If you are making a Pros and Cons list for the year 2020, your Cons list would probably be much easier to fill. I have to sit and really be intentional to find things to be grateful for in 2020 and to be honest 2021 too.
However, there is one thing that came from 2020 that I instantly knew belonged in the PRO column, it was the first year, maybe in my whole life, that I was able to stay at home all day long on Christmas Day. And I have now vowed to Protect Christmas Day for my family from here on out!
Let me explain…..
As far back as I could remember I have always traveled from house to house during the holidays. Because my parents were divorced many holidays were spent splitting time and traveling to grandparents’ houses. Once I was an adult and married this got even more intense because we now had my family and my husband’s family to split our holidays with.
Every year on Thanksgiving and Christmas it was a running joke of how many meals in one day we would end up attending. This pattern didn’t change once we had children, we just had more people to haul around town.
Because my husband works shift work and every year is different, some Christmas’ I was traveling from house to house solo, some years he was rushing to finish so he could make it to work that night, or even on the years he was off we were rushing our Christmas mornings in order to make it to another celebration, or three.
None of this felt wrong, honestly because it was what I was so used to it felt totally normal to me. I knew it felt stressful, and I hated having to cut our kid’s playtime short to get dressed and leave the house. But it is all I knew, and I never really questioned doing things differently.
Enter in 2020!
Because many of our family members did not want to risk large gatherings trying to coordinate schedules to celebrate together felt even HARDER than normal if you can imagine that. To top it off my husband was working on Christmas Day until 4 pm, so if we did anything on Christmas Day I would be rolling solo with the kids and trying to rush home so that we could celebrate together as a family. I will be honest I got so overwhelmed I made the decision to say NO to any Christmas Day celebrations outside our home.
I was so nervous to tell our extended family that they had to pick any day except Christmas Day, that I probably put it off longer than I needed to. But it’s hard to go against the things you and your family have always done. It can be uncomfortable!
But I did it, and everyone took it really well. No one, at least that I am aware of had hurt feelings or was upset that Christmas Day was off-limits.
As I sat in our house that day letting the kids play to their content with the Toys and things that Santa brought them I was in awe of how peaceful and stress-free Christmas felt. We were home when my husband got home and we were able to celebrate with him with no rushed time limits, or running around. We just got to BE together.
I’m pretty certain that we all stayed in jammies all day, the kids made a mess and we ate all the yummy Christmas snacks and goodies. I wouldn’t have traded that Christmas Day for ANYTHING!!!!
We even welcomed Dad home with a surprise Nerf Gun War! (I highly suggest doing this at least once).
As I reflected on the ease of the day, and how much our family enjoyed being home together all day with no plans or obligations. I realized this was something I had been missing my whole life!
This invoked our newest Christmas family tradition, Christmas Day is now our day wholly. If our extended family wants to celebrate early we can do that, if they want to celebrate later we can do that, but Christmas Day is now off limits!