Tuesday, November 18, 2008

musical houses

"There's no place like home for the holidays."

Karen Carpenter's song has a great ring to it, but she's forgetting something. Not many people have just one home to visit during this holiday season. Chances are, you have about 4.

I mean, when you get married (or become involved in a serious "his and hers toothbrushes" relationship), the word "home" drastically changes. As do the expectations of how often you visit it.

Especially during the holidays.

Where you and your honey buns reside day in and day out should be considered home, right? But wait, the house where you grew up with your family still seems to belong in the "home" category too, doesn't it? And the same probably applies for your husband. So, if my math skills aren't too fuzzy, that's 3 different houses that you and your love might consider "home".

And what if your parents are divorced? Is your Dad's house still considered home? What about your Mom's? Whose house is more home than the other?

(Hold on, I'm dizzy. Need to take a breather...)

It is this exact question that sends me and Hubs into a frantic tail spin every year. In the end, we must do the dreaded "sit-down with the calendar" ritual and decide who we love the most for Holiday's 2008.

As far as families go, I wish I could say that either Hub's or my side is annoying, crazy and absolutely impossible to be around.

(Well, the crazy thing is kinda true. Who's family isn't?)

(At least if one side of the family was full of convicts, that would make these decisions a little easier.)

I wish I could say our families all lived within six blocks of one another and could be visited in just one fantastically glorious day. But this is not a "Brady Bunch" episode, so none of that is going to happen.

No, our families are equally fantastic, and all deserve to be visited during the glorious holiday season.

So how does one decide who gets the day of Thanksgiving? How does one decide who gets the day of Christmas?

(And for those of you that are sneaky thinkers, the answer is no. I cannot just tell everyone we're staying at our own home for the holidays. My mom would show up at our front door with Pepto Bismol, Ace Bandages and Vick's Vapor rub wondering if we were all sick and dying.)


In the end, it always seems a good travel solution is always worked out. It may not be the most ideal, but if there's one thing I am damn sure of, it's always fair.

(At least as fair as I can make it.)

Yes, despite my amazing planning, one side of the family might get 2 hours longer with me and Hubs than the other side.

(In this case, Mom will mark it on her calendar. "December 24th: Kim spent two hours longer at in-law's house than ours. She can make it up on my birthday".)

And though the holidays generally bring craziness and unbelievable amounts of back and forth driving on I-35, they also bring me and Hubs the most important thing on earth. Our families.

I'm no idiot. I'm fully aware that not everyone in this world has parents and brothers and sisters that want to see each other. There are families that go weeks, months and even years without seeing or even speaking to one another.

My and Hubs parents are always thrilled to see us and are all less than three hours away. For that we are truly blessed.

The calendar may say December 27th when we dust off our snow covered boots and walk into my MIL's house. Who cares? To us, it's still a very merry Christmas. The Thanksgiving Day Parade may have to be Tivo'd and watched on Saturday afternoon in order to enjoy it with my parents. It's still a fantastic Turkey Day.

If I've truly learned anything about the holidays over the past two years that I've been with Hubs, it is this:

Dates don't matter.

(Except wedding anniversary's. I expect a shiny present on the right date each year. What? Hub's is on board with this. Really.)

All that truly matters is that everyone in our family has time to spend together during the best time of the year. No matter what the numbers (or Mom's footnotes) on the calendar are.


Do you stress over similar calendar issues with your family during the holidays? How do you handle it?


Tracy said...

I'm in tears...dying laughing over the calendar comment. Di and her calendar...too much!!!

We actually are committing the mortal sin this year. Our holidays, our house. Fam not happy...but they bought plane tickets!! His parents for Turkey day and (fingers crossed) mine for Christmas. Next year we may say bon voyage and end up on an island singing carols. The holiday shuffle is just too much sometimes.

little miss optimist said...

Aw, you're right, dates don't matter! I've never been in a situation like that since the only family I have here are my parents and one second cousin and his family. Your post kind of makes me look forward to meeting my significant other and expanding my family to include his...it's such a bummer to have a small family. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful holiday season =]

Adriana said...

I can totally relate and since we have the only grandkids for both sides. When we lived in KS we spent every other holiday every other year with each family.

Since we moved so far away it has changed a little. Hubs residency program has it set up so one year you work the week of xmas and get the following week off and then switch the next year. We went home for xmas last year and will go home the week of New Year's this year. Moving away has given us the opportunity to start our own family traditions without the guilt of not going to one family's house or the other. Don't get me wrong it will still be really hard not being home for Christmas this year for the first time but as hubs have said I am still spending it with my family.

Anonymous said...

Hey, your very lucky!!!! At least there are only 3 sets of parents for you and Brad!!! Brent and I have four set of parents and all of them are in a 20 mile radius of us. Not to mention Aiden also has his other side, so all plans must coinside with the custody arrangement, 4 sets of parents, grandparents and when the relative from out of town will be in town and when my brother gets leave from the Navy!!!! Needless to say, I quit!!!!! Hope to see you soon, but I understand if we don't!!! Missie Antisdel

Tova Darling said...

You're a winner of my contest! Check my blog for details. And congrats!