I should start by saying that I’m not religious and I don’t necessarily celebrate Easter. BUT I do respect the fact that my family celebrates it. And I celebrate the chance to spend time with my family.
My wife and I spent over two hours in the car yesterday going to three different houses and never ventured more than 20 miles from home. It made for a long day, to say the least.
Here’s the thing: it was worth it. For the most part.
The key thing is that you have to do it right and do it on your terms, at least as much as you can. I mean you can’t make everyone plan their holiday based on your schedule. That’s just selfish.
But, if you’re lucky, hopefully at least one of your spots will be understanding of your situation and try to help.
Also, my parents are divorced, which adds another wrinkle because now I have two stops to make for my family instead of one. When you add my wife’s family, that’s three to four stops for each holiday. Which is crazy.
When my wife and I first got engaged, I was dropping her off at home on Christmas Day after going to like three different parties. I, being the young, selfish dude that I was (and still am) didn’t full grasp that fact that this was her first Christmas away from her family.
She cried. And I felt like total shit for ripping away her traditions. Then again, I didn’t want to give up time with my family either.
I promised that from then on we would try our best to find balance during the holidays. It helps that our parents are pretty flexible and understanding of our situation. My Dad will have us over for brunch, then we can go see my wife’s family for dinner, and then have desert with my Mom.
It’s a long day but at least we have some say in the structure. On Christmas we can bring the dog so we don’t feel guilty about leaving him alone all day.
Balance. Balance. Balance.
It’s tough because you can’t exactly complain about it, right? Like, some people don’t have family and here I am complaining about having three meals that are fit for a king, and family that wants nothing more than to just spend time with us.
The point being is that I am extremely fortunate to have what I have.
Next year things will change a bit because with a baby on the way, it just won’t make sense logistically to drag a kid around all day like that. Not to mention, it will be draining on him or her and on his or her parents.
But again, we’ll try to make it work. Because family.