The holidays are quickly approaching– a joyous time to celebrate in light of so many blessings. Thanksgiving helps us focus on being thankful and giving back. Christmas celebrates baby Jesus’s birth and is observed by many (as well as other traditions). Turkey, stuffing, stockings, and candlelight services are staples of the season. The warmth of the lights, smell of the Christmas tree, and bustle of shopping fill me with excitement.
Everything is magical about the holidays until the inevitable conversation: yours, mine, or bust! Alas, the dreaded decision awaits.
You know what I’m talking about. If you are single, this may not be a big problem yet (unless your parents are no longer together). However, when you are married with children, the pressure intensifies. Grandparents want to teach their grandchildren how to carve the turkey–or watch them attack their presents on Christmas morning. Of course, this is completely understandable, but not always practical.
Should you host one of the holidays? Are you scared to death you will turn into Clark Griswold, or that cousin Eddie will mysteriously appear?
“Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny Kaye.”
—Clark Griswold, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
On the other hand, do you split the holidays between both your families? Furthermore, will this involve traveling? There are many things to consider when making this decision. Additionally, here are some considerations parents should keep in mind:
- The age of your children. Enough said, am I right?
- The distance you will have to travel. Driving long distances with children can be disastrous.
- Weather is an important consideration. We do live in New England.
- Budget is huge. Will you fly or rent a vehicle? Do you need to stay at a hotel?
- Traditions are important. If you stay home you can celebrate the way you want.
- Does family live close by or is everyone scattered? The holidays are a great time to catch up.
- Be organized. Plan a menu and keep your guests’ bellies full.
My husband and I make our holiday plans with our nuclear family in mind. Consequently, this has not always been met with approval. It has taken years for us to get to this place. Pleasing everyone is not easily attainable. I envy those who have parents who are best friends and everyone can congregate together during this time. In reality that is not true for most families.