomed and invited back? Here are a few tips for being a delightful house guest.

The Arrival:

Be clear on the dates and times of your arrival and departure. Come when you say you are coming. Leave when you say you’re leaving. Never show up unannounced, or even worse, with a child, puppy or significant other. And always, bring a small hostess gift — a food specialty of your home town, a bouquet of flowers, a pound of good coffee.

The Visit:

This may be your vacation, but that doesn’t mean you can sit with your feet up.

  • Offer to help and be specific. “May I set the table, toss the salad, take the dog for a walk, help with the BBQ?” Participate as a family member would — clear the table, load the dishwasher, wipe the crumbs off the counters.
  • Keep your personal space tidy. Make your bed. Hang up your towel. Ask what the house rules are and abide by them if necessary. What time does the family get up? Go to bed? Pace yourself to their schedules.
  • Take your hosts out for a meal or purchase the ingredients and cook a meal for them at home.
  • Your hosts may not be able to spend every minute with you. If you plan a side trip, ask if they would like to come along. Or go off by yourself and give your hosts a break.

And if you borrow their car, don’t forget to fill ‘er up.

The Departure:

Ask how they would like you to leave your bed and offer to change the bed linens. Hosts can make that easy by having an extra set of sheets in a drawer or closet in the guest room.

As a hostess, for a first time visitor, I would always refuse. For repeat visits, I accept with gratitude.

When leaving, look carefully around as you pack to go. You’d hate to leave something behind that your hosts have to ship back to you.

Wipe out the bathroom sink. Empty the waste basket. Take the used towels to the laundry room. Do whatever you can to make their tasks easier after you’ve gone.

The Follow Up:

Yes, a handwritten note is the Gold Standard of thank-yous!     

Email just won’t do here. And PLEASE don’t text your thank-you. Have small note cards for just this purpose and make it personal. Mention something specific you enjoyed while visiting.



Want to see more from Carolyn? Check out her recent article 3 Things Fire Can’t Burn!



Carolyn Dunn coaches busy women who are time starved, disorganized and distracted balance a productive work life with a peaceful and nurturing home life. Instead of struggling with overwhelm, procrastination and time management issues they can learn to say “goodbye” to chaos, and “hello” to sanity. Carolyn has a strong Christian background and a Fuller Seminary Masters degree in theological studies as well as marriage and family ministries. She is actively involved in planning large conferences as well as small retreats, and has been the speaker at many seminars and workshops.

To learn more about the author please visit Carolyn Dunn Coaching.


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At this time, we ask you refrain from purchasing on the Sonoma Christian Home store. We are in the process of performing updates and in the meantime we would ask you hold off on new orders. We will make an announcement once our store is back in action! Dismiss