Monday, January 4, 2010

Driving up on Christmas – I wouldn’t (Oh good, more parenting advice)

Let’s start the Christmas posts (or post Christmas posts) with our preparation to head north. Though we now live in VA, I am originally from NJ. Before I met my husband, I made the northbound trek for all the major holidays, but we’ve cut back a bit as we spend some with his family here. You’d think this would make life easier – less trips up. And maybe it does when I don’t have to sit in traffic with all of humanity at Thanksgiving. But then comes Christmas…

My husband’s family celebrates on Christmas Eve. His family is small (just his parents and sister), so we’ve always made the point of doing Christmas Eve with them and then heading north on Christmas day – an exhausting way to get your holiday going! Esp when you consider that we see both sides of my family every Christmas. Dinner with my Dad’s extended family (either at my parents or my aunts) and then “dessert” (cause you can never have enough of that on Christmas) with my Mom’s later in the evening. The day never ends till about 10 or 11. So adding in getting up at 7 to pack the car and drive 4 hours (the worst was the year my husband wanted to go to Christmas day mass instead of the vigil – so 7:30 mass followed by the drive) is enough to wear anyone thin. Add in pregnancy last year and a 10 month old this year and we knew we’d barely be functional!

But it’s what we do! And do it we would this year. Despite the forecast of a possible ice storm. I mean, barring all else – my own desire to be with my family and their joy in seeing the baby's first Christmas – my Dad passed away several years ago and my brother wasn’t coming home for Christmas this year, so if we didn’t make it, my Mom would be alone. OK, so alone with 8 or 10 of my cousins coming to her house for dinner and then going to see another 10 or so for dessert, yes. But still – none of her immediate family home. Bad enough that she has to wake up in the house alone on Christmas morning (something I would find very hard), but then we wouldn’t be there later in the day either. So we were going!

I mentioned our plans to a coworker who looked at me and said – but there’s an ice storm on Christmas morning, you know? I said, stoically, we’re going. She gave me a yeah right look and said, are you sure? I said – yes, we’re definitely going. To which I got – well, I wouldn’t. (And then to pour in some salt) not with the baby!

Yup, glad to know you wouldn’t. Because I asked? Because I seemed open to discussion on this topic? UGH!

Anyway, sure, you wouldn’t. But now your kids are getting to be adults – so how would you feel if they weren’t coming home to you? And what if your husband wasn’t there with you and they didn’t come home? Now, yes, if the weather were horrible, we would have reconsidered / not been stupid (although I admit I do get stupid around holidays) and my Mom definitely would have not only understood, but told us not to do something dangerous. But that wasn’t really the point!

Yeah, yeah, merry Christmas. Bah humbug!

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