The Holiday Dinner Party - Same 前le Story

by Blanca R

2,521 Unique Views | 10 Comments

The holidays are the most joyous time of the year. After all, it痴 the time of the year when we can all get together for fun and food. So why is it that I'm always stressed out this time of the year? All I want is a worry-free holiday dinner party. Is that too much to ask for?

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    The Holiday Dinner Party - Same 前le Story

    I love holiday dinner parties! But, I hate the planning and the preparing that goes into it. We have a large family - with many little ones running around. It’s the same ‘ole story each year. Every year, “The party is at Blanca’s house!”

    The truth is that the holidays are not complete without a family dinner party. After all, it’s the only time in the year when we can all get together for fun, food, arguments, and a little bit of self-discovery. I will admit that our holiday dinner parties used to be more enjoyable. The family seems to be growing every year and the destruction seems - well uncontrollable.

    Every year more challenges and more problems.

    Parenting is the biggest problem during our holiday dinner party. How can you ignore your little ones? I remember when my kids were between 1-10 years old - I always kept an eye on them. If I wasn’t available my husband would be watching them.

    I’m a strong believer that children should behave their best at all times. They should have manners and be respectful of others and their surroundings. No matter the age - they can still have fun.

    Not my dinner parties - the kids are running around in the house and making a complete mess of things. They managed to scratch the pool table and mark every wall in the finished basement. I’m talking about 10-15 kids running all around the house disregarding all the rules. On top of that, I’m worried about their safety.

    For instance, we have a gym and a large storage room in our finished basement which we now lock up. We used to offer the kids a lot of traditional games (ie. Monopoloy, Checkers, BattleShip, etc) but now they are hidden. We found some of the kids putting the small game pieces in their mouth and tearing apart the rest of the game. The number of games available are now limited. The video game setup is available for my two kids and their older cousins.

    Don’t get me wrong - I love all my nephews and nieces. Their smiles and hugs alone are worth all the aggravation. It’s priceless. It’s just upsetting that the adults don’t supervise their kids. Their parenting skills are nothing to brag about. I’m not perfect. And, I don’t expect a lot. All I want is a worry-free holiday dinner party. Is that too much to ask for?

    How do you entertain the little ones?
    Last edit by Blanca R on Dec 13, '11
    Babs0512 and Joe V like this.
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    Blanca R joined Feb '04 - from 'NJ'. Blanca R has '12' year(s) of experience. Posts: 807 Likes: 94; Learn more about Blanca R by visiting their allnursesPage

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    10 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    come to jamaica
  6. 0
    Quote from sistergouly
    come to jamaica
    ?? not sure I understand
  7. 1
    OMG, you are talking about my family dinners where our children ignore their children (our grand children) while they run around the house like banshies, trashing everything!! I can so relate to the story!
    Blanca R likes this.
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    Hire a babysitter/entertainer, maybe even two, to keep the kids corraled. Plan some activities, set some ground rules.

    Before the evening is out, STATE that next year, XXX will have us all at their house! Or, go to a really nice restaurant.

    Do not be a mouse when it comes to protecting your property.
    Blanca R likes this.
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    The deal is, family dinners and other special occasions are precisely where children have learnt for generations HOW to behave as a guest in someone else's home. If parents are allowing children to run wild in your home, endanger themselves, and damage your furnishings it's time for a serious conversation.

    Not only is there a very real possibility of children being injured in your home, but at the bare minimum they are missing out of one of the main points of family get-togethers - learning how to behave, use please/thank you, wait their turn, give up their seat for elders, refrain from interrupting adults when they're having conversation, share, etc.

    Time to send out a written note to all these parents, something along the lines of: Thank you so much for joining us in our home this year for our traditional holiday dinner. It was great fun to see you and catch up with what you and your family have been doing this year.

    I look forward to hosting the family dinner again in the future, but I need some help from each of you in order to continue doing so. As our family has grown it has become more difficult to host the entire group and be able to properly supervise all the children so they are safe. Possible ideas for next year include either designating two adults to be in the basement with the children providing them with supervision and entertainment throughout the evening OR pooling together to hire professionals to watch and entertain the children.

    It's sort of a nice way of saying, "I'm not babysitting your kids or letting them tear up my house anymore. Deal with it or I'm not hosting this dinner again."
    Blanca R likes this.
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    I do agree, the holidays are never complete without a family dinner. I have a HUGE family made up of his, hers and ours, so we have many many celebrations during the holidays. But, we always stay home on Christmas day with our own little families. The parties start the week before Christmas with one group, usually my dad, his wife, their kids and families and the 3 that my dad had with my mom. Christmas Eve was always at grandmas until she passed, now it seems that has gone and we all celebrate in our own ways though it seems that my 'real' brothers and sisters and I all get together on this day to remember grandma. The week after Christmas was always at my mom's house. It was always a fairly large celebration with her 4 'real' children/families and 4 step sibs and their families.

    Now, I'm not sure if it was our very strict upbringing, or the angel 'watching you' on the tree top, or the fact that not one of my sibs or I believe in hitting our kids (very different than it was for us), but I am never ceased to be amazed at year after year, party after party, all of the kids behave. I am talking now about our kids and now, grandchildren. One thing did get broke last year but totally on accident by a child with austism that was having difficulties sitting. Other than that, everyone seems to get along so well and behave without any of the yelling or threats that I remember when I grew up. Amazing really.

    After having our last party this past Sunday, the biggest 'mess' was when the little girls played dress up and had a fashion show for us. But the party was at my brothers house and he has a room there for his granddaughter that they babysit very often and it is her room that was messed, so no real big deal.

    Maybe it is the angel, the admonations to be good for santa, or the fact that there are so very many parties that there is no horseplay or even really, any whining. Maybe they know that if they don't get what they want at this one, there will be another party right around the corner? Who knows, but I have decided after all of these years that I really, really like all of these people. And yes, that does surprise me with much that has happened over the years, but I do know that I am lucky to have so much love around me at this time of year!
    Blanca R likes this.
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    Thank you lockportrn for your comment. It made me look at it all in a different light.
  12. 0
    This is a very good idea mamac5 and merlee. Thank you.
  13. 0
    I may be reading the OP's post wrong but it sounds like the kids go to the basement while the adults party upstairs. Our family had good kids but if we were sent to the basement without an adult we became more than a little rambunctious. Put some snacks and the drinks/booze downstairs, and have the dinner upstairs so you have adults circulating throughout the house almost all the time. Have some quiet activities for kids available upstairs so there's an alternative for anyone that wants to get away. You'll have an excuse to go down and check on things, and you can get the older kids to ferry trays up and down the stairs.