Holiday gatherings can be stressful. The list of things to worry about often seems endless. Who’s bringing which hot dish? What about entertainment? Should guests bring friends? Did I make enough food for my family? Do we have enough room? Fall’s arrival signals that the holidays are on the way. The end of October brings out the candy-hungry goblins. Thanksgiving draws crowds demanding cranberries, turkey, potatoes and gravy. Then it’s on to Christmas gift-buying and New Year’s Eve parties. The American Automobile Association last year predicted that 54.3 million Americans would travel at least 50 miles to celebrate Thanksgiving. With so many families and friends getting together each year, it’s hard not to get stressed out. Janesville’s Hauri family knows the feeling. Each year the family, led by 92-year-old father Harry, spends the holidays together. The Christmas celebration alone includes Harry’s 14 children, 128 grandchildren and family friends. The group quickly outgrew their dad’s home, so for the past 11 years, they’ve celebrated Christmas at the nearby town hall. They’ve been celebrating together for so long that Hauri’s daughter Judy Simplot said the family has the plan nearly perfected. “With jobs and everything else, it was pretty tough at first, but everyone stepped up, and everybody knew what to bring, and we just expected everyone to be there,” Simplot said. One person brings the meat and another the beans. Each family member handles something on the list. With such a big family, there’s plenty of help to go around. “Everybody does their part, so it works out good,” Hauri said. The children have lost their mom and one sister, so family time means even more these days. “Sometimes it’s only once or twice a year that we get to all be together,” Simplot said. “Dad wants to keep our family together, and he’s a very wise man for that. It’s all about family.” Area businesses also feel the holiday rush as aisles fill with shoppers searching for the perfect decoration or party favor. Juanita Habeck is the manager at the 50-50 Factory Outlet, a party supply store on Woodlane Drive in Janesville. Habeck also serves as a party planner at the store. She agrees the holidays can be extra stressful. She said people are often worried about having enough party to go around. “Whether it be food, table settings or games, the number one question is, ‘Do I have enough to make it work?’” she said. Courtney Schlegel, a licensed social worker with Mercyhealth, said the holidays can be hard on kids and parents alike. “Usually it’s stressful,” Schlegel said. “A lot of times, the reason is parent stress or worries about seeing a family member they don’t necessarily want to see.” Schlegel said the easiest way to reduce stress is to communicate with others and express concerns and expectations before the family gathering. If needed, people should take small breaks from all the interaction. Habeck said one of the difficulties in helping customers with holiday planning is assisting someone who isn’t sure what she’s looking for. “We try to make it as easy as possible for them. We don’t want it to be stressful,” she said. And while she strives to help customers plan the “perfect” party, Habeck often finds herself reminding them what the holidays are all about. “I don’t think it’s anything that they purchase. I think it’s more the camaraderie they have during the party,” she said. “We just try to assure them that it’s OK, and it doesn’t have to be perfect because you’re getting together with family, and family will understand. “It’s all about family.” It’s that thought that keeps the Hauri family going year after year. While holiday preparations can be an exercise in nail-biting anxiety, the end result makes the worrying seem unimportant. “Sometimes it’s very loud, but it’s a lot of joy,” Simplot said of their big holiday gathering. “You can feel the love, and it’s just great that we’re all together. It’s worth it.”

Holiday gatherings can be stressful.

The list of things to worry about often seems endless.

Who’s bringing which hot dish? What about entertainment? Should guests bring friends? Did I make enough food for my family? Do we have enough room?

Fall’s arrival signals that the holidays are on the way.

The end of October brings out the candy-hungry goblins. Thanksgiving draws crowds demanding cranberries, turkey, potatoes and gravy. Then it’s on to Christmas gift-buying and New Year’s Eve parties.

The American Automobile Association last year predicted that 54.3 million Americans would travel at least 50 miles to celebrate Thanksgiving. With so many families and friends getting together each year, it’s hard not to get stressed out.

Janesville’s Hauri family knows the feeling.

Each year the family, led by 92-year-old father Harry, spends the holidays together. The Christmas celebration alone includes Harry’s 14 children, 128 grandchildren and family friends.

The group quickly outgrew their dad’s home, so for the past 11 years, they’ve celebrated Christmas at the nearby town hall.

They’ve been celebrating together for so long that Hauri’s daughter Judy Simplot said the family has the plan nearly perfected.

“With jobs and everything else, it was pretty tough at first, but everyone stepped up, and everybody knew what to bring, and we just expected everyone to be there,” Simplot said.

One person brings the meat and another the beans. Each family member handles something on the list. With such a big family, there’s plenty of help to go around.

“Everybody does their part, so it works out good,” Hauri said.

The children have lost their mom and one sister, so family time means even more these days.

“Sometimes it’s only once or twice a year that we get to all be together,” Simplot said. “Dad wants to keep our family together, and he’s a very wise man for that. It’s all about family.”

Area businesses also feel the holiday rush as aisles fill with shoppers searching for the perfect decoration or party favor.

Juanita Habeck is the manager at the 50-50 Factory Outlet, a party supply store on Woodlane Drive in Janesville.

Habeck also serves as a party planner at the store. She agrees the holidays can be extra stressful.

She said people are often worried about having enough party to go around.

“Whether it be food, table settings or games, the number one question is, ‘Do I have enough to make it work?’” she said.

Courtney Schlegel, a licensed social worker with Mercyhealth, said the holidays can be hard on kids and parents alike.

“Usually it’s stressful,” Schlegel said. “A lot of times, the reason is parent stress or worries about seeing a family member they don’t necessarily want to see.”

Schlegel said the easiest way to reduce stress is to communicate with others and express concerns and expectations before the family gathering. If needed, people should take small breaks from all the interaction.

Habeck said one of the difficulties in helping customers with holiday planning is assisting someone who isn’t sure what she’s looking for.

“We try to make it as easy as possible for them. We don’t want it to be stressful,” she said.

And while she strives to help customers plan the “perfect” party, Habeck often finds herself reminding them what the holidays are all about.

“I don’t think it’s anything that they purchase. I think it’s more the camaraderie they have during the party,” she said. “We just try to assure them that it’s OK, and it doesn’t have to be perfect because you’re getting together with family, and family will understand.

“It’s all about family.”

It’s that thought that keeps the Hauri family going year after year. While holiday preparations can be an exercise in nail-biting anxiety, the end result makes the worrying seem unimportant.

“Sometimes it’s very loud, but it’s a lot of joy,” Simplot said of their big holiday gathering. “You can feel the love, and it’s just great that we’re all together. It’s worth it.”

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