When we first became parents, my mind begin whirling with ways to treat each holiday like a magnificent party that was worthy of Pinterest inspiration for others. I had ideas of morning traditions and annual meals that would be just ours. I was ready to make it magical for my daughter (now two daughters).
During this time, we started telling family “no” and that was something that we rarely ever had to do. Everyone wanted us to visit them during the holidays and continue on in the traditions that we previously participated in throughout the years. As a married couple with two incomes, it was easy to book a flight or take off from work for extended weekends. When we became a one income family with small children, everything had to change – especially for our wallets and sanity. I also selfishly wanted to keep my family under my roof because, after all, this was what I wanted for years when we were trying to conceive.
With each “no”, I follow up with “but, our home is always open for visitors” and I even include it on our Christmas newsletter each year. Our door will always be open for family and friends and by choosing to stay home for the holidays we are able to welcome in friends who aren’t able to fly or drive home to their hometowns.
With each holiday at home, I like to think that we are giving our girls something precious that they can hold on to for years to come. I know that we are missing out on time with cousins and aunts and uncles, but at the same time we are giving them undivided attention that we sometimes can’t give them during the year because of the hustle and bustle of every day life. One day, when they’re a bit older and I’m capable of planning a trip back to the south without panicking about how to send gifts or pack matching pajamas in our Christmas Eve box, then we can begin traveling again. Until then, I’m going to continue our traditions at our home and sending out photo message updates about our holiday fun.