My 4-year-old drew this on my parents’ porch today with chalk she got in a present. Later in the afternoon, I was carrying a load of boxes out to our van and didn’t want my son to get out too, so I asked her to close the door behind me.
Her: I need my chalk!
Me: Close the door, please.
Her: Where’s my chalk?!
Me: The door! Close it now, please!
Her: I need my chalk!
Me: Close the door!
Her: I forgot to draw the tornado!
I’ve been blessed to have Christmas traditions that are roughly compatible with my wife’s family’s traditions, as well as to have parents and in-laws who are willing to be flexible. So my wife’s parents’ annual Christmas Eve fondue dinner was on Christmas Eve Eve this year. And we treated Christmas Eve itself as Christmas day with my family. We’ll spend Christmas Eve night with my parents and my dad’s brother’s family, and Christmas Christmas with my wife’s family.
It sounds busy—and it is—but we’ve more often than not managed to schedule out big blocks of time so we don’t feel like yo-yos spinning rapidly between a couple of houses.
Plus, we have a tradition of going away Christmas night when we can, just my wife and I, to a local bed and breakfast.
Amid it all, we get to see friends and cousins, aunts and uncles, and multiple generations enjoying conversation and fun under one roof.
When my cousins were little, we would go to my uncle’s house for Christmas Eve, and I would tell them elephant jokes on the drive across town back to my house, where we’d read the Christmas story. Now that they’re older and we get together at my parents house, we tend to show each other Youtube videos.
I love seeing my family, which is why I’m cutting off this post here and rejoining the chaos—though it is nice to have an excuse to sequester myself away for a breather. (I’ve found since starting this blog, however, that they also tend to worry that certain stories or anecdotes will find their way onto the Internet. Some will, someday.)
Also, my girls are right now shouting about seeing the Magic Shoe, which is a pink, glittery sneaker that’s been known to peek in windows or skitter across the lawn at my parents’ house from time to time.