Hosting Hell

‘Tis the season for happiness. I love family visits, feasting, hosting, presents exchanged, and the memories made. These are the essence of the holiday. For some, it may be heaven on Earth, for others its pure hell. Hosting is stressful. Some handle this stress with ease. It motivates them and ensures their success, while others don’t do so well.

Family can be so inconsiderate during these times. Even though we post the time, date, and venue on social media, each family member calls to ask, “what time?” Then, after settling the time, and everyone shows up, Uncle Ned feels the need to talk politics. Heaven forbid, we don’t agree with him. Right? The kids are screaming and running. Parents are fighting about their nonfactual opinionated views. Our sister is bickering in our ear about the walnuts we used. “You know my kid has nut allergies. How could you be so insensitive?” Dad can’t find a place for his coat, because the coat closet is bursting. And someone spilled red wine on our white loveseat. Oh yea, the police showed up due to our brother and Uncle Ned fist fighting in the front yard. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Here’s a tip I learned along the way. It’s all right not to invite everyone. We know what family or friends bring drama. They love to argue. Do we deserve this? Of course not. Be picky. Know how many people can sit in your house. An over-crowded house is a stressful house. And for the love of sanity, have the parents control their children. If they can’t, their out. You are hosting, not babysitting.

Yes, people will voice their dislike for our hosting decisions. That’s all right. I doubt anyone who didn’t like my hosting skills five years ago still holds a grudge. If they do, that’s juvenile. We don’t need that negativity in our lives. It is a time to be merry, not a time for us to make everyone else merry.

It’s easy to jump up and scream, “Hell Yea, STEVE! You tell them sons a bitc… whoa!” We need to keep ourselves in check. Everything that we complained about, we need to ensure we aren’t doing them as well. We don’t want to be hypocrites. We should offer to help set the table, keep our children in line, intercept arguments (even if we need to remind others we are all guests), and help clean up afterward. Together we can all do our part in making this holiday season the best family and friend event ever.

Take care, plan well, and happy hostings.

Steve Curtis

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