It’s that time of year again, ladies. You know where our head starts to spin and our bank account begins to deflate. I’m talking about the holidays. I feel the question of “What are your plans for the holidays?” starts in July. Between my husband and me, we have family in St. Amant, Lafayette, Covington, New Orleans and St. Louis, MO. Obviously, we can’t see everyone for each holiday.
Before moving to Baton Rouge and having kids, holidays consisted of visiting, eating and driving to the next house , visiting, eating and driving to the next house, and again visiting, eating and driving to the next house. All fine and good when you are in college and can handle long, exhausting days. After we moved to Baton Rouge, we TRIED to carry out holidays like we had in the past, but it just didn’t work. The typical “drive time” between houses changed from 10-15 mins to 45-60 mins. Another hurdle was my husband’s job. He was scheduled to work on the fire truck for at least one major holiday each year, so we started going to his family’s house for whichever holiday he didn’t work. That seemed to work for a little while (2 years to be exact) then we had Avery and EVERYONE wanted to see the BABY. So again we tried to please everyone and traveled I-10 and I-12 the whole day.
My “AH-HA” moment came on Thanksgiving 2009. My husband was working a 24 hour shift, I was 6 months preggers and my 18 month old just wanted to play but didn’t understand why the visit was so short. It was NOT an enjoyable holiday.
That’s the year I said enough is enough. Holidays are supposed to be about fun, enjoyment and creating memories. I felt that constantly leaving in the midst of a family function was not an opportunity where my kids could create memories and bond with family. That’s the year I said ONE FAMILY FOR EACH HOLIDAY. We still make it a point to visit with other family members on days prior to or after the actual day, but on the DAY we stay at ONE house.
Our holidays are much more enjoyable this way and I am glad this is the way we do our holidays. We don’t have to worry about kids falling asleep on the way to the next house then being cranky when woken up. We don’t have tantrums because “I AM NOT READY TO LEAVE” or “I AM STILL PLAYING!” We are able to relax and visit without always watching the clock.
It’s not perfect and people get their feelings hurt sometimes, but I feel that this is the best way for our family. I am sure when the kids get a little older, we will go back to visiting, eating and then driving to next house; visiting, eating and then driving to next house; and again visiting, eating and then driving to next house. But right now it’s ONE FAMILY FOR EACH HOLIDAY, and I like it that way.
Do you wish your HOLIDAY was less scheduled?
This post is part of our RSMB CONNECTS series, where we encourage you to connect with your kids, friends and family, and your community this holiday season.
My AH HA moment occurred after we had our 2nd child and realized that packing up Christmas and moving it 3 hours away for a family of 4 can be a bit difficult. We choose to stay at OUR home on Christmas Day, because both sides of our family live in the same town and it becomes what the kids call “The Back & Forth” game.
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