character training | parenting seminar | homeschool speakers | raising great writers | homeschool products | homeschool classes | high SAT/ACT essay scores | experienced homeschool help | error-free copy writing and editing | how to have sweet kids | reluctant writers | step-by-step writing instruction | grammar and writing together | family relationships | biblical parenting
Christmas with college and adult kids can easily turn into a fiasco if family members are not careful to put other people first. Selflessness is the key to family harmony at all ages—but especially with college and adult kids simply because when someone has a bad attitude or is selfish, parents really have no recourse with grown kids. (It’s not like you’re going to send a twenty-four year old to his room!)
My advice for this is not going to be the most helpful for families with grown kids THIS Christmas. But families with younger children really need to grasp the idea that whatever is happening in your home among siblings now is likely not going to magically go away when they are adults.
Plastic wrap prizes! Several have asked how we do this activity, so here is a somewhat-clear description! (The pics are a little grainy in our living room that night!)
One thing that I highly recommend as you prepare for Christmas with teens and adults is that you try to make new memories…that you try to do things that are applicable to their ages. Yes, we definitely continue some of the earlier traditions. But we’ve also added new ones that are more age-appropriate. One of those is plastic wrap prizes.
This activity could be in lieu of stockings, Christmas Eve PJs, piñatas, etc. It is a ton of fun for teens and adults. With younger kids, there’s always a danger of some disappointment if they get Chapstick or antacids (lol!), but with teens and adults, it is all just good fun. Lots of laughs. Lots of usable items. And more family unity than you would think, LOL!
My husband loves to do clever things all the time—pranks on the kids, jokes, etc. He also likes to do special things for the kids—and let them know that he was thinking of them. (Not just that Mom thought of a special thing and had him “sign on” for it!) I love this about him, and it makes our kids feel so well-parented by BOTH parents.
Christmas is a time of spreading good cheer. It is a time of giving gifts. It is a time that we remember the best gift ever given to the earth. And yet it quickly becomes a time of selfishness when it comes to get-togethers, “getting” Christmas Eve or Christmas day for your get together when your kids are grown, etc.
Maybe this was easier for me because when our kids were little, we decided that we would not have a Christmas day that was filled with running around to multiple grandparents, especially with divorced ones making another place to go. Thus, if we had an extended family get together on the 25th, our Christmas day was simply a different day. It was easy, and our children came to realize that if they did not wake up to open presents on the actual December 25th, that was fine. Christmas was just longer and even more fun!
In my last blog post, I talked about how to determine which traditions to keep for everybody and which traditions will likely go by the wayside. These are obviously very personal decisions – and you will probably want to discuss these with your older children.
There are some other traditions that we have kept in part. These traditions are ones that we still do with our at-home kids, but we invite the olders to as well.
One of the things that was difficult for me in having college and adult kids with Christmas was not being able to continue all of the traditions that we had formally done. I mentioned earlier that through homeschooling, we actually spent a lot of time on Christmas. Our entire December was centered around Christmas readings, unit studies, Christmas baking and cooking, and more.
I am so excited to be putting into posts many of the things that I have found to work well with Christmas and college/adult children. It has been a definite learning curve from eleven years ago when our first child was married to last Christmas with our first grandchild.
I was used to Christmas revolving around our home. Yes, we did a lot of outreaches (specifically to disabled adults in the Fort Wayne area each year through One Heart’s Special Deliveries), and yes, we spent a lot of time with extended family. (Our children will respect and love their grandparents to the extent that we parents respect and love our kids’ grandparents!)
For Christmas, we love to have shrimp! We start out at the end of November having shrimp cocktail and breaded shrimp for our family decorating night. Then we move into the first week of December or so and have Shrimp Alfredo for our White Christmas movie night. (It started out as White Spaghetti and White Christmas…get it?) Then for Christmas Eve, we bring out the cocktail shrimp again. Then our shrimp days are over. We literally do not have shrimp any other time of year…sadness. Too many teens and young adults and boys and hearty eaters and….well, that equals a lot of shrimp, which equals a lot of money! So, this is our holiday recipe. However, it is almost as good made with boneless, skinless chicken breast too! ‘ Shrimp (or Chicken) Alfredo 4 to 6 lbs shrimp (or chicken tenders) 2 or 3 sticks of butter Italian seasoning garlic and wine seasoning black pepper minced garlic parsley oregano salt 3 lbs fettucini (sp?) 12 oz cream cheese 1 pint half and half 1 pint whipping cream 16 oz (up to 2 lbs, if wanted–don’t use powdered Parmesan!) Italian finely shredded cheese blend (all white) Serves 16
1. Boil pasta until al dente. 2. Melt butter and add seasonings (not sure of amounts–we just keep adding and tasting!) 3. Detail shrimp (defrost first) and drain/blot with paper towel. 4. Stir fry the shrimp in large skillet in the butter and lots of seasonings. (We do four batches.) Make this as if you were making garlic chicken tenders or shrimp scampi–you want the meat well-seasoned. We hate it when it tastes like pasta with white sauce and boiled chicken or shrimp! 😉 5. Drain the pasta and add the cream cheese and white cheese and stir until they are melted. 6. Add half and half, whipping cream, and shrimp/butter mixture to pasta/cheese mixture. Add lots more yummy seasonings! 7. Stir until yummy and heated through.