It’s that time of year where everybody – I mean e’rbody – gets anxious about the family holiday get together. Even for those who do love each and every one of their family members, the cooking, cleaning, baking, packing, weather watching, traveling can still make you a bit stressed. So – cue “We Are Family” and read on for a few tips in getting ready for dinner with your favorite people.
Endure the craziness. You probably think you are the only one with that cousin that everybody is keeping an eye on, with that aunt that folks are just nervously waiting to see what she’s going to say. But we’ve all got our own form of family craziness. Embrace it.
Everybody needs love. You may be tempted to not invite that uncle because he doesn’t know which is the proper dinner fork versus salad fork or the cousin that is, uhh, just coming home (and not from college) or the sibling who ticked you off at the 4th of July picnic and you haven’t spoken to since. You may be justified in your indignation and annoyance. But they’re family. Love them.
Give warnings on the food you bring. The pecan pie is obvious, but the ground almond and peanut butter cookies, might need a sign for the nut-allergy sufferer. Save yourself from making the 911 call and someone from a trip to ER. Be considerate.
Know your family. If your people like Kraft mac & cheese, don’t show up with Gruyere and brie with truffle oil macaroni. Or vice versa. Each year, my made fresh that morning cranberry sauce sits next to the cylindrical, ridged cranberry jelly on the holiday table. Don’t be mad.
Know your own limitations. If you know that you can’t boil water, don’t volunteer to bring the sweet potato casserole. You can be in charge of the beverages. Be sure to bring enough for everybody. Be generous.
Don’t forget your friends without family. Perhaps their family is far away and its so expensive to go home, or perhaps their loved ones have passed and they are alone. Maybe they’ve had a falling out with their family and can’t go home this year. Invite them to join you. Yes, warn them that the crazy family is coming, but do invite them. Be thoughtful.
Pour yourself a drink. (Actually, you might want to start with that.) But do drink responsibly. And don't drive while intoxicated, high, or texting. We want you to be around for the next family gathering. Be safe.
Enjoy your family and have a safe, happy holiday season!
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