The holiday season is right around the corner, and Grandma can't wait for everyone to visit. Nothing brings her more joy than being surrounded by her family for the holidays.
Although Grandma says that she doesn't mind celebrating the holidays at her home, preparing for family to stay may not be easy on her.
Here are four tips that'll help Grandma stay stress-free while you are in town.
Have an honest talk
Do you know what a successful family weekend looks like to Grandma? What will make her happy during your visit? Finding out may take some prompting.
Grandma will insist that she's fine, and doesn't need anything other than your company. So take a proactive approach: Ask her what she plans on doing for the upcoming family stay. Once you find out what she envisions, take the initiative to make that a reality.
Create an itinerary for your family to reference. This will help convey Grandma's hopes and expectations to her guests.
The itinerary will let your family know what to expect each day of the visit. Then, each guest will know where they can pitch in, or when to go off on their own to give Grandma a breather.
No matter how your family goes about this, communication is paramount to prevent misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
Arrive early and bring your own linens
Whether you've got a big or small family, cleaning is a time-consuming task. Grandma probably plans to do a lot of cleaning before you arrive.
Guest rooms need to be aired out, and the beds need new sheets. Fresh towels need to be put out. But she'll never admit that the work is too much for one person to handle.
Offer to come a day early and prepare the rooms for everyone's stay. The more help Grandma can get, the better. Bring extra sheets, blankets, and towels. This way, the laundry won't pile up for Grandma when everyone leaves.
Divide meal duties
Preparing dinner isn't just laborious, it's expensive. Don't let Grandma do it alone.
Ask her for a list of groceries that she’ll need to feed the family. Then, ask your relatives and family members to chip in toward the cost of the groceries.
Flying across the country? Ask Grandma if you can go to the store with her once you land. You can offer to pay and help carry items from the car. Grandma will be relieved knowing she won't have to surrender an arm and a leg to foot the bill.
Once the groceries are in the house, give Grandma a hand in the kitchen. Cooking alone for a holiday meal is an exhausting task.
When everyone's able to pitch in, it's much easier on Grandma. And cooking is a good way to bond. Helping Grandma with the cooking won't just make her happy, but will benefit everyone since the food will be ready faster.
Tidy up at the end of your stay
When it's time for visitors to go home, Grandma is left with a mess to clean. Fortunately, there are several ways you can make the cleaning process easier for her.
Start tidying up after yourself the day before you plan to leave. Toss out any trash, wipe down surfaces, and begin gathering your things together. Grandma will have less to clean if you don't leave a huge mess when you're rushing out the door on the last day.
Ask the rest of your family to set aside some time to help clean up before departure. Cleaning will become a 30-minute activity instead of a three-day event for Grandma.
Does Grandma insist that no one lift a finger? Get creative and send her off to lunch or the movies with some friends. While she’s gone, donate some good old-fashioned elbow grease.
Give everyone in your family a job to have the house clean by the time Grandma comes home.
Leave Grandma smiling
Holidays and family go hand in hand, like milk and cookies. Nothing makes the holidays better than being able to celebrate together.
Stay in the spirit of the holiday season - make sure your visit didn't leave a bitter taste in Grandma's mouth. If she has to spend hours cleaning before and after your visit, on top of footing the food bill, she may not want to host next year's dinner.
Leave Grandma with a smile on her face by being conscious of yourself and your mess, and pitching in whenever you can. Holidays are meant to be spent with family - not cleaning up after them.