"I hate the holidays." This isn't exactly how I feel. I don't like the frenzy of it all. The marathon visitations. Being on my best behavior. No corner to escape, to have a moment for myself. I'm whining... what does this have to do with motherhood?
My parents were married for almost thirty years, but they didn't spend the holidays together very often. The four of us always started and ended the holiday together at home, but my mom would go to her family, my dad would go to his (although, sometimes, he would go with my mom.) I tried to follow my dad sometimes, but the last holiday I remember spending with his family, there was lots of yelling, and I ended up in my great-grandmother's bathroom crying because I couldn't take the fighting anymore. I gave up on that whole dividing time between the families BS after that.
But there were years when the four of us chose stay home together, and that was great. No schlepping to Queens, or Harlem, getting comfortable, only to have to get bundled up and come home. We could eat an oven stuffer chicken, since none of us really liked turkey. We could stay in our pajamas if we wanted. A happy holiday, indeed.
Our family likes to stake their claim for Turkey Day at least a year in advance, and there are no backsies! (I have a fabulous example I could insert here, but I won't.) We're whisking Milady to three states in as many days, and jamming her between us on a double sized air mattress for as many nights. Christmas Day, at least, we've claimed for ourselves, and everybody knows. (And if they don't, they will know by the end of this weekend.) The day before and the day after Christmas I think we're committed. By the New Year's Day, I think I'll need to be committed for a few days.
I know she's a baby and won't remember her first Thanksgiving or Christmas no matter where it is, but I'm not sure if Tallu will ever know the peaceful bliss of being home for the holidays.
My husband commutes a few hours each day for work, so a Thanksgiving at home would be wonderful. He could spend all day with his baby, I could see him for more than an hour and a half before sleep. We could watch the Thanksgiving Day parade in front of a roaring fire, sipping cocoa in our pajamas...who knows what family traditions we would have, if only we had time to cultivate them?
Gobble gobble, everybody!