Etiquette Help for the Holidays
Suffering From Hosting Fatigue
Q. My family always wants to come to my house for the holidays, which means I do most of the work. Can I suggest going to someone else’s house this year—or out to dinner?
A. Would you like hosting if you had less on your plate? If so, consider making this year’s event a potluck and delegate the cleanup duties. “You wouldn’t ask a neighbor to load the dishwasher, but this is family we’re talking about,” says Smith. You could also enlist older kids to entertain the younger ones, clear the table, and wash dishes in exchange for spending money. (Talk to the parents first if the offspring aren’t yours.) If you truly want to pass the holiday buck, send an e-mail to the group telling them you are unable to host this year and would anyone else like to take up the reins? “It’s possible others have never volunteered because they’re afraid of stepping on your toes,” says Smith. Or maybe they like the ritual of sitting back while you do laps around the kitchen. In which case, you are certainly justified in suggesting a new tradition of dining out. If people protest, remind them that the holidays are about being together, and that will be the same whether the feast is home-cooked or prix fixe.
Far from boring, this go-to neutral can take any room to new stylish heights.