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Home For the Holidays

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Even though I’m not yet ready to think about it, I know the holidays are coming.

I can ignore them for a few more weeks, assuming I stay out of department stores and home improvement stores, but it won’t be long before they’ll be inescapable.

I love the holidays insofar as celebrating them among the four (soon to be five) of us, right here at home. I’ve already got some great ideas as to what to get for both girls, and since my husband has plenty of interests, it’s always fun to figure out what to get for him. I love to put up a tree and hang stockings. We’ve established a traditional Christmas eve dinner – homemade pizza – and a traditional Christmas dinner – steak. We have a lovely time lolling about and doing exactly as we please.

When my older daughter was not yet two, we spent two weeks on the road at holiday time. We flew from New Jersey to Oregon to spend a week with my husband’s family, and then we flew from Oregon to Ohio to spend a week with my extended family. And there were still complaints that we didn’t spend enough time or weren’t present on the right day(s).

Needless to say, that was the last Christmas that we spent on the road. I put my foot down the following year when I was eight months pregnant: From now on, we will spend holidays in our own home. You are welcome to join us there.

This declaration was made more out of concern for the kids than for myself (or even our budget). I wanted them to grow up celebrating holidays at our house, not stuck in a car on the way to someone else’s house or waking up in a strange bed. I wanted them to find their stockings on the same mantle each year and be able to play with their new presents in their own rooms right then and there. I wanted our family to do our OWN thing.

We’ve had guests both years that we’ve been here in Colorado, but I think that we’ll be on our own this year. And you can call me an ungrateful misanthrope, but I’m looking forward to it. The girls love to see their grandparents no matter what time of year it is; visits don’t necessarily have to take place during the holidays. Not only is traveling difficult (or impossible, as it was here in Denver last year) and more expensive than usual, it’s just a chaotic time of year, especially with kids.

And truth be told, it’s more relaxing to let the kids lead the way, if only for a few days. Christmas is for children, after all.

What will you do for the holidays?

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Comments
  • comment avatar aimee/greeblemonkey October 21, 2007

    This year, we are doing the CRAZY. We’re spending it in Hawaii. But I am hoping it will still be relaxing even with the travel. Now, how to explain Santa finding us there …?

  • comment avatar Lizzy October 21, 2007

    The whole reason people are supposed to have spring weddings is because there are no other holidays in the spring. I think one of the lousiest things a person can do is get married right next to Christmas. Last year my brother decided to get married 2 days before Christmas. That meant we either stay at my mom’s house for Christmas or be on the road till late Chirtmas Eve. We had to cart Christmas and weeding presents with us. We had to pray across every mountain pass (Flying was much too expensive) and my poor mom had to basically handle two major events back to back. So, as long as no one else does that to me we will be celebrating in the comfort of our own home like we usually do.

  • comment avatar Shelley October 21, 2007

    I think that is so smart to spend the holidays in your own home. My husband and I made the same decision for our family this year. This will be our first holiday season in Denver. Both of our extended famlies live in Texas. We look forward to doing what we want to do for our holidays verses trying to please everyone else and like in your case still not succeeding.

  • comment avatar Erica October 22, 2007

    That was our rule too. We didn’t travel for the holidays. We could have our own traditions and it meant the kids waking up to “Santa” in their own beds.

    it worked for us. Though I would LOOOOVE to wake up in Hawaii instead (I’m so jealous but excited for you, Aimee!).

    *sigh* now I have to hand my kids over to the dad…. It is hard spending that time away from them. But they need to see their dad too.

  • comment avatar Crunchy Domestic Goddess October 29, 2007

    i don’t blame you one bit for being excited at the prospect of it being just your family for christmas this year. it is much less stressful that way.

    my parents will be in town visiting us here for thanksgiving and my son’s first b’day, then we’re traveling to KS to be with my husband’s family for christmas. i’m sure the roadtrip will be crazy, but we rarely get to see them so hopefully it will all be worth it.
    *gulp*

    amy
    http://crunchydomesticgoddess.com

  • comment avatar Alisha November 15, 2007

    We have a tradition for christmas eve is to have 2 soups, chili and knipfla and for christmas we do the usual turkey then for new years we do prime rib. Funny how food becomes tradition! I love being at home too, it is such a comforting feeling to be able to wake up in your pj’s and open santas gifts! Every year my son picks a new “funny” snack to leave santa!

    Alisha
    http://www.funplayfulparent.com/teengiftideas.com

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