When you don’t live around family, as most of us in the military don’t, holidays become travel days.
Our families live in two different states, in two different regions of the US, meaning there is no option to combine trips. We trade off holidays–Thanksgiving in Arizona and Christmas in Minnesota, then Thanksgiving in Minnesota and Christmas in Arizona. We spend most of our leave opportunities traveling to one state or another, trying to maximize our time with each family.
And we love seeing them! We get antsy when it’s been a few months without seeing one family or the other! We miss the terribly–Facebooking and texting and calling and Snapchatting and FaceTiming every chance we get.
But it’s also exhausting. It’s also stressful.
Every holiday–the busiest travel days of the year–we typically are right there alongside every other out-of-stater. Cramming onto planes packed with people (and sickness), staying in rooms our kids aren’t used to, fudging nap schedules.
This year, we were bummed to find out Russ would be sticking around town, meaning no trip to see his family.
None of their delicious food; none of their fun banter; no letting Lily and Kinley play with their cousins, and their grandparents, and their uncles and aunts, and their great grandparents, and the sheep, and the dogs, and the cats, and the chickens.
None of it.
But, trying to get ourselves into the spirit, we realized that we still get to have a Christmas. We get to enjoy every day of our Christmas tree, and fill stockings, and put out presents, and look at lights, and go on trains, and see Santas.
We get to make our own Christmas dinner. We get to make a special Christmas breakfast.
We’re missing out on the hustle and bustle, and the family time we so crave, but we still get to figure out our own little family’s traditions.
It’s really our first chance to figure those out. And it’s kind of exciting.Is it all bittersweet? Of course it is. But, sometimes we have to find the positives, and this year, our positive is that we get to take this Christmas slowly. So raise a glass of mulled wine to whatever kind of holiday season you’re having, and we’ll see you on the other side of it! Merry Christmas, and happy holidays, everyone. From our family to yours!