Not sure about everyone else, but I am still recovering from the holidays. Unlike my 20s though, it wasn’t the travel or the booze that beat me up. This year it was the obligations, the traditions, the dinners . . . all of which ended up feeling like a full time job! When I returned to the office on Monday, January 3rd, I was actually relieved for a little break from the chaos.
The family traditions that grew in my husband’s family over the last 20 years are beautiful. But they are not the traditions of a family with small children. They are the traditions of adults -- late dinners, wine, presents late on Christmas Eve, and big roaring fires. Through the eyes of the mother of a toddler they became events certain to stretch the limits of both my daughter and myself.
This year I spent the holidays running interference on fire places with no safety screens, stair cases with no gates, piping hot ovens, hors d’oeuvre plates with all manner of choking hazards magnificently arranged, and glass ornaments hanging at exactly two feet from the ground. All of us were sleep deprived . . . sometimes because the events started approximately an hour after my daughter’s bed time, and sometimes because it simply did not cross aunty’s mind that turning on the lights in the spare bedroom and flushing the guest bathroom toilet would wake the baby. By the end of the holiday season, I declared that I was starting a new round of family traditions that were kid friendly and the rest of the family could come see the baby on the baby’s terms next year. Meanwhile, my husband declared me the Grinch who was trying to steal his family’s Christmas traditions.