Ah, the holidays. The holidays are a wonderful reminder of the importance of family and what we should all be thankful for. It can also be a time of high stress, strategic maneuvering, and meticulous planning, especially if you have to share them.
I live in a state 1200 miles away from where I grew up.. My husband’s family lives in the same state as mine, except for his grandfather, one of the greatest human beings on the planet, lives near us. Typically we travel to my home state for the holidays so we can see both sets of families, but this year, his folks chose to travel here to save us the trouble and to visit Grandpa.
It’s hard when plans change, especially when that means you can’t see one side of the family–especially when it’s YOUR side of the family you’re not seeing. And don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore my in-laws, but it’s exceptionally difficult not seeing my family over the holidays. I’m more than willing to admit that I was a huge brat when my husband told me plans this year had changed. I so look forward to seeing my gigantic, loud, and loving family around this time. Regardless of how close I am to my in-laws, they still don’t hold the traditions and nostalgia my own family does. Perhaps my isolating our families is unique to my own selfish perceptions of family, but my splitting my time for the sacred tradition of Christmas is difficult.
So, what do we do? Honestly, parents, we find a way to build and enjoy new traditions. Nostalgia and traditions are beautiful things, but we must look at our family as something that has grown, not as other people who hinder the amount of time we can see ours.
We compromise without resentment. We go in knowing that we may be sacrificing time with our loved ones, but we’re gaining times with other loved ones. Perhaps switch between which holidays you visit which side of the family or ask family members to come visit you. It’s easier said than done and every individual’s situation is different, but regardless of the situation, compromise without resentment is key.
I am so happy that my daughter got to see her grandparents and aunt while staying at home. Even though I desperately missed my sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and parents, it was so nice not having to travel and just focus on spending time with family. I know this is not a luxury many of my readers have, so I have some potentially unwanted advice: choose one holiday to stay home. As someone who is exceptionally close to about 50 members of her family, this comment sounds sacrilege, but I can’t explain how nice it was not to have to travel or be certain places at certain times. If you can, choose one holiday to celebrate just together.
I hope everyone had a magical and fulfilling holiday. I hope you had the chance to spend time with your loved ones and had minimal drama. I say minimal because a little drama usually ends up with a fun story.