So... halloween is almost here which means the Holiday season is going to be taking over our lives VERY QUICKLY. (for those of us who don't start in June that is;))
And every year we have the question of where do we spend the holidays. We do not live near our families (or anyone that we really know for that matter...) So, our holidays have always been split between CT or Maine. The year that we were pregnant with our first child, we selfishly decided that we didn't want to drive ANYWHERE (granted I was 8 months pregnant) so, we spent our last single christmas morning, alone together to open presents and have breakfast and then my family drove down from CT for the rest of the day. It was nice and I'm glad we got to do that just once.
The first year after our daughter was born, we spent Thanksgiving in CT with BOTH SETS OF GRANDPARENTS. (all of us get along really, really, well, so it was a good time for everyone)
Her first christmas we spent at my parents house and it was lovely! There is just something about having christmas with my parents that makes me happy. Then we got to have a christmas weekend with Daves parents at our house a few weeks later. It was a nice way to let Katie have christmas with both sets of grandparents privately.
The hard part of spending Christmas at my parents was that we had to drive out there, sleep somewhere other than our house (which is ALWAYS hard for kids and us for packing supplies, etc...) and pack and tote around presents and then bring all her stuff back to our house... that part I could do without.
Katies second year, we hiked all the way up to Maine for Thanksgiving. It is a 6 hour drive minimum with no traffic or stops... not easy to do with kids AT ALL. I think we drove late at night so that she slept in the carseat and we might have had to stop at a hotel in the middle of the drive because she wouldn't sleep -either way, it ended up working out ok and not being too hard. She always slept poorly when we travelled and then slept poorly for a few days after travelling too... So, it's not something we like to do all the time.
We love going to maine, but it's such a far drive that it makes it very hard to do. Now with Ben, it's even harder to do because he doesn't sleep for long in the car and won't sit in the car awake for too long before he tries to break out of his carseat - so we aren't sure what we are doing for holidays this year. It's hard to travel as a family of 4 and stay overnight anywhere - especailly with a baby who doesn't sleep through the night. But, at the same time, we like spending holidays with our parents - so every year we are torn about what to do and where to go.
How do you split your holiday time? Do you travel? Do you refuse to travel? Do you have people come to you? Do you pick a time other than the holiday itself to get together so you can avoid high priced tickets and expensive, travel with traffic??
When do you decide to just have holidays be for you and your kids?
Lucky for Dave and I, we don't have siblings that we have to share holiday time with or plan around their plans - so I can't even imagine if you come from a big family, how you get to see everyone and not hurt anyone's feelings. I feel for you because I can only imagine all you want in the world is to sleep in your own bed and stay in pj's all day - cause sometimes that's all I want - but then I think to myself - how is that any different than any other weekend (well, except for the presents of course) and I end up deciding to have holidays with our parents because it's more fun that way!
I think this year, we might have our Christmas be just the 4 of us - as we are in a house now which to me, feels a little more festive and manageable - but who knows - I will probably decide that's too boring!
Thanksgiving is tough too because I don't know if Ben will sit in the car for as long as it takes us to get to Maine and the trip home always ends up feeling like it takes FOREVER....The holidays are stressful enough right? If only someone could come up with a way to teleport instantly! It's 2011, someone get on that please!