I previously wrote about the stress of the Christmas gift list. But that’s nothing compared to the question of where to spend Christmas.
Christmas is meant to be a holiday. I don’t know about you, but to me holiday means relaxing and spending time playing with my kids. It means having fun, long walks and doing what we, as a family, want to do.
Of course there are elements of this at Christmas. Generally though, Christmas means spending time with all of the family. Which would not be so bad, if most of mine were not at least 2 hours away in different directions.
The first discussion of the year is of course where to spend Christmas Day. Once we have the big decision out of the way, we can work on fitting in the rest. Mr G likes us to be with his parents. He doesn’t want them to be alone. I am pleased I have a caring and conscientious hubbie. I do however want to see my parents too but they live 120 miles away so it’s my parents or his.
My parents could stay with us, but we must take into account that my dad wants to have Christmas in his own home sometimes. My mother likes to have all her children come home to her occasionally. Insert into that my brother, who wants to spend some of the holiday in his home and also has to fit in his mother-in-law.
Meeting everyone’s wants can be exhausting.
My solution to this was to set up a rota. Call me over controlling. I thought we could just take it in turns. One year we would spend the day with his parents, the next year with my parents and the year after that have all of them at our house. At least then I get to see my parents two years out of three.
Of course we have not yet managed to time a visit to my parents once to coincide with my brother’s family. Six years into my rota and my mother has changed her plans for this year to have my brother at her home rather than come to mine. Hey, we roll with the plan. I am nothing if not flexible.
Concluding where we spend Christmas Day is only one part of the challenge though. This year we are at home with Mr G’s parents. Now we can establish part 2. The guest list. Because while we were organising our own family, Mr G’s sister needs to arrange hers. If they want to see her parents too, that’s another 5 bodies for lunch.
Now I am cooking for eleven. Which is actually less than the usual fourteen it would have been had my parents been coming with my younger brother.
Now we have a plan. The guest list is arranged. For one day. Just the other two weeks of holiday to plan now.
Am I alone in thinking Christmas is not relaxing?