Now that the travel is over, the presents are away and we’re prepping for the next big thing (NYE!), I can look at Christmas and the holiday with a tiny bit of sanity.
When the Bald One and I were traveling last year, we swore we weren’t doing this anymore. A car accident, snow and no time really at home meaning no decorations in our house were just frazzling instead of celebratory. We told everyone “no mas!” and figured with Gummi Bear, we’d be hosting in 2010. What happened instead is the airlines conspiring against us to send the SIL through Wilmington easier than through the major airport in our hometown and an aunt-matriarch (and second time grandmother) requesting the presence of all.
Before Christmas, before Yule even, we had our friends over with tree, mulled wine and ham. Fun was had, people were social and life was good. Then I had vacation time to burn and we had time to go spend with the in-laws only two hours away. Gummi Bear got to spend some serious quality time with her aunt, presents were opened and we were still home in time for her bedtime on Christmas Eve. Christmas day had presents and coffee and wrapping paper and bows in our own home. Due to my allergies (sigh), the tree came down that day but we were still having a good time in our own home.
Then, it snowed. So our initial plan of driving up to Maryland the day after Christmas to the family compound was a bit foiled. Monday passed as well with questions and finally, after much debate and tears, we headed up on Tuesday. There was a lot of hair-pulling involved in this decision – mainly because anything with my family can either be fantastic…or fantastically stressful. This time around all the stress was related to the getting to and from the gathering. We all had a good time and the cousins had a good time putting our kids together for the first time.
While I wouldn’t change it, it was too crazy. The Bald One and I decided we’re not doing this again. Like many families, we’re going to do an “every other year” thing for Christmas, since it’s been working so well with Thanksgiving. We’ll come to you, and on the off year you’re welcome here. It’ll be interesting to see how well that works, but at least we know what we’re doing from now on.