7 clever hints to make your guests promptly leave your house after Christmas lunch.

It’s 4pm on Christmas Day.

Lunch concluded around 2pm, and everybody is still… sitting at the dining room table. Drinking.

You’re exhausted. The kids got up at 3am to see their presents, which means you got approximately four hours sleep.

You start to believe this might be what hell feels like. You desperately want to leave the children with their presents and sleep, but you’re forced to host the guests you desperately wish would leave.

They’ve got to… go.

We asked Mamamia staff and friends for their favourite strategies for indicating the Christmas party is well and truly over. And they are genius:

1. Go to bed. 

Going to bed is the ultimate way to avoid any further social interaction.

Guests can’t continue enjoying themselves at your party when you are beneath the sheets with a torch and the book you just received as a gift.

It’s just common sense.

They will promptly leave.

2. Start cleaning up. 

If you want to weed out the misogynist in your family, start cleaning up and see who suddenly needs to get going with the kids.

“Start cleaning up – that way they help you out or leave. Either way you win,” suggested one woman.

“My mum started sweeping once at my place to signal to other guests it was time to leave us to clean up,” wrote another.

Yep. The clean up is the easiest way to get help with the tidy up, or to get people going.

3. Shamelessly manipulate each other. 

Look. We aren’t judging. Families are complex and sometimes there are members of the family who just don’t get along. Maybe cousin El slept with your sister’s boyfriend in high school twenty years ago? It happens.

One member of the Mamamia team says that if there are tensions in the family, use this to your advantage. Tell your sister that cousin El is “on the way now” and watch her and her family scatter.


It’s unhealthy, but very very effective.

4. Get into your comfy clothes. 

For another woman, getting into comfy clothes while the guests are still present is the perfect signal that the party is OVER.

“I’ve been known to get into my comfy clothes with a hair scrunchie while people are still over, which signals that I am getting ready for bed, partner is mortified whenever I do it haha,” she wrote.

Get out of that Christmas frock and get those old grey trackies on. It will work.

5. Let your guests know you’re out of alcohol. 

Christmas without alcohol is just… lunch.

Indicating that you’re out of alcohol communicates to guests that the party is over, and it might be time to move on home.

Start offering tea, which will indicate that the drinking phase is over and everyone needs to get going within in the next hour.

If you’re lucky, the “no alcohol” detail will get the majority moving, anyway.

6. Place a time on the invite.

There is no clearer indication that you can’t outstay your welcome than an actual concrete time on the invitation.

Having a Christmas dinner? A simple “Please leave by 9” banner will do the trick, too.

7. Ask ‘so what are your plans for the rest of the day?’.

Indicating that you have plans for the rest of the day, and they should too, not only gets people moving but also hints that those plans will be in action soon.

Just wait for the “Actually, we’d better get going”.

Now that your guests are gone, go and get into bed with a torch and your new book.

You know you want to.

How do you get your guest to leave? Tell us in the comments section below.

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