Since September will be here in two days (wait, WHAT?!), I began thinking a bit about the upcoming holidays. I want to try to get things arranged a little sooner this year, as I always seem to wait until the last minute and end up super stressed. Of course, I know I am far from the only one who does this, but I'd like to avoid it, if possible!
We have a trip to Iowa in October for a wedding, and then there is Thanksgiving and Christmas. We also have a wedding in London, Ontario the weekend of Thanksgiving.
Since our very first Thanksgiving as a couple, Steve and I have spent the holiday together. We began dating in September and two months later, he came home to NH with me for the weekend. Since then, we have alternated Thanksgivings; one year in NH and the next in Iowa. It has worked out well. I think we've actually driven to both places most of those years. Yes, both are long drives, but worth it to not have to deal with airlines! Also, I like the adventure of a roadtrip.
As for Christmas, we've always, up until last year, been apart. We would do our Christmas together here in DC, and then go to our respective homes. It was never an issue and has always been just fine. Last year, Steve was graduating from Iowa State with his Master's and walked in December. The ceremony was the week before Christmas, so we flew to Iowa for that, spent a few days there and then I flew to NH. Steve actually flew to NH late Christmas Eve and was with my family on Christmas Day.
Now, Steve is telling me that we are going to Iowa for Christmas, since we were in NH last year. I suppose that makes sense, right? It is only fair, right? Still, I can't help be sad about it. It would be my first Christmas without my family. Even when I lived in Poland, I came home at Christmas and was with my family. That was also the worst Christmas in my memory, as my beloved grandfather passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly just a few days before. We were like zombies that year, I have very little memory of that day, which maybe is a good thing.
Growing up, I was so fortunate, I will admit. When I say that, I mean fortunate in the sense that my family was all close by. I grew up in the same town that my father grew up in, so his parents still lived there. My aunt lived about an hour away and my uncle was just a town over from mine. My mother grew up about an hour south of my hometown, but my grandparents moved to the town next to mine when I was six or seven. I have vague memories of their old house, but I really don't remember too much of them not being right there. My aunt, my mother's sister, lives about an hour away, not too far from my other aunt, my father's sister. Everyone has always been within an hour of my house. Christmas Eve is always spent with my father's family and Christmas Day is spent with my mum's.
I know how lucky I am to have had my family so close and was able to spend holidays and everydays with them. It really makes me sad that my children won't have this. With my family in NH and Steve's in Iowa, we will always have to choose.
How did you choose? How do you and your significant other decide where to spend holidays? Was it an easy decision? How do you make it easier on you, when you are away from your own family?