HAPPY HOLIDAYS with red bokeh lightsHow to Host a Fun Family Gathering for the Holidays
Family and friends bless our homes during the holidays, bringing laughter and shared memories.  Hosting a houseful of visiting relatives is a worthy challenge.  Use this checklist to create happy holidays for all comers.

Calm Kids
When children visit, their happiness is a key to the pleasure of all.
Remove breakables and sharp-cornered furniture from play areas – for toddlers, childproof the house; Establish clear safety rules and boundaries – let children know what is expected of them; Ensure a good night’s sleep – afternoon rest periods help children (and adults) stay in top form; Provide amusing games, crafts and movies.

Appreciative Adults
Adult guests appreciate a relaxed atmosphere that meets their basic needs, and they usually require fewer safety precautions.
Check guests’ food allergies, special needs and important daily routines; Select menu side-dishes and desserts requiring little last-minute preparation, so you can relax and have fun during the holiday; Graciously accept offers of food or help, or suggest alternatives that tap guests’ talents and fit your plans; Arrange fun activities, sports or games, according to people’s interests. When family members replay long-established interactions, enjoy the fun bits and smooth over the bumps – keep a light heart, stay focused on solutions, and divert attention as necessary.