Quiet Christmas

Tips to thrive during the holidays and in-laws

Sitting at our local coffee shop, I overhear my friend on the phone with her husband trying to map out their travel for Christmas Day. It reminds me of when I had similar talks with my husband. For years we ran back and forth on the holiday to see everyone from both sides of the family. We didn’t want anyone’s feeling hurt. Then, I had enough. I worked in retail before kids and Christmas Day was my only day off. Christmas became an obligation and not a celebration.

We changed our ways and I loved it. Feelings were miffed at first, until all sides of our family realized they didn’t have a vote. We would visit one house Christmas Eve .For years we would alternate whose house we would go to on Christmas Day, just one house.. The pressure off made the two of us relax and enjoy the family branch we were visiting. We could actually slow down and visit.  The next year we would reverse and enjoy just the same.

Since being parents, our extensive branches have moved away or passed. We remain at home most of the day, if not all. No packing up to race into another town. No chasing after my kids to make sure they didn’t break anything. Now we have one family member nearby and we take turns hosting. It may seem lonely, but it is not. We can let our girls enjoy the day with their new toys and remain in their pajamas all day if they wished. We would make the phone calls to those afar.

While I do miss not getting someone else to cook, I appreciate Christmas for the magic that it is. Giving thanks and being relaxed is what it is about for us. My friend gets off the phone looking rather frazzled. I remain an ear as I hear her complaints about the madness to juggle it all. She tells me I am lucky to not have that. I think she is right.


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