Home For the Holidays
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?