FAMILY FRICTION

Average Relative Can’t Last Four Hours With Their Family Over The Holidays

Guests were coming to a home for the evening.   The lady of the house cleaned all day in preparation for their visit.  And everything went really well: the games, the food, the conversation.  However, there was one problem.  When company exited the bathroom, they did so with wet hands.  The host hurriedly put out napkins, tissues, whatever paper could be used for drying.  Afterwards, with company gone, the woman checked the bathroom and discovered the problem.  Earlier in the day she had put out fresh, clean towels with a note in big red letters for her husband – “Touch These Towels And I’ll Kill You!” (which she had forgotten to take the note down).

Note – When it comes to having family guests or being family guests, many look forward to it with delight; but others view it with some dread.  Here is a  recent summarized news story for those who are of the latter.

Over these holidays, more relatives will travel some distance to visit family than any other time of the year.  They will stay for an average of 3½ days and will do so in the same house, primarily for economic reasons. But 75% say they can’t last four hours with family before needing a break; either seeking a place in the house to hide out or actually leaving the home altogether. (back)  The reasons why?  Lack of privacy, getting on nerves, conflict between relatives, feel like imposing, different tastes in food and entertainment, too busy, too noisy, too crowded, too hot, too cold, etc.   And then there is the top of the stress list – who is going to sleep where and on what.  Often, there is  simply not enough  room; resulting in at least two people ending up sleeping on something other than a bed (the couch, chair recliner, air mattress, sleeping bag and so on).  Taking all of the above into account, the general conclusion is that holiday visiting would go much better if families weren’t all constantly together under the same roof. Instead, having a separate place that provides some private space to which the visitors can go.

All of the above is from a national survey of some 2,000 North American families visiting distant relatives this time of year.  And to be fair, it was financed by the Motel Six with this accompanying promotion:

We know how important it is to be with family over the holidays.  And we want to help keep your visit stress-free and your sleeping arrangements couch-free.  So, when you feel the need to get away, stop in for a clean, comfortable and affordable place to stay.  And we’ll leave the light on for whenever you arrive.

Now I must confess, when we visit distant family for any extended period of time, especially unsaved, we do consider staying at a motel room that is “clean, comfortable and affordable” (not owning a camper).

The bottom line?  If when you get together with family everyone is so glad to see everyone come and everyone is so sad to see everyone go, wonderful!  But if that’s not your experience, then perhaps Santa Clause has the right idea – visit family just once a year!