Etiquette Help for the Holidays
Making Room for Out-of-Town Guests
Q. We don’t have enough room for all of the out of town visitors who want to stay overnight. How do we decide who gets to stay and who is told, “the inn is full?”
A. Imagine you are Lady Justice, holding one of those two-armed scales. When you consider your pool of potential guests, weight different factors, such as who is traveling the furthest, who can least afford a hotel if you turn her away, who stayed last year, and who is the best company (seriously, you’re allowed). Then decide what tips the balance. “There isn’t an easy answer—all you can do is to try to be fair,” says Smith. Tell those you can’t host: “We would love to have everyone stay, but this year Jeff and his family will be here. Here are three great, nearby hotels.” If you give them an opening (“if only we had more space”), “you’ll have people sleeping on every floor in your house,” says Smith. Next year, try to switch things up or find other ways to even out the scales. For instance, instead of always giving your starving artist sister-in-law your guest room, consider putting her up in a cute B&B as a holiday gift.