Here's a little rundown of the last trip. Borrowing the colloquialism, let's call it The Bekker Family Staycation. See, here's the deal. The fourteen of us in my immediate family (including kids and spouses) wanted to gather in Massachusetts with my parents. We had the following factors to contend with: 1. The advancement of my dad's ALS doesn't permit much mobility. 2. All five kids and/or spouses have currently said YES to higher education and therefore YES to temporary poverty. Clearly, a ski vacation was out. But we're not champion loungers, either. At least, not fulltime for four days. (In fact, some of us are so compulsive that on one trip, we polished exactly half of my mom's many brass cabinet and drawer pulls after she went to bed one night. The result was to make the unpolished ones look particularly drab. She was so grateful.) We needed a PLAN. The result? An action-packed Staycation chez les parents, with room around the edges for lounging and indolence.
I'll share, in case any of these ideas could be helpful to YOU in planning times with the extended fam. NOT to give you the false impression that we are some perfect family cherry-picked from a Norman Rockwell painting, rather than the loving and complicated bunch that in fact we are, probably much like your own.
Each couple had to plan one activity and one theme dinner.
Here's a sampling:
Yankee Swap (This. Was. HILARIOUS.):
(Poor girl. Methinks her very nosehairs are frozen.)
Tea Party at my SIL's house with extra guests:
Oh, and "Adult Movie Night." Stop snickerin', y'all. The "adult movie" was North by Northwest.
There were a few unscheduled stops, of course. Activities like Uncle Headcrushing ...
... Bundling Up (this takes HOURS, and tell your bladder to Hold All Calls once the layers are donned)
... and Drinking Straight Out of the Blender Like Your Mama Done Tole You Not To.