When Danny and I moved to the Okanagan one of the big changes for me was Christmas. I grew up spending the holidays with my family and now that we had moved away things were going to change. Not only were we living away but now there was a second family added to the mix.
We made the decision to split the holidays; one year in the Okanagan and the next back on the coast. However, the Christmas back with our lower mainland family was still split. We would spend Christmas eve with Danny's family (we did Murder Mysteries on Christmas Eve), opened gifts with them the following morning and then head to my grandparents in the late morning to open gifts with my family and have dinner.
We celebrated Christmas in the Okanagan twice; both years we were lucky enough to not have to travel during the day. We opened gifts in the morning and then hosted dinner.
This arrangement has suited us really well because we got to see everyone and it solved the fact that Danny and I don't agree on how the day should play out.
Growing up Christmas was an all-in family event. Meaning you were welcome to come and open gifts, have dinner, or both. The more the merrier (for the most part). Most of the holidays are like this; our lazy Sunday afternoon summer BBQ's are like most families reunions (there's a lot of us in a small area).
Danny, on the other hand, grew up where Christmas morning was just a "family" event (him, his sisters, and parents) with either them visiting family later or family visiting them. He has family living all over the place so they don't spend every holiday together.
This has made for some interesting discussions between us and with us back on the coast, surrounded by family, the topic has come up yet again. I am of the mind set "the more the merrier" where Danny would like a more low key morning (we're hosting dinner so he knows come mid-afternoon we'll have a full house).
He understands that my family (mom, sister, and grandparents) want to be able to watch Lynden open gifts but he's leery about having a house full of people all day (I've told him this shouldn't be an issue as they live very close by (within a few blocks) and will most likely head home after the gift opening and come back in the afternoon), which I can understand. It's a lot of noise and excitement to a day that's overly active and with kids it can be a bit much for them.
I must admit, last year it was just us for gift opening and it was wonderful! It was quiet, we could focus on Lynden, take our time, and stay in our PJ's and be disheveled because no one was there but us knew. I feel it was the Perfect was to celebrate our last Christmas as a family of 3.
I enjoyed my Christmas mornings with my family, all of them, and it's what I'm used to. It's a bit weird for me to think not everyone had the same mornings as I did (since most of my family had the same relative filled mornings) and I have to remember that my family isn't a mirror image of what everyone's family is like.
It's hard too when I'm the only one of my siblings to have children. Everyone wants to see the kids open gifts and until my sister has kids the focus is on Lynden and Alyssa. I'm sure when she has kids (I'm guessing kids are in her future) we'll be able to have the quieter Christmas morning since at some point she might want her own low key gift opening (although I see her wanting to have the family filled mornings).
So, like most things in a relationship, where's the middle ground?
I don't know the answer; but with this being our first year back and Alyssa's first Christmas I see our families arriving for gift opening. Although I think we'll have started before people arrive, as I can't see everyone being here for 7:30 when Lynden wakes up. Please don't be here at 7:30.
Perhaps as the kids get older and/or if my sister starts a family we can have our low key morning, but until then I see it hard to have it any other way. Maybe next year we'll set a time when people can come; this way we can have a bit of "our time" with the kids before people arrive.
It'll take us a few years to find the right fit for us, but we will fit it.
Are you a 'come one, come all' or 'quiet and low key'?
Tomorrow will be my 'Isn't that Pintresting' post. If you want to show off what you've been pinning and/or any projects you've finished feel free to link up (the linky tool will be up until Monday)