Happy multi-generational family gathering during holidays at the table

It’s hard to believe it’s already October. Every month will now bring occasions to plan for and celebrate. Frankly, I just about hyperventilate when I read the posts on Facebook about how many Mondays until Christmas! I really don’t want to hear that!

What I want to discuss is preparing for the holidays, but not the buying and wrapping of gifts or sending of cards. I want you to start thinking about the family get-togethers.

Start with Thanksgiving and think about what you’ve done in the past regarding getting together with family and friends. Do you always host Thanksgiving? Maybe you always travel, by car or plane, to Great Aunt Matilda’s house. This is the time to review those plans. Because something has always been done a certain way, others who participate in these events may expect them to continue. However, there may be reasons to make a change.

Think about these things:

  • As a caregiver, you have to assess the needs and abilities of your loved one. Can they travel? Can they handle a house full of people?
  • Can you take on cooking for a crowd and having a lot of guests? Are you happy to have guests for dinner but not house guests?
  • Is it just too expensive for you to travel this year?
  • Do you need to cut down or eliminate gift giving?
  • What are you not willing to give up?

Once you’ve made your decisions, think about how you can change things. Can you offer to visit on another day or have people over another day? Are you going to skip a tree this year but would like to help decorate someone else’s tree?

Tell people now what will be changing this year. Don’t wait until they’ve made their plane reservations or they show up at your door expecting to stay at your house. Let people know if you’d like to discontinue or change gift giving. If you’ll have people over for a holiday, but need to ask your guests to bring food, let them know. Have them bring the food that they feel is necessary for that holiday. Give up some control!

We are making a change to the guest list this year. We have the family over for Thanksgiving, but with extended family, it’s gotten a bit too large. I drafted a letter that will be going out today to extended family to let them know that this year the gathering will be immediate family only. I let them know this frees them up so they can make other plans, and don’t have to worry about RSVPing. I’m not sure how this will be received, but I know for my household, it is the best decision.

Get started now and review your plans!




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