When Bub was one and I was pregnant with Gracie, we traveled from our home in Oklahoma to East Texas to spend Christmas with my father-in-law and James' grandmother. Our whole car was so full of baby paraphernalia there was barely room for the gifts we were bearing. It was on that long trip in that very crowded car that we decided we'd stay home on Christmas until our kids flew the coop. The decision made sense, really. James has one brother who, until this year, was single and had a very flexible schedule. James' dad and grandmother were the only other two in his family we ever spent a holiday with. They were both teachers until retirement, so because of the school holiday, they had the flexibility needed to travel as well. We had the kids and James has always worked in industries that require him to work through Christmas Eve. Staying home and creating Christmas for our kids was so much better, and if family members wanted to celebrate Christmas with us, they were welcome.
This year, though, James' brother Jerald got married and his wife, Hayley, has long spent her years dividing the holidays between one parent in Tennessee and the other in Georgia. They flew to Georgia for Thanksgiving and were driving to Tennessee for Christmas, and because of the way the holiday falls, they were going to have to drive straight back to College Station after the holiday to prepare for the post-Christmas reopening of Jerald's restaurant. They wouldn't have the chance to see us until the next weekend or later. Because Christmas is OVER for me on December 26th, we opted to head down to B/CS in advance of Christmas to share a meal and exchange gifts.
It was nice to get away from home this weekend and to escape the holiday hustle and bustle, even if only for the night, and we love spending time with Jerald and Hayley, so that was a bonus. And the kids -- they were SUPER excited to open presents early. They never get to do that!
What Could It Be?
Taking a Peek
No Need to Finish Unwrapping -- Wheeeee!
The Ripping and the Shredding
My father-in-law joined us for our pre-Christmas celebration in College Station, so while our regular family holiday will still happen at home on December 25th, this year it will just be us and my mom around the tree. Because Jerald and Hayley still need to figure out what works for their little family with regards to future holidays, I don't know what Christmas will look like next year, but the arrangements for this year mean a lot less work for me. I think we'll open presents, share a breakfast casserole and watch movies and/or nap all afternoon -- that's a Merry Christmas!