The One Thing Your Holiday Houseguests Won’t Tell You

published Nov 11, 2013
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(Image credit: oliveromg)

I’ve been a houseguest before, and there are plenty of things I have wanted to ask of my host that went unspoken in the spirit of gratefulness and generally trying not to be a pain in the chateau. I do want to get invited back, after all. But I’ve also been on the other side of the coin, and I know that any generous host wants their visitors to be happy and comfortable. Here’s the most important thing your guests won’t tell you.

Your home is too cold, or maybe too hot.

Although you’re trying to curb gas bills by keeping the house at a frigid 55 degrees, guests might not be comfortable wearing thermal underwear like a second skin. Alternatively, your habit of roasting the heat around the clock has guests sweating through the guest room sheets at night.

(Image credit: Marcia Prentice)

If your typical houseguests aren’t shy about their needs, or you’re type of host who likes to rigidly stick to their typical routine no matter who’s around, this advice won’t apply. But for those of us who like to be generous hosts and who keep quietly thankful guests, here are three ways to make overnight (or over-many-nights) guests more comfortable:

  • Prep the bed. A thoughtful assortment of bed linens will give any guest the flexibility to deal with temperature swings. The combination of cotton sheets, a light coverlet and a down duvet can keep anyone in their perfect Goldilocks sleep zone, whatever it may be.
  • Share the thermostat. Show them how to use the thermostat and give them confidence to knock the temperature up or down a few degrees if it makes them more comfortable. At the same time, be forthcoming with your family’s winter weather style. If your preferred method of “heating” is to throw on a thick sweater instead of turning up the temperature, share that knowledge with your surely gracious guest.
  • Check in with them. A simple question over breakfast, “Was the room warm enough last night?,” is a great way to squeeze the truth from tight-lipped guests and keep you in good host graces.

Re-edited from a post originally published 11.11.13-NT