my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

December 28, 2010

dividing the holidays

in this age of divorce and remarry and strangely split families, how you spend the holidays can get very tricky. at least, ever since i've had children it's gotten that way for me. not that i'm saying that my parents and my hubby's parents weren't wondering where we would be on the big days, but now it's seems that it's gotten to be a bit more important when there are little ones to entertain and impress.

the last few years, since we moved to where we are living now, we've always done christmas day with my dad. well, it's more like we do christmas eve with my dad, because the traditions that we've continued (yeah shrimp) are important to me. then i take the kiddies home and they get to wake up in their own beds for christmas morning. while they play with their toys i always make something for breakfast. after breakfast, it's back to my dad's for more presents and then dinner. we hang out in the afternoon until it's time to go to my mommom's (my dad's mom's) house. after that long day of fun it's back to our house to bed. the 26th has traditionally always been christmas at my mom's. christmas with my hubby's side gets pushed back to new years, which we always celebrate with them. it's also a chance for his mommy to make him a cake as his birthday is january 3rd. and because they don't get to see us on christmas, we've always done thanksgiving at my in-laws.

so that's the way the holidays go since we live down here. now, before we moved so close to my parents, we lived near j-town by his, so the first two years of the boys' holidays were reversed. still, i get questions about what we're doing on what days and with who, even though this has been the routine for a few years now. also, some years are worse than others for various reason, and so there end up being a lot of phone calls and reassurances that all the grandparents will get to see the kids on their assigned days. that might sound harsh or strange, but trust me, assigning days is the only way i'm able to get through all of the holiday stress in one piece.

now though, my hubby and his parents are wondering if we could switch things up next year. his mother really would like to see the kids on christmas, instead of having to wait a week. the most important thing for me is to have the kids wake up in their own beds on christmas morning, because that is part of the tradition i'm trying to establish for them. just like i always read "twas the night before christmas" to them before they go to bed christmas eve. talking with my hubby, i am realizing that driving up the day of christmas is actually feasible. and honestly, with everything that they went through this year, with going from place to place to place, they were very good, so maybe a three hour car ride in the middle of christmas day would give them a chance to calm down and recharge.

if we left christmas day after a morning at home, then we'd still be able to do christmas eve with my dad, so i suppose all the present getting and crazy celebrating could be pushed to the 24th. the only hitch would be doing christmas with my mom, so i'd have to see if she'd be ok with having all of us for thanksgiving or new years, something i still have to talk to her about.

i know i'm one of the crazy people, but i look forward to thanksgiving way more than christmas, and being able to spend a thanksgiving with my mom would be better in my eyes. though perhaps after reading this you can get a sense as to why christmas is just one big ball of stress for me. it's not that i don't love the holiday, but with the presents and the kids hyperness and all the pressure of trying to make things special, i'm also trying to deal with making as many people as happy as possible.

in the effort of being fair to all, i sometimes feel like i'm losing out. then again, christmas is really a holiday that's supposed to be all about my kids, making sure things go well for them is the most important thing. and so far, i've accomplished that goal this year.

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