This Christmas was the first in our married life where we didn’t hop from parents’ house to parents’ house. And it was the first one in my whole life where I haven’t been with my parents on Christmas day. Sad, right?
Turns out, it was kind of magical.
It’s not, of course, because we don’t love our families. Our families are great. But we have two very small children, and we’d had a hard year, and something had to give. We told our parents that we loved them, but we were staying put this year. It sucked, but we knew it had to happen.
And then we got down to creating our own plans. We shopped for family gifts early, to minimize freakout. We got a bonkers white and silver Christmas tree that we all loved. We “played” a lot of dreidel (by which I mean the toddler spun the dreidel, then ate some gelt, repeat times a thousand). We successfully shifted the focus in our household from presents to experiences (and food, obviously). We even took some time to think about and plan for thoughtful gifts for each other and the kids. And on Christmas morning we ripped open all our presents in Christmas pajamas, and then went to have a spontaneous brunch with friends. Simple, and perfect.
When we took our tree down yesterday our three year old sobbed, saying “But I just loved Christmas morning and opening presents and decorating the tree.” Me too, kid, me too.
In short, this was the first year that we had the nerve (or maybe it was flat-out exhaustion) to actually put our needs first, and it created the stress free holidays we didn’t even know were possible.
(And yup, we totally hung out with our parents too!)
So now, you! How were your holidays? What did you do this year that worked? What did you do this year that didn’t? And if you have freshly in your mind resolves about what you’re going to do differently next year, share them here.