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Candace Rule

Do you find it stressful to visit family during the holidays or when you come to town to visit family? You don't know when to leave politely. You have already established that you are coming to visit.  You have several people you want to see. You don't want to rush in and run back out. You let them you know that you aren't going to stay long.  Ok how long is not too long?  The visit drags out you don't know how to gracefully leave.  You are at a lost for conversation. You and say either your spouse or whomever are nudging each other trying to signal the other we should leave now.  Now that looks rude no matter how discretly you try to make the signal.  What do you do to leave without looking rude?  Here is a good rule to follow.  When you establish this before you plan all your visits there is no more embarassing moments of trying to make your exit. It is I call it the Candace rule. I know that again I am paraphrasing her but here it goes:

When you visit you stay no more than 1 hour. Have your visits lined up 2, 3 or so depending how many people you have to visit and how early in the evening or day you start. You can use the reason to leave after 1 hour that you are going visit the next person and so on. Visit each person no more than an hour. If you are coming to visit and they are not home and they knew you were coming, Call then everyone has a cell phone.  You can wait up to 30 minutes.  If they aren't home by then, let then know you're leaving.  Oh well, you go to the next person to visit. The last person you can always say you are meeting someone for dinner, you have to pick up someone from the airport or whatever to end the last visit for the evening.  ~ Candace P.~

This works out perfectly! Just remember the Rule you only visit for 1 hour then you leave. That way you don't stress yourself out sitting on the edge of the sofa excusing yourself to use the bathroom trying to make an excuse to leave thinking when do I leave?  How can I get away? This way you don't wear out your welcome.  If you are going to a family Dinner you can make the visit longer than an hour of course.  

Guests over-staying their welcome?

On the flip side how do you get rid of guest that come to visit and won't leave for 3, 4, or 5 or more hours?  So far the only solution that I have for that one is, you have to get up and leave your own house to get your guest out of your home.  Tell them you have a run to make.  You have to stop by someone else's house or you have to get something really important from the store before they close. When I come up with more ideas I've tried and what works I'll post it here.

This is a lame sugestion it  may work to get guests that stay too long.  If you have served food start cleaning up and putting food away.  This usually  works for most people.  Lastly you have to invie them out by saying well I have to call it a night. 

Better yet.  I suggest saying to them; It has been great having you over. It is late, I have to get up early tomorrow we have to call it a night. The old Cliché, "You don't have to go home, but you have to leave here." It's old and I tink a bit rude. It may work for you to tell your guest this.

Generations Past On Timed visits

This is dedicated to those visitors who do not know when or how to leave your home when they visit.  My generation did not preach to our kids like my parents did to us about visiting principals. I believe that your home is your castle, your private sanctuary.  It should be your retreat from the world.  I am a private person and believe there are many of you reading this feel the same as I do.  You may be the type to open your home and have occasional holiday family dinners every now and then. The visit length depends on when the dinner starts. You may be the type to have friends over every now and then, like a game night party. The reason for the visit denotes how long your visit lasts.  My Mom's principal was real simple and to the point: "Don't wear out your welcome."

Visiting Grandparents

Let's start with a pop social visit no planned activities.  Calling a block away from the house or in my driveway saying I'm in your driveway is still a pop visit.  Those type of visits are very uncomfortable. We will graciously say oh we weren’t doing anything. (That's because at that particular time we chose to be doing nothing.  We love you and do not want to hurt your feelings. ) You are calling: "I'm on my way over.  I was calling to see if you are home."  ONE hour is enough.  Visiting Grandma and Grandpa with the grand kids with no activities.  One and one-half hours max is enough.  If you have to constantly tell your children to behave themselves or stay out of trouble, then the third time to get them out of mischief, it is time to leave.  First of all we love your children but please watch them when you bring them over to visit.  When we were small children our parents taught us to stay in one room.  We did not run all over the house that we went to visit.  We love you son or daughter.  Please teach your children not to run all over other peoples house.  They cannot run in and out of grandmas living room in and out of every bedroom in the house.  Up and down the stairs. They do not live in the home that they are visiting.  It is not a play castle that they are visiting in. They are not to go in and out if the storage rooms in the basement of the homes they are visiting.  They are not to go in the furnace room of the homes they are visiting. WATCH YOUR KIDS.  GIVE THEM INSTRUCTIONS.  GET THEM IN LINE BEFORE YOU VISIT. YOU BEAT THEM.  DON'T MAKE GRANDMA OR GRANDPA THE BAD GUY GIVING US PERMISSION TO BEAT THEM WHEN YOU DON'T FOLLOW UP ON THE SPANKNG END. Five to eight hours of staying at Grandma and Grandpa's house until eleven or twelve midnight with rambunctious kids is way too much for us.  As much as we may love your children we want to see them on our terms.  For one, I never like pop visits.  Please call like a day or so before.   Make plans with us to come visit.  Being retired I now do not have to get up to get dressed to rush out to work.  Now if you pop over without calling I may not answer the door especially if I was not expecting you. When I was young and single and had no business, I had to answer the door when family did pop visits less it looks like as if I was hiding something.  Now that I am retired with a husband we do not have to answer the door if we have an unexpected visitor.

