In a few weeks many of us will be faced with the dreaded trip to see the family for Thanksgiving. Then we will parlay that misadventure into a return trip for Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I like visiting with family as much as the next guy. But even Twinkies can go stale after enough time passes.

So, how long is too long to visit or to have family visit at your house. Why don't you ponder that thought for a moment before we reveal what a USA Today survey about the subject revealed.

Did you say a week? It's obvious you love your family or they live a long way from you. A week was the second most popular answer in the survey. Most people who did say a week was the right amount of time did mention they had to travel a great distance. I could agree with a week if your journey was to Europe or across the country. If you're talking about 20 minutes down the Interstate then you and I would not survive in the same family.

Did you say not even one night? If you're being truthful with yourself that actually is the most popular answer. However, since parents are the masters of guilt they will convince you to not stay at a hotel. That's where you'd have your privacy and piece of mind and control of the heater and television. 70% of the people who responded said they'd like to visit during the day but sleep somewhere else at night.

The most popular answer in the survey was three to four nights. I think that's about right too. This gives you enough time to really visit with your family members. That means time to visit one on one with parents or siblings and have time for group activities. It's tougher for women to visit their family than it is for men to visit theirs. It's probably because women will actually interact with other family members while men will watch TV, eat, and go sit outside.

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