Last year, my kids woke up in their own home on Christmas morning for the first time.
They were seven and three.
When my daughter was young, we would head to my mom’s house. Or, we flew to Dallas to spend the holidays with my husband’s family. After the move to Dallas four years ago, our first few holidays were spent in California (and one truly magical “white Christmas” in Minnesota).
So last year I decided I was over it. Over the stress of traveling with kids, totally over frantically ordering gifts to be shipped to another state, totally over leaving our tree to dry out, and SO over bringing the big (extra) bag to get everything back after the holidays were over.
Guess what? It was the most relaxing and fun Christmas morning I’d had in years. We were making our own special family memories, just the four of us. We woke up when we wanted, my kids had everything they needed, we made our favorite breakfast items and watched whatever holiday movie special wanted to watch. I really liked that feeling.
Why do I want to spend Christmas morning in my own home?
My kids are still young enough to believe in the magic of the season, and they’re old enough to start making their own holiday memories. I want to jealously guard these precious moments and keep them to myself. Not because I want to be the family Grinch and withhold joy from family members in California and Minnesota. Not because I don’t like to travel. But because I can finally realize why my mom was always so happy to see us show up at her front door a few days before Christmas morning. Because I am still her daughter. And she is still a mother. And she has traditions that were just for us, for so long. Now it’s my turn to bring the holidays to my kids.
We’ve made a list of the things we want to do. Bake lots of cookies, spend time with friends and neighbors in our own community, wrap gifts for one another, listen to lots and lots of cheesy holiday music, sit around our tree and breathe in the fresh pine scent. Can we do this in someone else’s home? Sure. Will doing it in our own home make a difference when it comes to making memories? Maybe not. Will my husband and I be less stressed out? Umm, yes. Will we have more time to focus on our kids and the actual meaning of the holidays instead of dragging ourselves across the country? Absolutely.
Does this mean we’ll never spend another Christmas morning at my mother’s house? Probably not. There’s definitely something fun about heading to Grandma’s house, too. But, after last year’s stress-free morning, I’m a total fan bringing the holiday to my kids, instead of the other way around. And, I’m hoping to one day get my mom and sisters out to Dallas for the holidays. That way we can have the best of both worlds.
Do you travel during the holidays? Share with us in a Comment.