December is a busy time for us. Shawn's brother and dad, as well as two of our close friends, have December birthdays (one being two days before Christmas and one being the day after Christmas.) Shawn's parents are divorced so we celebrate Christmas with them separately. My parents and his parents all live locally but far enough apart that the celebrations have to be on separate days or half the day would be spent driving.
Last year I was still crazy so I didn't feel comfortable putting my foot down but this year I was adamant that we have our own time to celebrate as a family. It was difficult. I was forced to be blunt (something I hate) and feelings were, not necessarily hurt, but definitely chafed, but in the end it worked out perfectly. From 4pm on Christmas Eve day until noon on Christmas Day, Shawn, Grady and I celebrated on our own. We had our annual Christmas Eve barbecue with all the fixings (and Grady tried his first hamburger! He was not impressed.) We opened presents (we gave Grady the Melissa & Doug band-in-a-box. Rookie parents, right here.) We relaxed and enjoyed each other. And then continued on with the family obligations / craziness / hoopla.
I love our families. I love that so many people love Grady. But I am so glad that Christmas is over. Grady was spoiled rotten (how do you deal with this? Seriously. He was lavished with gifts and I don't mean to sound ungrateful but this cannot happen next year when he's old enough to realize what's going on and develop expectations for future Christmases.) It was a lovely holiday but I'm ready for 2013. I'm ready to say goodbye to parties and cookies (so many cookies) and hello to January.
Best present ever.