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Now the kids won't pout when they get kicked out

Lisa Steinke, with Liz Fenton, is the co-author of the debut chick lit novel l'll Have Who She's Having and the popular Chick Lit blog chicklitisnotdead.com.

When grandma takes your child's room

It's the holidays again and as great as it is to get together with family, it can mean a lot of bodies under one roof. And usually it's the kids who are displaced.

Why not surprise the kids with fun, alternate sleeping arrangements that are so good they'll be begging Grandma to take their room.


Sleep under the stars

What child doesn't love a camp out — especially one that they aren't expecting? If you live in a warm-enough climate, surprise the kids and set up a tent in your backyard and let them sleep under the stars. The entire family can even roast mashmallows, drink hot cocoa and even read holiday books together (think: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas) before you tuck the kids into their tents and call it a night.

But if your home is in an area of the country that is far too cold for an outdoor camp out, why not make it a camp in instead?

Managing your kids at family gatherings >>

Basement camp in

Move over Mom and Dad

Let the kids bunk in with you. Whether it's in your bed or in a tent at the foot of your bed, the kids will love being roommates with Mom and Dad for a night (or more!).

Whether it's the basement, a bonus room or even the living room (the idea is to get creative), you can set up an indoor campsite for your kids. They'll be so excited about the departure from "the norm" that they won't care where they're going — as long as it's not their own room. They can sleep in a tent or you can help them build a fort, but whatever the sleeping arrangement, they will love it. Beyond the tent, add to the fun with popcorn and a movie as an added bonus for giving up their room for Aunt Sandy and Uncle Joe.

5 ways to survive the holidays with your kids >>

Bed swap

Warning: This one might not be for everyone, especially the parents who are overly-exhausted from all of the holiday festivities. But if you're up for a challenge, the idea is that Mom and Dad will swap sleep spaces with the kids. The children get to sleep in the parents' bed and the parents camp out in the tent. Grab a bottle of vino, an air mattress and enjoy feeling like a kid again. The key to surviving the holidays is to stay flexible and keep laughing.

Read more about family and the holidays

How to survive the holidays with your family
Top ways to have a drama-free holiday
10 Tips to survive the holidays

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