Holiday Hosting Hierarchy: How Do You Decide Who Sleeps Where?

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When my family gathers at my grandparents' farm for the holidays, where do their 7 kids, 18 grandkids, 19 great-grandkids, who-know-how-many great-great grandkids, and all of their partners sleep? Anywhere they can...

There is a bit of a system: adults who live right in town sleep in their own homes, but local kids crash at the farm to be part of the fun. My aunts and uncles all get beds, though one uncle prefers a certain couch and we all defer to him. My cousins and I get beds if there are any left, with preference going first to married couples with children, then married couples, then single people, descending in age. As an unmarried 33-year old, I'll probably score a couch, but my floor-sleeping days are not that far behind me. When I was younger and easily offended, I railed against this system: "So, if I'm single when I'm 40, I'll have to sleep on the floor, but the married 20-year olds will get beds?!?" This has not yet come to pass, and I am lucky that my brother and a few of my male cousins are both chivalrous and younger than I am, so they make sure I get a couch at least.

Oh, I should mention that special consideration is given to guests who are joining us for the first time, which is how I ended up sharing a bed with my future best friend on the very first day I met her. A best-friend-to-be AND a proper bed! That was a good year.

If your family hunkers down together for the holidays, how do you decide who gets a guest room, who gets a couch, who gets a lesser couch in the basement, who gets a recliner, and who gets stuck on the floor?

(Image credits: Monica Wang)

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