[This post was originally written by Lou at Grounded Parents]
Welcome to what the British call the “Festive Season.” Here in the US, starting with this Thursday’s Thanksgiving and continuing through the winter months we will be faced with a literal gauntlet of family gatherings, festive events, religious and secular observances, and large scale meals that we will often have to share with people we barely tolerate, all while at least pretending to have a good time.
By the time we get to the finale, Super Bowl Sunday, it’s incredibly likely we will have gained 20 pounds of sugar plum weight, strained our marriages and/or polyamorous communes to the breaking point, alienated people we were expecting to inherit money from and created cherished memories that will last a lifetime, or at least until St. Patricks Day. Here at Grounded Parents we’ve spent literally about 15 minutes of rigorous research to find some of the best and/or most hilarious advice we could to help you plan your holiday gathering with minimal bloodshed.
Invitations… When and Who
PBS Food recommends sending out invites three weeks in advance of Turkey Day and asking for RSVP’s at least 10 days before the big day. Which means if you are reading this you are already behind schedule. Which is fine because in the real world holiday celebrations are family events with years of stultifying traditions and expectations larding them down. Unless there have been a surfeit of blessed and/or tragic events in the past year you are likely having the same family and friends over as you did last year. Assume they can read a calendar and remember the recent past and you can probably wing this part.
The who to invite question is a little stickier. If you have dependent children then it is considered normal to invite them. It is also considered illegal to keep them locked in the basement for the duration. If your kids are small, consider making sure a cousin who has reached the sullen teenager stage of development is invited and put them in charge of the “kids table.” If you have a sullen teenager of your own, consider providing this service for your younger siblings children.