kids-in-the-planeNot everyone gets to travel out of town for the holidays. Some families become the destination. If your house is the place where others will be visiting—for the day or the week—these tips, courtesy of blogger Ashley Grimaldo, can help.

1. Get the guests to pitch in.
There’s no reason you have to do everything. Ask your family members and visitors who are driving in for the day to bring a side dish to share. Ask the ones plan to stay awhile to pitch in with the chores. If you want to be sure the meal is balanced and the work gets done, consider assigning dishes and jobs. Grimaldo recommends using Facebook to send out small group messages.

2. Plan a practice run.
If having guests means the kids give up their rooms, consider reshuffling room assignments a couple of nights early. That way, the evicted youngsters—especially tykes who are 3 and under—can get used to sleeping on the floor or in one room with all of their siblings so they are more likely to sleep well (and, therefore, be far less crabby) when company arrives.

3. Give your guests what they need.
Each guest should get: two towels, an extra blanket and enough toiletries to get them through a weekend. It’s always a nice touch to leave a few bestsellers or magazines on the nightstand for late-night reading and a flashilight for finding the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

4. Get everyone out of the house.
This is not an option. It’s a sanity-saving requirement. It can be an after-dinner walk around the neighborhood, or it can be an excursion into town. Before the guests arrive, make a list of fun, affordable family activities. A visit to the Cineplex or a night of bowling are good options.

5. Relax, enjoy and roll with the punches.
Your holiday visitors won’t stick around forever. You’ll have your life back soon. In the meantime, relax and make some holiday memories. Be thankful you have space to share and let your kooky relatives enjoy it as well!