The Rotten Holiday Dinner Guest
Updated: Dec 12, 2022
What's expected of a guest during a Holiday gathering? None of this.
We are full blown into the Holidays. You are a guest at a family member's home. You don't want to be alone for Thanksgiving, Hannukka, or on Christmas, but you don't really want to hang out with the extended relatives. If you were to take the Rotten Holiday Guest route, this is how you would proceed.
First, don't RSVP. Don't let the host and hostess know you are going to join them. Don't call before the gathering to check in and offer to bring anything and for goodness sake don't dress for the occasion. In all honesty, a Rotten Holiday Guest should arrive in sweats or perhaps a schlumpy shirt and pair of pants - ones that everyone can question whether or not they have been washed this year.
When you arrive you'll want to be empty handed. No gifts, presents or bottles of wine should be in your hands. You certainly don't want to greet anyone either. Just enter. Don't ring the door bell. You won't want to say hello to anyone and be sure to NOT introduce yourself to those you haven't met. Since you are spending the day with these people, you wouldn't want to interact with any of them. You just want to make sure to have dinner, a warm place to hang out and maybe just watch a football game. You could even wear those noise cancelling headphones so that no one can talk to you and you won't have to talk to anyone.
As dinner is being prepped in the kitchen, you'll need to steer clear of that area. But when the appetizers get placed on a side table, make sure to hoard all of them. Wolf it all down and don't allow anyone else to have anything to nibble on. Watch the game. Sit in a the most comfortable chair or couch. Talk (loudly) on your phone. Text people. Check in on Social Media, complaining about how bored you are. Don't look up. Don’t talk to anyone. You’re a rotten Holiday guest, after all.
When dinner is served, don't help to pass any serving plates. Just load your plate and allow someone else to reach around you in order to get access to the food. You won't want to talk to anyone, so you might want to keep those ear buds handy. Also, having your phone close by with all the bells and beeps and dings is going to annoy everyone, so keep it out for all to see and hear.
When dinner is complete, don't clear your plate or offer to help with the dishes. Just push your chair back, get up from the table and return to the living room. When everyone else gathers around in the living room, sit down in the most comfortable chair or some place in the middle of the room where everyone can see you sitting there with your arms crossed, with your phone, or both, looking like this is the last place you want to be.
Since you are a Rotten Guest, you didn't bring a single gift. You do, however, expect to have gifts given to you. It would be expected that you talk about how broke you are, how busy you are, or perhaps you could complain about the world and politics and the silly tradition of gift-giving in general. This would irritate everyone and qualify as perfect conversation for a Rotten Holiday Guest.
Since you were no help with dinner prep, dishes or anything at all, you will of course opt to not help put away any of the wrapping paper. You also won't want to help your friends and relatives load their car.
Now that the day is complete, you aren't going to say good bye and you won't thank anyone for a nice time, nice dinner or even the use of the couch (which you hoarded all day by reclining on it), and most likely the bathroom (which you probably used the last of the toilet paper, didn’t refill it, and didn’t tell anyone that it needed refilling). You are, after all, the Rotten Dinner Guest and you've done an amazing job at ensuring that no one will want you to be at their next Holiday Celebration.