Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tis the Season

Tis the season to start thinking about the family holiday schedule. Christmas time is a very important and fun filled season for our family. We have a few traditions that we keep every year. I make a print out of our plans on a festive bordered holiday paper after clearing all of the dates and times with my adult children. I give each family their copy on Thanksgiving Day. It is known to our family as the  HO...HO...HO...liday Schedule

Here is a sample of what our schedule includes:

Early December: 12 hour *Grandkids Christmas Day Camp with Grandma. (I will post a schedule for this later.) This day gives moms and dads a kid free day to do some Christmas shopping.

Around Dec.  8-12: All Adult children and their families come to help Decorate Grandma & Papa's Christmas Tree. Donuts and Hot Chocolate are always served.

Other activities we squeeze in before Christmas include:

Progressive Dinner:  We have four homes between us. This activity allows everyone to see one another's homes during the holidays. We serve something different at each home. Appetizer, salad, main dish, and a dessert at the last home.

Adult Night Out: This night is reserved for the adults. My husband and I pick up the entire tab. I hire multiple babysitters and all of the grandkids stay at my home for a party of their own with the sitters. This night includes a nice dinner out and some sort of activity. We have gone to plays, holiday movies, zoo lights, and musical performances.

Grandparents Visit:  We spend an evening with my parents who are in their mid and upper 80's. We help them decorate their tree, take a treat to share, and we have some kind of activity planned.

Extended Family Christmas Party:  This is a huge celebration with my siblings, their children, and their grandchildren. We take turns hosting it. The host home supplies the paper goods and drinks. Everyone else brings a pot luck dish. All of the generations of cousins and aunts and uncles have a wonderful time catching up with one another.

Christmas Eve:  We all gather at my home for a nicely set table and a prime rib dinner. Each family brings sides to complete the meal. Each family is also assigned to bring an activity for the kids to do. We usually have a craft, a story, and a game.

Christmas Day:  All families have their own Christmas morning at home alone. We gather for lunch around 1:00 p.m.. Everyone shares in the food preparation. The menu changes every year but we like to keep it pretty simple with easy clean up. We do our gift exchange after lunch. 

Tips:  Include all needed information on the HO...HO...HO...liday Schedule. This saves confusion and phone calls later. It also lets families know their food and activity assignments well ahead of time so they can start watching the grocery ads and collecting activity ideas. Include where to meet, times, who's driving, suggested attire, what they need to bring, and how many to plan for.

*The grandkids get their own invitation for the Grandkids Christmas Day Camp.

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