Dinner invations

Next Dinner invitations: If you are invited for dinner remember, if there is no planned activity for after dinner like a game or movie.  I'd say if you are invited for a 5:00 o'clock in the evening dinner.  With all do respect please plan to get there on time. The hostess had prepared the meal and expect to serve it at a certain time.  Most people will get there an hour later like at 6:00 p.m. . .or later. .  I just hate that.  The food is no longer hot.  Some dishes have dried out with the hostess trying to keep them hot not knowing when you would arrive.  Everything does not taste good reheated in the mricowave.  It takes about 2 hours to serve and eat dinner. You sit around and talk for another 2 hours and on.   Then the evening extends into 10:00 o'clock or later.  The hostess is left to clean the kitchen up at 10:30 or even 11:00 o'clock at night that's no fun.  So That is why I like to have an outing away from my home at a restaurant.  But this is just a guideline to visitors as to when to go home when you visit for different occasions.  If dinner is at 6:00 o'clock p.m. get there on time expect to leave at least by 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. at the latest. "Don't wear out your welcome." 

Lastly if you are invited to some one's house for dinner.  Be considerate, dinner time is usually 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m.  Don't do all your running around then come over at 9:00 or 10:00 o'clock and expect to be served dinner.  Remember each persons home is their castle.  Their home is not McDonalds or the local restaurant.  If you want to eat late, go to Wendy's

Remember it is best to leave early than to stay too long and have your hostess thinking wish you would leave.  How gracious it is to have the person you are visiting say to you:  "Don't be a stranger now."  Or better yet to have that person call you and invite you over again.  Or ask when are you going to stop by again.  Hum?  Do you wonder why when you mention that you might stop by that the person gets off the subject(You might be one of those persons who have worn out their welcome.

Game Night Parties

Game night parties take on a lfe of their own.  I've never had one but  to all of you all out there that do and have had them, you are on your own. I'm sure they are much fun and last for the length of the game and on.  I have no hard fast rules for them.  So do your thing!  If you have any sugestions you can post them on my blog page.

Solution

This is short and to the point it only works with invitations. You put on your invitation from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for your party or dinner. If you live in a community or city that has banquet facilities that allow you to rent them to save wear and tear on your own home. You can tell your guests that you have to be out of the facility by the end time of the event.  Every time I had a large party or gathering at my home something was broken, destroyed, damaged or badly soiled. That is something to think about when you plan to have any type of event in your own home. You can always rent a Restaurant that has a room and make reservations for your party.  It is worth it.  No clean up and no bother for you. Your guests must R.S.V.P. and be on time. If they don’t oh well.

