I love the magical feeling that the holidays bring. Every year when October 1st comes around, I decorate for Halloween and then Christmas on November 1st. Sometimes I throw some Thanksgiving decorations in with my Christmas stuff. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year. However, coming from a family of divorce, the holidays are also really hard. My parents divorced when I was 12, and it’s still difficult to decide who we’re spending our holidays with. Now we have my husband’s family as well. Before we had kids we would go to three or four holiday gatherings in one day. I enjoyed seeing everyone but we also did it mainly to make our families happy, because who wants to fight on the holidays? At the time it was just easier to make all the stops. However, now that we have kids it’s a different story.
Here’s why we aren’t making all the stops anymore:
1. It’s exhausting. We’ve done the stops at multiple houses with our kids in previous years, and it’s beyond tiring. The kids get cranky. We get cranky. We’re not focused on enjoying ourselves because we’re busy keeping the kids entertained while trying to watch the clock so we can make it to our next destination. I don’t want my children to look back on the holidays when they were younger and remember parents especially a mom that was tired, cranky and frustrated from rushing around. The holiday season is stressful enough without trying to make it to five celebrations in one day.
2. The holidays are about our kids now. I don’t know how I’ll feel when my children are grown up with their own families, but I hope that I’ll remember how I feel now. The holidays are about the kids in the family ,and holidays are so much fun with young kids. The magic of the holidays is in our children. The way that their eyes light up is magical. Our parents got to choose how we’d spend Thanksgiving and Christmas and now it’s our turn to decide how we want to sp
end those holidays as a family. I try to plan ahead and plan early. I love to see our families on the holidays but I hate trying to schedule things sometimes. And I have to understand that we’re inevitably going to make someone upset when they don’t like our plan, and that’s okay. We can’t please everyone. Some people are going to be mad and maybe sad but running around trying to be everywhere for the holidays isn’t what is best for our kids.
3. We want to make our own memories. While it can be fun to spend holidays with our families, it’s also important that we spend time together as our own individual family. I want to be able to slow down and enjoy some fun Christmas movie nights in our jammies and spend weekends making homemade sugar cookies in our kitchen. I want to get up whenever the kids wake up and watch them open their presents and actually get to enjoy them right then on Christmas morning. We rarely got to do that because we had to get up, open our gifts, then hurry to get ready so we could be at a relative’s house. I hated that because what kind of kid wouldn’t get upset when they’re told that they can’t play with all of their new things when they get them? I don’t know any and I certainly don’t want to crush my kids and upset them first thing on Christmas morning. My love language is gift-giving so when I get to watch our kids enjoy the presents that I’ve spent a lot of time and thought on, it’s a gift to me.
So much family is a great “problem” to have and we’re incredibly thankful for our big families. But this Christmas we’re going to wake up, open presents and watch our kids play with them while we make a big French toast breakfast in our jammies and take our time. We’re going to enjoy our holiday season and soak up the magic with our little kids because they’re only little for so long.