Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holiday Open House: Surviving Family

Don't get me wrong, I love my family. All... 100+ of them. I grew up pretty close to my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. We spent a lot of time with all of them despite being a couple hours' drive time away from most. I also grew up knowing my husband's family pretty well! It wasn't until the past few years that I realized this was a unique situation. So many people don't see their cousins often, if ever!

When the holidays roll around, it can be tricky to juggle every family gathering. For a while my parents would alternate holidays with their families when we were younger. Now they are divorced and remarried, so we get to juggle even more! (Truly, I love the chaos.) This year we have 6 Christmas's planned so far.

For budgeting reasons, generally we stay with family or family stays with us when travelling out of town. Sometimes someone springs for a hotel with a pool... that person is always very popular with the kids! It's not unusual to walk into one of our homes and find every bed taken, every couch and also the softer parts of the floor. By now we've learned to collect lots of quilts, blow up mattresses... and to bring our own pillows!

For food, we enjoy cooking(I realize this is a total surprise after all of the recipes I've shared...) One dinner may be an easy pizza night but for the most part, we try to plan. This summer for our week long vacation, each family was assigned 2+ meals to make for everyone. This really worked out well in cutting down overall costs. There is also always the traditional potluck style meal that also works. The rule in our homes: If you didn't participate in making the food, you participate in cleaning up!

Feeling the Martha Stewart vibe and wanting to make the whole meal on your own? Go for it! And invite me. Truly, leave something easy for guests to bring. A bottle of sparkling cider, cookies, even a game to share will make them feel involved and needed.

Have fun during the Holidays! And don't stress, they don't last long.

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