Family Memorial Visits

My carpet in my family I keep clean enough to eat off of and a baby to crawl on.  I do not walk on my carpet with my outside shoes on nor with my snow boots on.  At my Fathers memorial open house I had at my home.  I stepped out to go to the funeral home.  My extended family members were at my house to receive guests.  Some guests clunked in my family room past my signs with instructions to remove their shoes due to the inclement weather. They ingnored the signs tracked in with their boots did not even stomp their feet at the door to get the snow off. When I got home I was horrified. There were clumps of snow and mud tracked on my carpet from the door all the way to my sofa where they plopped down. I informed them: "Oh We don’t wear our boots inside." and politely asked them to remove their boots. (My guests were a bit miffed. Yes they were distant family members. Albeit cousins I only see at funerals.  This was the first time they were in my home. I don't know when, if ever they will be back again.) I said all of this to say it's these things that you can avoid when you rent a banquet hall to have your event. You are entitled to have your rules of your own house.  My living room and dining room carpet is white. My kitchen floor is white. My hall foyer is a wood parquet floor. The family room carpet is a light grey tweed.  I walk barefooted through out my house. I Keep my floors clean enough to sit on. We take our outside shoes off in the hall in the laundry room where we hang our coats before we come into the house. We never walk in our bedrooms with our shoes on.

I had an acquaintance who taught her children that they do, their do that is "thing, partying" what ever you had to do away from the house then they came home. I have to agree with her. Years ago I had a neighbor who had a "yard party" to celebrate a millstone birthday party. She did it up. Lanterns strung across the fence. Music up loud. Barbeque Grilling, dancing in the driveway. Well when she went to work then next day someone doubled back broke into her house and started cleaning her out before something alerted them and stopped them before they finished the job.

Again I say a man's or woman's home is his/her castle. Your home is your personal palace. It is your place where you find rest at the end of the day. It is your shelter. It is a necessity of life. It is to be cherished, valued. You should have your home blessed when you move into it. If you never had your home blessed. It is not too late. Have it blessed now. Be selective how and when you use your home for entertainment purposes. Consider who you will invite into your home and maybe not and take the alternate and not.  I'm confortable with family gatherings but nohing more . 

Family Memorial Services

I am inserting this as an afterthought in the line of family visits stressful. We had the family gathering for the memorial service of my father at my house. Food was prepared for our family and donated which we all were very grateful for. My family members all loss weight during that time period. Grief stricken as we were as was to be expected none of us had the wherewithal to prepare food in the process of preparing for the funeral. My home was flooded with a continuous drove of guests. The day before my father's funeral there were visitors coming to pay their respects, sitting around eating and visiting until almost midnight.  A lot of the people I did not know.  I asked my brothers who is this or that person they shrugged their shoulders they did not know them either.  I asked around my sister-in-law knew the person and whom they came with.  I don't think they even knew my Dad. ?  I had placed a sign outside for the invited guests to find my house.  I am not a swearing person, but I'd guess a stranger strolled in with someone just to grab a plate to eat.  My house had wall to wall people in it!  There was a constant drone of talking, people visiting for hours.  It seemed like the evening would never end!  The people would not leave!   We were all tired! I just wanted everyone to go home!  We were so exhausted for the funeral the next day.

When my sister passed away I could not handle having the memorial service it at my house.  My sister passing was too much for us in the first place and to have a drove of people invading our private space would have been over the top.  Actually, I cannot go through having a wake, memorial service, food drop off at my house and have a mass of people over ever again!  The wake for my father was too much!  We did things differently for my sister. We did not have a central location for anyone to gather at one house. We allowed food donations to be dropped at two separate locations as is the tradition.  There was no gathering place.  Even though we did have a few ask where were we gathering.   Please forgive us but it was too stressful for us to host guests for a family hour or wake in our home during the time of the loss of our beloved sister.  None of us could  bear a repeat of what we went through with my father's family memorial service a my house. 

When a family has lost a loved one they are going through a lot of stress making preparations. Remember they are on a time line to make the arrangements. The deceased's body has to be prepared and laid to rest within a set period of time.  The family has to contact relatives/friends who may be out of town.   Work schedules have to be taken into consideration as to when the funeral can be held.  The deceased job, if still employed have to be contacted, insurance compaines, looking for insurance policies for payment of the funeral arrangements.   Air flights have to be planned.  Relatives have to be picked up from the airport.  Then family have to decide where their out of town family will stay.  Usually from the time the loved one passes away up until the day of the funeral, the family is on a fast track preparing for the funeral. The last thing the family needs is a housefull of people keeping them up till midnight the day before the funeral.  Especially not a kitchen full of dishes/paper plates to clean up or trash cans full or a house that needs to be cleaned up from a endless stream of guest visiting.  The family will usually have their own out of town family members staying with them, they will need exra time to get up and get ready in the morning for the funeral.

