Monday, December 21, 2009

Holidays are meant to be enjoyed.

I was just thinking about our Christmas plans and trying to decide a couple things.  We are in Michigan this year, the first time I've been sort of close to my family.  By close, I mean 2 1/2 hours away instead of 4, and we don't have to drive through Chicago to get there.  I haven't seen my family on the actual day of Christmas in years, so it's pretty exciting to be able to be there with them this year.  We will have our own family Christmas morning and then set out to my brother's house for an afternoon with the extended family--all of Ingrid's cousins and my brothers and sisters.  I love having Ingrid spend time with her cousins when she can because she has a lot of fun, and I know she won't really be very close to them growing up.  So...this year seems to be the year for spending lots of time with everyone.

However...not only is there my family's get together on Christmas, but my mom's side of the family, the WAY extended family, is getting together the day after.  And my grandparents are getting up there and this could be the last year for them (morbid but realistic...)  And it's the one year we live in Michigan!  So I feel like I should go, but it just seems to be too hard to plan it.  For one thing, it's another hour drive from my brother's house.  And that would mean we'd have to spend the night somewhere, which is never fun with Ingrid because she's a basket case.  And we'd have to find someone to watch our dog on Christmas, which isn't gonna happen.

So, after a bunch of going back and forth, I had to step back and realize I want my holidays to be fun and peaceful.  Last year we were living with Brendan's parents and didn't get to have our own holidays.  This year we are back in our own place, with our own tree, and we had money to get Ingrid presents, and I want to enjoy it!!  Brendan's actually taking time off, he'll get a four day weekend, so I really am looking forward to hanging out with him.  And thus, my decision is made--we're going to my brother's for the afternoon, but nothing else. 

I remember the family I used to nanny for had a three month old and they had a whirlwind holiday--driving an hour and a half for Christmas Eve, then coming home for Christmas morning, then driving two hours for one family gathering, and another hour for another one the next day.  It exhausted me just hearing about it!!  I always thought to myself how nice it was to not have family nearby, it just wasn't ever an issue.  So now that it is an issue, I just have to say forget it, I still want my peaceful holiday.  I want to sit around with the fireplace crackling, fresh cinnamon rolls in the oven, football on TV (most likely...) and Ingrid puttering around the house with her new toys.  Not driving with a screaming kid that hasn't had a nap or gotten a good night's sleep.  Again, just call me Scrooge, I'm such a party pooper!


Fiona said...

I could not agree with you more on this one.

I think there is nothing more sad that a child (and their parents) spending the holidays racing about from one gathering to the next, and trying to cram in a whole years socialising into a few short days.

We decided long ago (before we had the girls) that Christmas was about our family, and we like to make it a special time for just the four of us. We will travel after Christmas Day, and keep the whole thing as simple as possible so it is fun for everyone.

MaryAnne said...

I hate making decisions like this. I'm sure you'll have a more peaceful Christmas because you will have (mostly) stayed home, and Ingrid probably would have been much too overwhelmed by the second option.