Expecting company this holiday season? Click through for 16 House Rules for Holiday Guests. Do they have to spend 45 minutes in the shower making sure nobody else has any hot water?

Whether wanted or unwanted, holiday house guests have a way of hogging the bathroom, overcrowding your coat closet and taking over the kitchen because they just have to prepare their famous glazed carrots on the same stovetop you’re trying to fry up some latkes.

They can also take over power outlets, forget to turn off the lights, and mess with your thermostat when you aren’t looking. In other words, not only do house guests get in your way, they can waste money and energy too. Happy holidays!

This holiday season, I’m working with ENERGY STAR to encourage the purchase of eco-friendly electronics, plus offer helpful energy saving tips for your holiday house guests.

Maybe post these rules on the front door and then quiz your in-laws before they’re allowed to come inside?

Just a thought.


1. Please turn off lights in the house when they are not in use. If you like raiding the fridge in the middle of the night, I don’t want more evidence of your late night munchies other than the half-eaten pecan pie.

2. If you decide to cook three hundred holiday cookies to feed the entire neighborhood, please open a window if the kitchen gets too hot. Do not turn on the air conditioner except in case of menopausal emergency.

3. If you do open the window, please close it when your baking fury is over. so we don’t let all the heat out of the house.

4. If your toddler insists on using the same monkey-themed flatware for every meal, please rinse it out in the sink as opposed to running a half full dishwasher just to appease your hell-raising little monster.

5. If you like to go to sleep to the soothing sounds of late night infomercials, please try to hit the “off” button in the seconds before you doze off. There is no reason our TV should be wasting energy on pajama jeans or Bowflex when nobody is listening.

6. As important as it is for your children to wear their Christmas PJs every night, wait until the hamper is full before you load the washer and dryer. Running the wash for half a load wastes both energy and water.

7. Please set all smart devices (phones, tablets, laptops) to the power management mode. This will ensure the device goes to sleep when you do.

8. Please spend less time daydreaming about how your pacifier cleaning invention would do on Shark Tank and more time actually washing your body and getting the hell out of the shower.

9. If you and your family really insist on long hot showers, please take them together.

10. When you are watching your Christmas movie marathon, please stream from your tablet or laptop instead of a gaming console. Streaming from a game console uses ten times more energy than streaming from a laptop or tablet.

11. I don’t care what happens to your child’s brain if he spends 24 hours a day playing Minecraft but please know that shutting down your iPad and saving battery life by making him build a city with real life blocks is good for the environment too.

12. Everybody wishes their phone battery was 100% charged at all times and god forbid you should miss your ex-boyfriend’s holiday office party on snapchat, but if the earth had a say, it would tell you to unplug that thing and let it drain every once and awhile.

13. Please don’t hold your picky eating toddler up to the fridge with the door wide open while he contemplates and rejects every option in there. That’s three hours of energy that would be better spent elsewhere.

14. Do not fiddle with the thermostat! We have it set to 70 degrees and programmed to dial back the temperature when we are asleep or out of the house. If you have problem with this, take it up with management as opposed to taking it into your own hands.

15. Although we love the twenty foot light up Santa you gave us for the holidays, we are more than happy with our energy saving LED light strings, so do not be offended if we regift him back to you next Christmas.

16. As much as I love the Yule Tide log on television, I’d much rather watch an actual fire.

In addition to following basic energy saving rules for your home (and hopefully spreading the good word via your house guests), look for the ENERGY STAR label on your favorite brands when shopping for lights, home electronics and home entertainment products this holiday season.

The best gifts are good for the environment and the ENERGY STAR label means the product is designed and certified to save energy, save money and protect the climate while delivering all the latest features. In fact, ENERGY STAR home electronics are 25% more efficient. 

If each TV, DVD player, and home theater system purchased in the U.S. this year earned the ENERGY STAR, we would prevent nearly two billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions every year, equal to the emissions from more than 175,000 cars.

Visit energystar.gov/holiday to learn more energy saving tips and what home electronics make the most eco-friendly gifts this holiday season.

Giveaway: Energy star certified wireless sound bar

16 House Rules for Holiday Guests

I’m giving away an ENERGY STAR certified wireless sound bar from Samsung (value: $227) in the comments below! (Actual sound bar might differ from pic above.)

You must be a Mommy Shorts subscriber to enter. Then leave a comment telling me the most egregious thing a holiday guest has ever done in your home!

Winner will be announced on December 18th, 2015.

Winner Update:

Congrats to Stephanie Hare! Please contact pam@mommyshorts.com to claim your prize.


This post was sponsored by Energy Star, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.