The best place to visit with the family is at the funeral home during the public viewing of the body. Respect the grieving family's home as their private retreat and solace, give them their space. My advice to bereaved families let people know where the body is and have people meet the family there.

I know this is difficult, to stop guests from coming by your home to pay respects when a loved one has passed. You will always have people who will drop off food and stay and eat or those who will come and eat. This is a after the fact thought, hindsight is always 20/20. I will not have a "gathering" at my home when a loved one has passed away ever again. As  I stated agreed to allow my home to be the "command post" to have the wake or memorial hour when my Dad died.  I placed a sign in my yard next to the driveway so visitors could find my house . On the sign It had my Dad's name, and  memorial service. What I should have included was a specific time  on the yard sign such as Memorial held from 1:00 pm. until 8:00 pm. Then inside during the serive at 8:00 pm. Have some one designated to politely tell the guest thank you for comeing to pay your respects.  The family hour has now come to an end and we will see everyone tomorrow at the funeral. It is getting late the imediate family will need to get their proper rest because they have a long day ahead of them tomorrow. That should let them know it is time to leave. At 8:00 remove the yard sign and and post a sign on the door service over see you at the funeral. Of course there may be a few straglers coming you just tell them we will see you at the funeral.

The History of AWake

In ancient times wakes were held in the home of the deceased with the body present. In modern times wakes are performed at the funeral home now called a viewing. It is for the purpose to console the family.  The urban legend was to have a wake in case the deceased person "wake up."  There is more interesting things about the history about a wake, some of it is gory.   If you are curious, Google it and see what you find out.

R. S. V. P.'s are Really Important!

What are RSVP's? It's a French phrase: répondez s'il vous plaît. Meaning please respond. The purpose of RSVP's are when a formal dinner event is planned there are a calculated number of head count planed for the amount of plates being served so that there is enough food to serve the guests. There is nothing more embarrassing  for a hostess than to run out of food for his or her guests.  Usually the Hostess has a fixed number that he or she can afford or has planned to serve and need to know how many will be in attendance.  I cannot stress how important it is to actually respond to RSVP's.  I consider it sacrilegious to not RSVP.

By all means do RSVP with the envelope that is included with the invitation.  Don't waste the stamp the bride/hostess so conveniently provided for you.  Say yes or no include the number of persons attending.  Just mail it back.  It's real simple. If all is required is a phone call just call say Ms. or Mr. is coming or not. You never know how much stress and money you save the bride or the hostess.

I have not been a part of high society.  I grew up in a Christian society.  We got married in our home church.  Each church had a kitchen staff the bride's dad paid the staff.  Mom, Dad and the daughter ordered the menu and paid for the food.   When there were marriages we knew each bride's home church family and their friends usually attended the wedding.  The guest list usually was about 300 more or less.  Our parents were members of the church and we really did not have any worries.  The bride's parents usually paid for the wedding while the groom took care of his traditional expenses.  The reception was held in the fellowship hall/dinning room of the church.  Back then it was uncomplicated.

A note to the bride by all means you must start your wedding on time don't be disrespectful to your guests if they do not arrive on time then they did not intend to see you get married.  A secondary note to bridesmaids you are there to assist the bride you are not there to look cute in your bridesmade dress.  That is a whole new page that I will address in the future. 

I'll never forget my Niece's wedding. Her wedding was really classy! She got married at her home church. The wedding was beautiful! You had to RSVP for the reception! The reception was held in the church fellowship hall. The wedding planner/Coordinator was seated at the entrance to the reception hall. The doorway was roped off with a velvet rope. You had to give her your name to gain entry into the reception. If you did not RSVP, your name was not on the list, you did not get in! The number that you said were in attendance on your RSVP were the only ones allowed in. There was no sneaking in extra guests saying oh she's with me or they are with me. If their name was not on the RSVP list, no admittance. I loved it! I of course did my RSVP. Once everyone who had RSVP'd were seated.  An allotted lenght of wait time was allowed for late comers who had RSVP'd. I think maybe 30 minutes.   Then if  there were any seats left, people who did not RSVP were allowed in.  Now that is what I call controlled class! 

