Thursday, December 21, 2006

Don't let the holidays drive you crazy

Last week, my son and daughter-in-law made a decision that impressed me. We had planned together than I would visit them after New Years, but we were having trouble finding a date because of many family commitments. Several houseguests were coming earlier and two of their four children are in the ‘activities’ phase of their lives. Parents whose children have reached college age will remember the days of soccer practice, figure skating practice, evening school events, up a four AM to prepare for and then drive to horse shows (in my family) and much more.

Finally they told me they thought it would be better if I postponed a possible trip until March or April when things might be less hectic. Reasonableness had triumphed over sentiment.

How often, in how many families will the opposite be true this holiday season. When extended families lived in close communities, large family gatherings were an accepted norm and less logistically challenging. Now congested highways and long airport security lines – going and coming – are an almost inevitable downside of large family gatherings. When the big day arrives, at least mom may be too stressed and exhausted to savor it.

I will look forward to time spent with my grandchildren when the time is right. And to a more tranquil Christmas and New Years in the interim.


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