Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas At Home

Years ago, before we were married, Kerry did something he called "Great Circle" every Christmas.  He would drive to his brother and sister-in-law's house - about half an hour from here - and spend time with them, then drive on to his dad's (and dad's wife's) house - another two hours away,  then on to his step-mom's (and step-mom's husband's) house - another half hour, and he would usually visit his great aunt - about 45 minutes away - in an assisted living place.  He might drop in on his friend's parents' house too.  Then he would drive another couple hours (and a ferry ride) to see his mom, his grandma, and his aunt, uncle and cousins.

Meanwhile, I had relatives about two hours from home that I sometimes traveled to on Christmas as well.

Though these are all wonderful people, this whole idea of spending Christmas in the car (and trying to see everyone in one day) just wasn't working for me, much to Kerry's surprise, initially.  A couple of years and a couple of kids later, along with a toddler and some stress-induced projectile vomiting, and he saw the light ;o).

So now we have a family 'tradition' of staying home at Christmas.  And by home, I mean in our home-town.  We have our own family Christmas in our own home in the morning, and then join my extended family (just seven miles away) for a big Christmas dinner-which-is-lunch and the afternoon and evening.

So much better!

We see other relatives around Christmas.  Then they get the boys' undivided attention, everyone is calmer, and - voila - no freaking out.

Christmas morning at home... 
french toast Christmas trees with sausage trunks.
Sorry it's blurry; I couldn't fix it.

The boys discover that the book I ordered for them - the Lego Star Wars Visual Dictionary - is on backorder.
They can handle it.

Here they are, about to open a bulletin board, for their bedroom.

Yes, they still get excited and giddy (me too!) but it's manageable.

AND, at home and with our extended family, we open gifts one at a time, paying attention to each person, who the gift is from, etc.  It's not a free-for-all, or a grab-fest.  We are thankful :0)


Colleen said...

I've always had a good excuse to stay home at Christmas since Hans usually milks that morning and/or evening. I love not going anywhere, doing everything at my own pace (the boys don't rip into presents first thing in the morning, for example), eating what I want to eat and just generally having peace. (Well, as much as one has peace with five boys!)

On the other hand, as I've told you once too often, I envy the close ties you have with your family. That is a good and precious thing. I missed it as a child, growing up, and I miss it now for my boys. So it's good to see all of you at home ~ and good to see you celebrating with your parents and sibs, too. : )

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh Colleen, think what it'll be like when your boys are grown and they all have families. You can build whatever traditions you want. I was going to say that you can keep it as simple and uncomplicated as you want, but I suppose that's not quite true... but sort of. Anyway, you can set the pace :0)

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and am looking forward to reading your posts. I am a mother of three boys (and one girl) and have a daughter and sister with three boys. We have fourteen grandchildren, eight boys and six girls, and one great, guess what, a boy! Life is wonderful and always interesting. We say it's like herding ants!

It's good to celebrate at home and now that our children are grown, we encourage them to stay there with their children. My husband and I really enjoy this slower pace.
Wilma in WV

Deborah said...

Isn't it wonderful? So much more relaxing and makes one more able to enjoy the Reason for the season.