Thursday, January 2, 2014

Creative Survival (Entertaining the Family Edition)

So, it's the first Thursday of the year, and I promised myself I would write something each week and post it on Thursday. And that means I have to have something to write about. And I'm trying to write this while preparing for our family Christmas gathering. Yep, it's at my house this year. Ah! I guess I'll tell you how I'm doing on that.
To give you a little background as to why hosting the family Christmas is a bit of an ordeal for me, I will tell you—I am a LOUSY housekeeper. I would rather eat dirt than clean my house. But I know it has to be done—partly because I don't like getting sick from all the germs that come from dirt, and partly because I hate to listen to my mother nag about all the household details I didn't take care of. It won't matter that I spent hours upon hours organizing, purging, and scrubbing—Mom will manage to find the one corner I missed. Anyway, the only time the house gets anything close to clean is when we have company. And yes, members of my family who don't live here count as company.
So I'm not even going to try to make the house perfect. It's not gonna happen. Next to my Mom and my older daughter and my perfect sister-in-law, I will always be a slob. But I can do things to make the gathering fun.
Like a lot of families, we've grown to the point where my sister-in-law suggested we start drawing names or do an exchange game. Last year we each brought a game. This year I suggested we all bring a gift that starts with a particular letter of the alphabet (I stole this from one of my scrapbooking friends). Our letter for this year is S. Since the party is Saturday and there is the TEENIEST chance that someone in my family MIGHT read this blog, I won't tell you (yet) what I'm giving. But really, the possibilities are endless! Sheets, silverware, sweatshirts, storage bins, socks, and Sangria are some that come to mind. I can't wait to see what everyone brings.
We're keeping the menu simple – my hubby the cook is making taco meat, and I'm chopping up the fixings. One daughter is bringing guacamole dip, and the other is bringing a Tres Leches cake. A niece is bringing chips and tortillas, and another is bringing cookies. We'll have plenty to eat!
Everyone is arriving mid-afternoon. I'll have lots of snacks out. To keep people from looking at the cobwebs in the corners I'll have decks of cards and other games I've collected. And I've got a list of conversation topics to keep everybody talking between mouthfuls of food, and hopefully not commenting on the the stuff piled up on end tables.
And the last piece of my arsenal is to put the focus on my gorgeous grandkids. I have the cutest ones alive. As soon as they wake up from their afternoon naps they will be the center of attention, and I'll be off the hook. For another year.
Maybe by next year I'll be able to afford a maid.
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Crafting: So my first finished sewing project of 2014 is a set of quilt tops! I made these with pre-cut squares my quilting group got at the Troy Fabric Company in Chicago and border fabric from the talented YA author Chris Allen-Riley
Reading: I started reading Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold by JL Salter. It's a brand-new book by a fellow Astraea Press author who labels it a screwball comedy. Sounds like a fun way to start the new year. Hopefully by next Thursday I'll be able to tell you more about it!


  1. Grr. It ate my comment!. Trying again. Love the quilt tops and the tips for distracting your guests from the cobwebs. I wonder if that would help keep my kids from naming the spiders they find and trying to keep them as pets.

    1. Thanks, Joselyn. I'm not sure about the distraction technique with kids - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I think I'd go with bug spray.

  2. Great post, Patty. We are so alike. I, too, clean only when company is coming. Or when I can't stand the mess anymore. LOL Love the quilt tops. Have fun!

  3. Thanks, Diane! I'm hoping to finish a lot of sewing projects this year - I can't stand to throw out good fabric!