In case you've been living under a rock, we're coming upon the craziest, best time of the year~the holidays. I will have 11 people (NOT including my immediate family of 6) here on Thursday for Thanksgiving. We used to travel, but when I was pregnant with the twins and as big as a house at 7 months, I said no frickin' way am I leaving my house, so now we have everyone here. No really, check me out! While it's insane getting ready, it really is so much nicer to allow my kids to play with their own toys, nap in their own beds, and generally be more comfortable. It also takes my stress level down to Mach 496. How nice.
Christmas takes my stress level up to Mach 9809838 though. Here's why. When I had one child, I pretty much got every gift I could think of that said child would want/need/had to have. Ok, not that bad, but the presents under the tree were pretty substantial for said child. As our family has grown, getting everyone everything he/she may want is a financial impossibility. Child number one doesn't quite get that. I'll save that for another post though. This year we are scaling back quite a bit. I'm sure it will all work out fine, after I have some sort of a mental breakdown over it all.
However, immediately after Christmas we launch into birthday central. This is part of the reason we have to scale back for the holidays: all four children have their birthdays within the month following Christmas. Drew's is three days after Christmas, the twins are two weeks later, and Meg's birthday is two weeks to the day after the twins. Holy cow (and yes, springtime in Maine is BORING!). It can be a bit much to deal with right after Christmas.
I love making the holidays special for the kids. I play Christmas music all the time, watch The Grinch and Charlie Brown's Christmas on DVD until I want to puke, and try to decorate the house nicely. The twins are really going to be into all the decorations this year~they went bonkers when we put up Halloween decorations! But a part of me feels like Charlie Brown because Christmas is so commercialized. I would love for the holidays to be more about spending time with family and friends, and less about what is under the Christmas tree, but without taking the fun out of it for the kids. Maybe this year our scaling back will help accomplish that.