It is that time of year again, I can feel it. The air becomes subtly more chilly, the leaves are all but gone off of the trees, thoughts of skiing and other winter activities begin to fill my mind and then there are the HOLIDAYS. Help! I do like Christmas, really I do, I tell myself over and over again. Actually there are many things about Christmas that I love. I love getting a Christmas tree, baking new things, smelling Christmasy smells, going to parties, taking the kids to see Santa, you know, all of the fun stuff. I don't really relish having to find the perfect gift, shop in a mall, address Christmas cards, spend too much time with family...I don't like the things about the holidays that cause stress. One thing that I really don't enjoy is having to travel somewhere for Christmas day or for Thanksgiving day.
Once, not so long ago, we were travelling to Boise, Idaho every Thanksgiving. I enjoyed seeing my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and the kids loved seeing their cousins, but every year after a very long drive, I came home already behind on getting ready for Christmas. Now we go to Boise other times during the year and bypass the Thanksgiving crunch. Then there is Christmas. I love to travel after Christmas, vacationing between Christmas and New Years is my idea of a very good time. Travelling to spend Christmas day with relatives is not a vacation and there is no pressure like the pressure that my family puts on us at Christmas.
Overall, my in-laws are pretty good about spending Christmas wherever they may land. We did drive to my parents house last year because my in-laws were unable to come to us. This might be a good time to add that my mother-in-law is a great cook. I couldn't do Christmas at my house without her. My mom is really good at making reservations and being a guest at Christmas. The thought of doing Christmas Eve, Christmas morning, and Christmas day dinners all by myself was enough to send me scurrying to my parents house last holiday.
This year I am not sure what will happen. I would like to just have Christmas here with our family and have the family get togethers before and after the big holiday. My mom still envisions Norman Rockwell every year. Despite the obvious dysfunction of my immediate family, she has persisted in this fantasy. I might add that the fantasy can only be carried out at her house and there is palatable disappointment if the holiday is spent at our house instead. Not spending it together at all may border on mortal sin with enough quiet resentment to brew and stew me through until next year.
It is with mixed excitement that I embrace the holiday season. Until I absolutely have to make a decision about where to spend it, I am not going to. My husband doesn't like to travel either, maybe I will be able to use him as an excuse. I am very thankful that we have somewhere to go between Christmas and New Years. My Christmas wish for Christmas day is to hopefully spend a lovely holiday at home as a family.