Friday, December 25, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

I want to go home.

Don't get me wrong - my ILs are wonderful hosts. They do everything they can to make our stay for Christmas comfortable. They clear out their bedroom of anything fragile or electronic so the kids can stay there. They set us up in the other bedroom/office that has a sleeper sofa. They stay on the pull out couch downstairs. DH's grandmother sleeps on the daybed in the second room downstairs. They stock the kitchen with foods and drinks that they think we like.

And Christmas itself is wonderful, too. It's been kind of tough for me, a Jewish girl, getting used to doing anything Christmasy, but after being part of this family for almost twenty years now, I'm finally coming around. We come over in the afternoon of Christmas Eve, drop off our stuff, and then drive together to a family friend's house for Christmas Eve dinner. We come home, the kids change into their new pjs and then carefully put out the cookies and milk for Santa and the carrots for the reindeer, and then my FIL reads the Night Before Christmas (well, this year we go home really late and had to bypass the story) before we put the kids to bed. Then we grown-ups hang out talking and laughing.

We get up early the next morning (Christmas day). I set up breakfast to cook (my food contribution) which, this year, was completely prepped in my crockpots the day before so all I had to do was turn them on when I woke up. We open presents in our pjs, eat breakfast, then open stocking stuffers and cards, and then spend most of the day playing with our new toys (which this year meant trying out the new Wii games). Very nice.

My MIL makes a special dinner for us all, and my ILs buy pies made from a local orchard - so good. And that is where I feel this wonderful sleepover should end.

But . . . . no.

The tradition has now been established that we also spend the night Christmas Day and go home the next day before lunch. Which means one more night on this sofa bed from hell. One more night sitting in front of some random football game hearing family stories that are told every year while trying to get the kids to go to sleep. One more night trying to fall asleep while the other grown ups are still awake in the room directly below me and every word and sound seems amplified back up to me. One more night away from my nice, soft, warm bed with my pillow that is flattened just the right amount for me and my comforter that I can put over my one exposed ear when I fall asleep to block out all extraneous noises. One more night of only thinking about all the stuff around the house that I want to do but can't because I'm here.

This year I tried persuading DH that I go home after dinner tonight so I can get a jump start on cleaning out the playroom and finding spots to put all the kids new toys. He could stay at the ILs for the night and keep the kids there for as long as he wanted the next day. I could get a good night's sleep and have a productive night and morning. He was so upset that I even suggested this, stating how much he wanted me to stay at his parents, blah, blah, blah.

And so I'm still here.

And I feel guilty for complaining. I know plenty of people have no family, or their family is too far away to spend the holidays with. And my ILs are wonderful people. It's nothing against them personally.

It's just . . . well, I want to go home!


Perky said...

AMEN, sister!!!!

I'm with you! Totally with you!

We're only staying here at my ILs for two nights this year because I wisely booked a timeshare in the Poconos for us next week. My husband is disappointed that we can't stay here longer, but I'm not. I MUST escape this place.

Like you, I do like and (mostly) appreciate my inlaws and their extended family. BUT..... I've had enough already. Each year, I'm more annoyed than the previous year at all the same things. I shudder to think what a bitch I'm going to be in another few years of this routine!!!!

Thank goodness I have an internet connection thanks to using the Crackberry as a modem this year!!! I honestly don't know if could have survived without it!

Hang in there -- almost over now!

I say we should go out for Chinese and a movie when I get back to town!

Domestic Goddess said...

Even those of us who stay home and go through the same motions want it to be OVER. This year I'm just overwhelmed. Everyone comes to us to try to make it easier for us. Ian just can't take it. He's doing well, but I wouldn't mind skipping it some year.

insomniac ellen said...

ah families.... can't live with them, can't kill 'em.

as much as I know my kids sometimes miss having an extended family, it's so nice to just be the four of us together on holidays--much less stress.

pkzcass said...

Even though I'm way late here and Christmas has come and gone, I totally understand your wanting to be home. Because really, there's no reason to stay a second night. I think you need to put your foot down next year and insist that you go home on Christmas Day. Having to stay over an extra night, especially since my inlaws are in the area, would kill me.