Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Nest Will Be Filled for Thanksgiving

If your family is like mine, then next week the house will go from quiet and clean to loud and messy before your very eyes. Of course, I am speaking about the college children coming home for a few days for Thanksgiving. Or perhaps you have family coming to visit around this special holiday. Either way, the best way for you to be relaxed and enjoy this change is to prepare and plan ahead!

First, go ahead and set the table as if the big dinner was this evening. Once I have set the table, I close the drapes and close off the dining area completely, until the company arrives.

Next, do all the grocery shopping on Monday and Tuesday and make as many things ahead if you are clever and know how to prepare items and freeze or refrigerate your food dishes. I am not that good, but at least I will have all the food bought for Wednesday through Sunday. Have all the recipes out and placed together, ready to use at the appropriate meal.

Make sure each bedroom and bathroom is ready with towels, flowers, etc., then just close the doors as each room is "visitor ready". I am trying to add one special item for each of the children in their old rooms.

Get the laundry out of the way as you may (okay...will!) have some laundry brought to you from the college kiddies.

I highly recommend doing some sort of take-out the night before everyone arrives. You will most likely be running around cooking more than you have in months and it will be a little exhausting. It is amazing how we have gotten out of the regular eating habits we had when our children lived at home.

The best advise, is to sit back and take all the action and activity in stride. Don't try to "parent" so much this holiday vacation. You have probably already built a good foundation and any bad habits they are showing won't get changed because you start to nag them. Remember, some kids are a little homesick and so you want them to just relax and enjoy their home environment for a few days. Getting a little extra sleep, seeing old high school friends and talking to Mom and/or Dad as a new growing adult can be a wonderful time for both parent and child.

I hope I can use my own words and follow the advise. Sometimes I can be my own worse enemy. But it is important to me to have a nice time with the children that I dearly miss (every single day!). I plan to sit back, listen, laugh, do some laundry and cook up a storm. I can rest in my empty nest on Monday, after they leave!

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