Kitty has extensively studied the history, traditions, and celebration of ancient and modern holidays.
The Dreaded Visit . . .
Let's face it. We all have to visit Granny's house at some point or another. She may not let us partake in a lot of alcoholic horseplay or watch raunchy TV shows all day long, her couch may smell musty, and she may have too many yip-yappy dogs, but she deserves at least one visit this year, right?
So what do adults do if we can't have an entertaining time at Grandma's house during the holidays? Never fear. I've been there and done that . . . and now I'll share with you some activities to keep you amused at your Granny's house, specifically if you have to visit for longer than a few hours. (Yikes! I know.)
1. Get Out!
And no, I don't mean go out to a club while you should be staying at your dear ol' Granny's house. What I mean is, if you've had enough chit-chatting about knitting or craft clubs with Granny, tell her you want to stretch your legs and go outside for a walk. Take a long walk around her neighborhood or take a nature walk through the woods.
Being outside is usually quite therapeutic no matter the location, but it can be especially freeing if you've been cooped up in a dust-bunny-filled house all day long. If it's cold outside, bundle up and brave the weather. Enjoy the scenery, and maybe even take some time to feed a bird or two. Take a couple of pictures of the trees in Granny's 'hood or walk one of her heel-biting dogs (walking Granny's dog is a great excuse to go on extra-long walks).
Stop and take some time to smell the pine trees . . . before you have to smell mothballs again. It might be particularly fun if there's a bit of snow on the ground, have a snowball fight with your significant other or kids!
2. Ask for Story Time
So once you've used up the walk-the-dog card one too many times, it's time to go back inside and spend some more time with your family's matriarch. But what to do to pass the time? How about trying to get to know your family's history a little better? Maybe you've never heard the story about how your ancestors came to this country. Maybe your Grandma knows more about your family than you might have ever expected. Sometimes our ancestry and family lines tell a really intriguing tale about where we came from. Draw a simple family tree on a piece of paper, using the information that you acquire from your Grandma. Trust me, she'll eat up every second of that conversation, and you won't be bored (okay, maybe a little . . . depending on the stories being told by sweet ol' Granny).
If the family tree doesn't appeal to you, pull out the old photo albums that your Grandma keeps and find some embarrassing pictures of your siblings . . . then plan to use them on mousepads or decks of playing cards for Christmas gifts this year. The family will love it.
3. Learn Some Family Dishes and Recipes
This might be a good thing to plan out before getting to Granny's, but it might be a good idea to do some cooking and/or baking during your visit. This is especially a good idea if Granny can't get around as well as she used to, and if it's the holidays, you can use this time to get some of your Christmas baking done. I'm sure your Grandma won't mind the smell of gingerbread in the air.
Be sure to bring any ingredients or supplies you might need (unless you know for sure your Grandma has the appropriate baking tools). Get all your baking done in one fail-swoop, and be sure to bake a batch of Granny's favorite cookie.
If baking isn't your thing, spend your time in the kitchen preparing dinner for your family, plus Granny. Here's a hint: pick something that takes a LOT of prep and cooking time. This will keep you busy while you are visiting while still spending quality time with your Grandma.
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4. Go Exploring
If you've done all of the cooking, baking, walking, and talking that you can handle, there's only one thing left to do at Grandma's house this holiday season. Go exploring in the house! With Granny's permission, of course. You never know what you might find in Granny's house, especially in her attic or guest bedroom closets.
Many people learn that Granny still keeps clothing from the '60s and '70s, antique jewelry, antique furniture and knick-knacks, and more. The women will particularly enjoy finding Granny's vintage baubles and garments. But how about the guys? Men might enjoy looking for Grandpop's old baseball trading cards or sports memorabilia. If none of these things exist in the house, take a trip to the shed or garage and piddle around like Grandpop used to. You'll be sure to find things that will bring back memories, or at the very least, you can get some use out of them (again, with Granny's permission).
5. Do Christmas Chores
If all else fails, and you still have chores on your list for Christmas, why not get some of those chores out of the way? Get the rest of your Christmas shopping done, either online or at nearby stores. Granny will be sure to have the best coupons for the local Walmart or Walgreens (that's a bit of humor for your day).
Or help your Grandma put up her Christmas tree or decorations. Help Grandma wrap her Christmas presents or mail out Christmas cards.
If none of these ideas sound like a good time, find something to help Grandma with around the house. Patch up the roof, do some painting, trim the trees around the yard, wash the windows . . . anything to help Grandma out that will keep you busy and pass the time. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty . . . if you can't drink, you might as well break a sweat a different way, right?
Get creative and have a good time. Remember, you don't have to live with Grandma at Grandma's house . . . it's just a holiday visit. You deserve to have a good time, but so does Granny. Happy Holidays, everyone. Be good to your Grandmoms.
Written and copyright © by Kitty the Dreamer (May Canfield), 2012. All Rights Reserved.
Claudia Mathews on February 28, 2015:
LOL, you are too funny! But as a new granny, of 10 months, I hope my grandchildren never dread visiting me.
Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on January 06, 2013:
I'm sorry to hear that, Vinaya. Yes, grandparents are special to children...and to adults who have them. By the way, how did you find me on Google plus?
Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on January 05, 2013:
I grew up without grandparents.My father and mother both were orphans. However, when I see my nephews and nieces happy with my mother, I understand what I missed as a child.
Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on December 26, 2012:
Chleo - You're a sweetheart. thanks and blessings!
ChleotheWitch on December 25, 2012:
Great Ideas and Awesome Hub! You did a great job on this one, it will surely help many people!
Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on December 23, 2012:
Oh, I'm sure you'll have fun! :)
Mackenzie Sage Wright on December 23, 2012:
Great ideas. I'm going to Grandma's tomorrow (not mine, my kids' Grandma, though, lol). I may have to pass on some of the ideas when they get impatient.