Monday, December 29, 2008

Road Hard

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... Christmas. In Kansas, we are outposted at least three hours from our nearest relative, and each season, we are the ones who hit the road. We switch off each year for each of our families-- so every other year we wake up in our own home on Christmas. This was that year, so we did get to wake up at home and then head to Hubs' family.

Unfortunately, because Christmas was on a Thursday, and we customarily go to the "other" family the weekend after Christmas, it meant a whirlwind tour, spanning nearly 1,000 miles in five days.

Can I just say that I am pooped?

Our kids did great, though, and dealt with the changes in routine and locale like champs (for the most part.) While each of the four of us had our moments of less-than-holiday-spirit, we stuck together and dealt with almost everything as a team.

But when I think about doing this next year, with another baby... I can't even fathom it.

I don't know how much longer we will be able to uproot our whole lives and drive to everyone else's Christmas. As much as I love my family, and he loves his, we also love our family, and it definitely gets placed last in the current configuration.

My kids were begging for Kansas by yesterday. Begging. They love their family, too, but they love their home. And nowhere is the spirit of holiday and love more present than in your own home, right?

I'm torn.

What do you do? How do you manuever that? No matter which route we go, we miss out on something... I don't know.


Heather said...

Did I miss something? Are you pregnant? If so, congrats!

We do not do much traveling so I am not any help. However, we went on vacation for a week in Northern MN when Baby D was only 3 weeks old and she did wonderfully. I think it definitely depends on the child. The other two kids traveled poorly in the car as infants.

Linda said...

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. We're traveling this year at Christmas and spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in a hotel room, miles from any of our family.

And, truth be told, I kind of liked it.

Families get so worried about who is there for the holidays. I think I enjoy non-holiday get-togethers more than the crazy-busy holiday gatherings.

You have to do what's best for your family. Maybe you can make it to see the extended family every few years, as a compromise.

Growing up in North Dakota, we never went to my grandma's in Wisconsin for Christmas. When we finally did, when I was in high school, it was very special. But it wasn't the same as being home for Christmas, as our tradition was.

Families can be hard to work with; hopefully you and your husband can decide what you want to do and your families will be ok with it.

Heather said...

Sorry about that Dawn, for some reason I was thinking that Linda wrote that! Dur!! My brain is not engaged anymore.

susiej said...

This is VERY hard for everyone. If you don't show up, someone misses you and you year the familiar, "Christmas just wasn't the same without you." However, the clue is in your writing. The kids wanted to be home....tough call, but you'll be glad you followed your heart.

Hip Mom's Guide said...

Heather - at first I thought the same thing!

Dawn, I agree with Susie. It's just hard. Feelings are tangled up on every side of it. We've done all of it: travelled there (our families are about 600+ miles away), had them come here (one for Christmas, one for New Year's), skipped out on the whole thing & took the kids to Great Britain for two weeks instead....that was great, actually. But when you live far away, I don't think there's ever an easy answer, just the one that works best for you. Good luck!