Back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, also known as my childhood, we lived 45 minutes away from my grandparents. On Christmas day we would open presents, have breakfast, and then after a bit more play time load up the car and drive.
We were usually allowed to take one toy with us - which was hard as we had several that were awesome - and some didn't transport well. Then we'd spend the evening in a stuffy apartment bored and wishing we were home.
Once I found Mr Handsome I had a whole new issue - In Laws. I married into a family that already had 2 sister in laws. So we juggled 3 different family schedules plus mine. Fun!
After we started procreating and making little nut-cases it all went to the North Pole in a sleigh. We were loading up so much gear to sleep at my parents, then trucking all over town with crying babies that I about lost my Christmas loving mind.
Finally 4 years ago I lost my schmidt! I had an argument with both my family and the in-laws. No one was happy and I was stressed to the max. No amount of eggnog was going to calm me down.
So I gave myself permission to be selfish and put my family as in Mr Handsome, Dude, & Missy first! I announced that starting the following year I was assigning everyone a day - of my choice - if that didn't work we were okay with missing the gathering. I gave my parents Christmas Eve and the in-laws Boxing Day. Christmas day we would be staying home - the door would be open to anyone that wanted to come over. My parents and sister usually come. This year my aunt and uncle and a cousin are stopping by too. I make a fab brunch - wanna come? We're a open family - if we love you you're in :)
So now we stay home and open presents with our kids. Then my sister and parents come out for brunch and a second gift time for the kids. Finally hubs and I tuck the kids into bed and enjoy hot chocolate and Bailey's under the tree.
My kids are only going to young for so long - I want to make our own Christmas memories and traditions instead of dragging them all over town in misery. I give you permission to do the same! Be selfish!