Another holiday means more rules for home visitors

The Thanksgiving holiday is always the kickoff to the annual holiday season, when the latter part of November through January is littered with parties and all kinds of celebrations.

And with that in mind, I continue my annual tradition of establishing a set of rules for people to abide by who visit my home and the homes of my family members, and of course, you can apply them to your comfortable abode.

Now, a lot of this is done in jest, but hey, you never know when you need to invoke Roland's Rules for the Holidays. Last year's top 10, including the constant &

don't touch the remote control if you don't pay the cable bill &

still applies, but I've got a slew of new ones:

1. Shut up and eat. Don't ask anybody who cooked what. Just fix your plate and sit down.

People drive me nuts with all the questions as to who cooked what. If you didn't pay for any of it, we don't need you being a wannabe food critic.

2. If you cook a meal, do it the traditional way. Look, some folks want to experiment on us. We don't have time for that. If it's macaroni and cheese, fix it like we know it! If you're looking "to try something new," do it on your own time and with your own stomach.

3. Cheap is not better. If you're asked to bring Coke or Pepsi, don't come into my house with that off-brand soda that NObody ever drinks. All it's going to do is make folks mad, force them to drink water and take up space in my pantry.

4. If you are a baby's daddy, don't ask, "What's for dinner?" Just bring your sorry behind over and see your kids. Also, DON'T bring your new woman. The last thing we need is a fight breaking out between your baby's momma ""and her itchin'-for-a-fight brothers &

and you.

5. If you can't afford to buy your own movie ticket, don't suggest a family outing. I can't stand folks who love to plan family outings, but when it's time to go, they say their pockets are light.

Trust me; I'll go to the movies and leave you stuck at home baby-sitting the kids.

6. My momma and daddy ain't your momma and daddy. When you see my momma, call her Mrs. Martin and call my daddy Mr. Martin. You might be a son- or daughter-in-law, but that's not your momma or daddy. They are mine. This is a controversial one for the in-laws, but they'll get over it.

7. If your kid pops a squat, you have to change his pants. Immediately. Changing your child's diaper is your job and not mine. Plus, there is nothing worse than a child walking around and stinking up the joint.

8. When it's time to pray, don't pretend you are preaching your first sermon. Keep the prayer tight and right. I already love Jesus. That long prayer drives everybody nuts. Momma, do you HEAR me?!

9. You are not Michael Jordan or Donovan McNabb, so put the ball down. Every holiday we get these fools who want everyone to know they used to be a sports star. OK, but you work at the post office now, and not in the NFL or NBA. So it's time to retire. Plus, we ran out of Icy Hot, and we don't need to spend Thanksgiving in the emergency room because you got injured trying to be a damn sports hero.

10. Let the old folks do what they want to do. If your old uncle, grandfather or grandmother wants to sit in that corner chair and sleep through Thanksgiving, let 'em! They're old! They can do what they want. Just go on about your business and have a good day.

And with that, have a fruitful Thanksgiving and enjoy your family time!

Roland S. Martin is an award-winning CNN contributor and the author of "Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith." Please visit his Web site at . To find out more about Roland S. Martin and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at .

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