I’m easily overwhelmed. So, it’s no surprise that the holidays make me a little frazzled. In fact, I often find myself dreading them instead of feeling the holiday spirit. There’s something about having a baby that makes family even more desperate to see you, and that can mean a lot of pressure and stress. When Etta Mae was born, I decided that it was very important to establish traditions to make sure that our immediate family found a way to connect at Christmastime.
One tradition that we have started is stolen from my own childhood. No matter what else we had going on for the holidays, Christmas day was always spent at home with just my parents and brother. Etta Mae has 4 sets of grandparents, so there is simply no way to visit everyone. Spending the day at home means that there’s no guilt over who we do and do not stay with. Don’t get me wrong; I love seeing our extended families. But I have to admit, it’s relaxing knowing that you have nowhere to be.
Last year was Etta Mae’s first Christmas, and it couldn’t have been any more perfect. We spent Christmas Eve setting up all of her gifts. Her Uncle Tyler went a little overboard, so we had our work cut out for us. When she woke up Christmas morning, we all headed downstairs in our PJs (we actually wore them all day!). We played with toys, read new books, and chowed down on breakfast casserole. To Etta Mae, it was probably just another day, but I’ll always cherish the memories from our first family Christmas.
I can’t wait to see what future years have in store for our family. I have visions of drinking cocoa with marshmallows and watching A Christmas Story and Miracle on 34th Street. Hopefully, Etta Mae will have a brother or sister one day to help decorate cookies and make salt dough handprint ornaments. Staying home for Christmas may not work for everyone, but it keeps us connected during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
How do you handle seeing everyone at Christmas?
This post is a part of our RSMB CONNECTS series, where we encourage you to connect with your kids, friends and family, and the community this holiday season.