I get a little cranky when it comes to traveling for the holidays because I’ve had to do it every year since I moved out of my parent’s house and off to college at the tender age of 18. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas since my college years, my single years, and now during my married years our families expect Husband and I to pack up our stuff and drive 100 miles either North or South (depending upon whose family we are visiting for which holiday) to spend the holiday day with them.
The exact number of Christmases I have celebrated in my own home?
Now, you may recall that The Condo is located in Central Ohio. Since The Condo is in the middle of the state, you’d think that we’d host a family gathering every once and awhile to make it easier for everyone involved.
Why? Well, it depends upon whom you ask. One side still has little kids and wants Santa to visit their house. I understand that. A very vocal contingent of The North also believes that I-71 only goes from Central Ohio to Northern Ohio and not the other way around.
Interesting. I have repeatedly driven I-71 South and I know for a fact that it works perfectly fine.
The South has 16 people that gather and claim that we could not host that many people in a 1500 sq. ft. Condo. Possibly. But still annoying because when we go to there, “family gathering” means everyone splits off into factions. The teenagers and a few adults arm themselves with laptops/computers and retreat to one part of the house to sit side by side in one room playing online video games. Don’t have the MMORPG in question on your computer or an account? Well, you can just watch them play.
The second faction usually watches a movie on DVD. Usually one of three family friendly favorites that I’ve had memorized since childhood.
There are only so many times a person can hear “Climb Every Mountain” without going Rambo, people - really.
The third faction are the kids who take full advantage of not being the normal watch of their parents and spend the entire time loudly bouncing off of satellites.
To combat my stress, every year I suggest that Husband and I host a holiday gathering. It never happens because someone ends playing the kid trump card. It works too. Face it. If you don’t have children, you get the shaft when it comes to even getting a say in the where, when, how, or what of family/holiday gatherings. No matter how old I am, (did I mention that both Husband and I are the first born in our respective families?) being a DINK (Double Income No Kids) means you are treated like a college student – you don’t get a say, you get told. Don’t like it? Put up or shut up. Level the playing field and have a kid. And no, having a dog doesn’t count. I already tried that.
Is it any wonder that sales of chocolate, alcohol, and fatting food spike around the holidays?
In addition, while I am getting a little, OK a lot, sick of the constant travel commitment, I do like seeing the reaction to the gifts that I give these people since I try very hard to give the people on my gift list meaningful holiday gifts.
Guilt much? Yes indeedy - do.
The stress of our year in year out holiday travel commitments would try the patience of a saint, say, St. Nicholas for instance. I’m sure that some years even Santa Claus goes crazy because he’s expected to do an extraordinary amount of travel during Christmas too.