Now, I'm day dreaming about having a formal event..   My guests will have to RSVP.  They will also have to bring their engraved invitations with their names printed on them to enter the event. (smile) What will that event be?  Hum. . . A milestone birthday for me?  An anniversary party?  A reaffirmation of my wedding vows?  I'm dreaming. . . . . . .ha . .ha-ha!

Don't assume that the hostess/ bride knows you are coming, just go ahead and RSVP.  Especially if there is that cute little RSVP card with the postage paid self addressed envelope included.  It's just proper Etiquette.

Casual Pop Visits

What are casual Pop visits? These are visits from family members, friends who are stopping buy don't give you a specific time to either return a lawnmower, a tool, anything that they have borrowed or to borrow something or return money they may have borrowed. (The money part is a long discussion for another page: Family members should NEVER use each other as their personal ATM’s)

Or just to pop in to visit to see you for no special reason. Just because they love you.

When a family member/friend comes over around 5:00 pm. and stays make no move to leave, it’s now 6:00. Still no motion to leave. Now it’s 6:45. (You are on a tight budget) They have brought their 3 kids with them along with each kids friend they are babysitting for you think they are waiting for a dinner invitation? Yeah,... that might be it!  “Oh I was just getting ready to fix dinner won’t you stay and eat?” Is what they are waiting for. Ok you figured it out*!@  You are caculating in your mind I can't afford to feed all these people. If I do fix them dinner in todays economy on my income with my budget I will blow the rest of my weeks food allowance and go into next weeks pay that I haven't gotten yet, preparing food for 6 kids and 2 grownups. Then you think, why don't they just leave or go get something for all thoes kids to eat. Now that you know this next time: Solution instead of letting them come by you can either go by and pick up what ever it is. Or better yet just tell them to come by after 7:00 pm. If it’s a work night and your visitor stays for hours you can say it’s getting late, you know, I have to get up early tomorrow to go to work. I have to call it a night and turn in.

If it’s a Friday or Saturday night and your visitors are your own son or daughter and the grandkids are with them and the kids are getting rambunctious, this is a hard call to make. You don’t want to hurt you own adult child’s or children's feelings, you love them and you love your grandchildren but enough is enough. Maybe they have already broken something while visiting this particular evening. You can say to your son or daughter; They must have had a long day. The children they might be ready to go home.  Maybe they are tired of the grandparents house. When children get tired they get antsy and bored they act up. Next time you come over bring some of their toys for them to play with. I have toys at my house, grandma’s toys for my grandchildren to play with and the toys stay here. Most kids have abundance of toys that they don't even play with. They have way too many that they get bored with. If half of the toys they own are at grandma's and grandpa's house then will always have different toy than at home to play with over grandma's house.

I am a firm believer that small and young children need 10 to 12 hours of sleep. So to all the young parents no matter what day of the week you are visiting with your children. Or you have visitors your children should never ever be up until 10:00 pm. Babies should be in bed by 8:00 pm. No rambunctious activity for your child after 6:00 all visitors should be gone by 8:00 so your child can go to sleep, then you can have your quiet time. Especially visitors who came bringing children with them. How do you expect your child to go to sleep if there are children visiting even if they are a bit older than your child. Your child will want to stay up and play. Making your child go to bed with visitors still in your home will translate as you being a mean parent, in the eyes of your child. Say you have only adult visitors, You have a baby monitor. You’ve got everything covered. Unless your house is large enough where the sounds of the adult conversation cannot be heard from the child’s bedroom even visiting adults laughter and talking can keep a child awake. (I speak this from remembrance, nothing bad since we are on the subject. I remember drifting off to sleep as a small child and being awakened by adult laughter coming from another room even though the door was closed to my room. I lay in my bed listening for a while and could not go back to sleep for hours. Eventually my parents guests left much later I drifted back to sleep. I don‘t know what time it was when I finally went to sleep. I know I was suffering from one of my ailments as a small child. The visitors had come from our church to help my mom and to see about me.)