Less Juggle, More QT: Embracing the Separation this Holiday Season


How will you be embracing the separation this holiday season?


The juggle of families at the holidays is always a challenge. Don’t get me wrong! It’s a great challenge to have. But it’s a challenge nonetheless! Which family do you see first? Which family do you see the longest? Which family do you see on the “real” Christmas? It’s a lot of discussion and juggle. Unless … you only live near one family.

See for us, we live in St Louis near my husband’s family, but my family lives in North Carolina. So our holiday “juggle” looks a little different. And for many years, I was resentful. Resentful that we didn’t live close to my family to have them over to enjoy our Christmas decorations, or to see the local lights together, or to have them pop in to see what Santa brought.

But over the years, I’ve learned to love it! Not being away from my family, of course. But I’ve learned to love embracing the separation of our holiday season. And this year might look very “separate” for many of us. With families not gathering in large groups, lots of us will be traveling long distances to see “our people” separately. So many may have to juggle multiple stops and celebrations. But don’t be upset … you might learn to love it!

We have a tried and true method to our holiday juggle with two families that live 15 hours apart. We spend Thanksgiving with one family, and it alternates each year. Then we spend “real” Christmas (Christmas Eve and day) with the other family. But, we feel strongly that Christmas should be celebrated with both families. So we leave shortly after “real” Christmas and head to the other family’s house and stay there through the New Year.

a mom with two girls on her lap as they sit at a Christmas dinner table, with a grandma giving a gift to one of the girls


It may sound like a lot or like we’re missing out, but let me tell you … it’s kind of great! Whichever family we’re with gets our undivided attention. We aren’t watching the clock to frantically scurry to another celebration. We aren’t showing up tired and frazzled, only to realize we forgot half of our gifts or the dessert we promised to bring. We spend all of our time, quality time, with ONE family! They get all of us, and we get all of them for days at a time.

And yes, it does take a little planning in the gift department. And yes, our girls are learning that Santa will find you anywhere in the world! But all in all, an individual holiday celebration with less juggle and more QT is really not that bad! And after the year we’ve all had…what more could you want?!

Happy Holidays. I hope you enjoy your people right where you are!