I love the holidays! I mean who doesn’t? First up is Thanksgiving with all the food and reflecting and gratefulness.
Then, the mother of all holidays … Christmas!
I lay in wait all year for the lights, the glitter, the joy, the decorations, the parties, the parades, and mostly the celebration of Jesus! As a mom, with all this joy seems to come a whole lot of STRESS! If you receive beautiful Christmas cards from family and friends, you better believe a mama made that happen. All those perfectly wrapped presents under the tree? Yep, mama made that happen. When all the kids show up to the Christmas parade dressed in their precious appliquéd and smocked Santas and reindeer … mama made that happen too!
‘Tis the season of good cheer and busy mamas!
For my family, the most difficult part of the holidays is logistics. Like many of you, we are transplants to Lafayette. Our closest family is four hours away. Our first Christmas as parents, we made the full circle to visit everyone during the week of Christmas. We drove four hours up to Mississippi, four hours over Alabama and then two hours home (we were living in Alabama at that time). After that trip, we made a HUGE decision for our family, from now on we would be STAYING HOME for Christmas.
Here are the TWO main factors that went into this decision:
Creating Our Family Memories
My husband and I both grew up with memories of waking up in our own beds on Christmas morning to rush in to see what Santa had left for us the night before. In my house that meant my brother and I gathered around the tree while our parents watched or helped us open some must have toy. Precious memories that bond my family together to this day. I want that for my kids. I want my kids to grow up with memories of love and laughter in their home. Plus, playing Santa with my husband is seriously one of the great joys of life. (The time the frog bath toy started going off and we couldn’t figure out how to shut it off still makes me giggle!)
Traveling is Exhausting
Listen … this one is just for practical reasons. I don’t want it to sound like we don’t travel at all during the holidays, because we do. We just set the rules for our family now. This year we will be going to see my family at Thanksgiving and my in-laws around New Years. Our house is always open. Family is welcome to come and visit us ANYTIME. However, as all of you mamas know, traveling with children is HARD WORK. By splitting up our time, we are able to spend QUALITY TIME with each family instead of just passing through.
The decisions that we make for our families now are creating lifelong memories. I hope that you find your groove during the holiday season. Whether you are a road warrior or you, like me, prefer to spend Christmas morning in your own home, enjoy where you are. Most importantly, remember that you are the caretaker of those beautiful children of yours.