It’s supposed to be “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” a time of building family traditions and sharing joy. But somehow “peace on earth” morphs into “Run to the shopping center, wrap one more present, and scream at the kids” when holiday pressures and expectations are too much. Our wish for you is to enjoy the simple pleasures of Christmas and to give the gifts of grace and patience to your family and friends, especially when it is hardest to do so.

Some extended families live together year around, and it isn’t always comfortable for everyone. Keep reading for some remodeling ideas that can help multi-generational families live happily together in the same home.

The traditional empty nest syndrome is increasingly giving way in this country to the “crowded nest syndrome.” This term refers to the stress that results when adult children unexpectedly return home — usually for economic reasons — to live with mom and dad, often bringing grandkids with them. Their homecoming may coincide with the arrival of elderly great-grandparents who need special care.

Having a home that provides privacy to the individual members of a multi-generational family is very helpful in keeping the environment harmonious. A bonus room, attic or basement can be converted into an entertainment/rec room for the younger set where their exuberance will not disturb others. Transform a garage or unused sunroom into a grandparents’ suite with a private sitting room, bath and mini-kitchen on the ground level. By staying within a home’s existing footprint, these projects are more economical than additions.

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