My wife and I hosted family at our house over Halloween AND the Thanksgiving holiday but luckily we’re traveling for Christmas, because it’s not easy to prepare your house for a full-on family invasion and we need a break.
It’s tough enough to manage a household of five, including three kids under six and a dog that can only vocalize his feelings by pissing and crapping around the house every time he’s upset. My dog’s emotional peaks and valleys are best illustrated using a line graph, which oddly resembles the Kingda Ka roller coaster at Six Flags in Jersey.
There’s nothing better than upending yourself on a pile of urine in the middle of the night and putting your hand through the wall to break your fall…
… or running to grab your crying baby in your underwear at 3am and hammering down on a fresh turd in the hallway that squeezes itself up in between your toes like an earthworm trying to find sunlight.
But managing a household on its own is one thing—preparing to be inundated by the parents or the in-laws is a totally different beast. On that note, I put together a quick list of five things that are INTEGRAL in having houseguests this holiday season [and coming out the other end with your sanity].
FRESH LINENS – If you’re gonna rack ‘em and stack ‘em like it’s the Griswold Family Christmas, you’re going to need tons of fresh bed sheets and bath towels. And don’t hide that stuff either – fold it and lay it out prominently in their assigned area so they know what’s up. Too many times, I’ve forgotten to do this and found an anarchist surge on my obsessively organized linen closet – people ripping through my shelves like they’re at a Saturday morning outdoor flea market. Also, the same goes for towels and washcloths… don’t skimp, otherwise they’ll think your newly hung plushy is theirs for the taking.
BOOZE – I feel like an idiot for even bringing this up – it’s HOSTING 101. At this point, you should know what your guests (family) are drinking. IMO, go out and buy this stuff ahead of time on your own and don’t bother to collect money on it later. Consider it an early peace offering.
Perhaps the thought of your gesture will hang over their bodies like a wet sweater of guilt the next time they ‘almost’ forget to flush the toilet, throw dirty dishes in the sink or leave a used up K-cup in your coffee-maker.
PATIENCE – This stuff is a hot commodity. You’ll have to shake me down and search my pockets and socks or maybe even horse-collar tackle me in the driveway to see if I’ve got any on me. But, it’s important. Dig deep young padawan.
We can all admit that the holidays are stressful, but it’s how you handle those tiny moments of chaos that will end up being the talking point of your family as they drive their asses home at the end of the month.
A SECRET HIDING SPOT – So what, you’re married… you’re not dead. We all know that you’ve got a few questionable Polaroids or maybe even some battery-powered items that you really don’t need out on a museum display showcase for the in-laws.
I have a secret spot. While it may not be the most interesting personal time capsule that someone digs up if I suddenly die, it’s my important stuff.
I don’t want anyone using my bar soap and leaving behind a long, desperate armpit hair. I don’t share my Chapstick, nor do I want someone inadvertently cleaning their silver bangle bracelets with my $9 Oral-B toothbrush. So what if I kept my old tongue ring from college or a bag of teeth (like my wife)? That’s MY business and I don’t need anyone in it.
Cut a hole in the wall or take the time to hollow out a garbage romance novel that no one will take a second look at – you need a hiding place.
EXTRA TP. LOAD UP. – THIS. This might be the most overlooked of all the five items. There’s nothing worse than your mother-in-law yelling your name from the hopper, asking if you’ve got any more toilet paper.
Go ahead and grab a multi-pack of the Charmin Ultra Mega Roll and line the cabinets of every bathroom. It pretty much speaks for itself – it’s the Robocop of toilet tissue. This roll will outlast cockroaches and Twinkies after a nuclear blast.
Ok, so there you have it. This list should keep you alive over the next few weeks and you can thank me in the new year!
Happy Holidays from Dad or Alive!
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a sponsored post with Charmin, however, the thoughts and opinions are clearly my own.