Growing up my husband and I spent holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving very differently. For the most part my family never went anywhere for holidays. We didn’t really have any family close by, so it was usually just the four of us in our insular family unit. My mom and I would make the turkey at Thanksgiving and the roast beef at Christmas along with all the other sides. The four of us would sit down to supper and enjoy each other’s company. Chris grew up with a lot of family close to him. The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays were most often punctuated with trips to visit Aunts and Uncles in Jackson and then again grandparents in Humboldt. Neither better. Neither worse, just different.
Our children, though, are in third set of circumstances. “Christopher’s parents live fifteen minutes away from us, and mine only live thirty minutes away. When you add in that their Uncle William is twenty minutes away we decided that it made sense for us to host the Christmas holiday at our house. As an introvert, it can be somewhat stressful having my home fully occupied, even with family. However, we’ve still found that hosting Christmas (and other holidays as needed) at our house cuts down on our stress as parents. Here are five reasons why.
- Carseats. One of the most frustrating things about running all over town with little ones is taking them in and out of their car seats. Evie is finally old enough that she can buckle herself in, but Chris and I still prefer to check that five point harness every time. Emma we never know about, sometimes she’s fine and other times the car seat is the end.of.the.world! By staying at home we eliminate that problem.
- Naptime. I don’t know about y’all, but my children relish their sleep. A day without naptime sends the toddler into a place even Linda Blair would fear. Should the preschooler skip naptime we will all suffer the whiny consequences. I’d rather not go there. Since my kids nap best at home, in their own beds, in their own rooms it’s best for us to just stay home and let the rest of the family come to us. Plus the children happily napping upstairs this gives Christopher and I the ability to spend some quality time with our adult family.
- My House is Child Friendly. For the most part I know that there are very few things in my house that can be easily destroyed by toddler hands, and I know that if something is accessible for destruction at least its probably not that important. I don’t want to spend every second of Christmas policing my children’s every move.
- I have the stuff I need, and I know right where it is. There’s no need to lug around a giant diaper bag full of sippy cups, diapers, wipes, two changes of clothing and snacks for Emma. There’s no need to haul a duffel full of blankets (can’t leave home without them!), extra clothing, books and an iPad for Evie. All those things it seems like we can’t leave home without? They’re just there right where I expect them to be. Added bonus, I don’t have to pack and unpack bags! Huzzah!
- We feel, for our family, the Christmas holiday is best spent at home. I love that my children will wake up in their own beds on Christmas morning. After posing for obnoxious pictures for mom, they will run down the stairs to see if Santa showed up. They will spend the morning eating monkey bread, fruit salad and sausage casserole. I will sip peppermint mocha flavored coffee in my pajamas and watch the joyous chaos of Christmas morning unfold for my children. Later, our whole family will arrive and there will be more joy, more fun and more love. I can’t think of a better way to spend the holidays than this!