I'm like a ninja, you never know when I'm going to pop back in! Things have been incredibly hectic lately (work is rough, and I'm back in school for yet ANOTHER degree), so I haven't had time to post, but I've been lurking over the past few months to see what everybody else is up to!
So...updates..okay here goes. relationship with MIL still leaves quite a bit to be desired, but that won't surprise any of you. I'm not even going to dwell on that anymore, because at this point in my life, I think the way that I CHOOSE to react to her negativity is far more important than anything that she can throw my way. I can't change her, but I can change the way that I choose to look at her and her actions. This has made my life so much easier, and has greatly reduced any marital tension between DH and I. He's such a good man, and has gotten a lot better about sticking up for me to MIL when he catches her acting up, which has also helped to reduce the amount of deep breathing and positive self talk I've had to do over the past few months (sorry, sarcasm...)
I am afraid, however, that I've gotten myself into yet another pickle. I always seem to bite off more than I can chew, which a great deal of you are already well aware of. I, dear, wise women, fail to think before I speak sometimes. This has a tendency to get me into trouble. I did something stupid. Apparently, I am a glutton for punishment and having everyone in our small home for Easter wasn't enough. I had some wine with SIL (the one I'm close to) and made the mistake of hosting Christmas. Not just Christmas dinner; oh no no that would have been far less work for me, I volunteered to host the WHOLE DAY. Oops.
So, this is where you ladies come into play. DH and I are still childless, and I haven't the faintest idea how to entertain six children ages 5 and under...not to mention the fact that my house is not childproof (hubby and I are enjoying one of the few perks of being kid-free: we have nice stuff and a house full of antiques), and I'm not really sure how to do a traditional Christmas since my family always just took trips over the holidays as a child.
Do I do a stocking from "Santa" for all the kids? How many presents do we need to buy each of them? How do I keep them from bouncing off the walls? Do I still make the old family egg-nog recipe that's highly alcoholic, or would that be considered inappropriate? And then the issue of gifts for the SIL's and their husbands. We spent WAY too much money on them last year, buying concert tickets in a city 8 hours away and paying for flights for everyone as well as hotel accomodations and soforth. Is it considered tacky if we don't live up to that amount again this year? I'm afraid I've dug myself into a whole this time ladies...hopefully you can help me find my way out.
Lots of love,
Well first of all, childproof, and put your breakables out of reach. it'll help you and the parent's relax. one craft we did for kids, pick out some Christmas cards, crayons and glitter and let the kids make place guards for dinner. ask everyone to bring a dish too!
Thelaststraw - I hope you have a festive, crazy, exhausting Christmas. This is how memories are made! It sounds like SO MUCH FUN to me.
For the kids, you don't have to do anything from Santa. Sadly, you're not their Santa. I had a whole post written out assuming you were the Gma - wrong-o. For your nieces and nephews, one gift each. For your BILs and SILs, one reasonably priced gift each. As adults, we don't give gifts to our siblings. If I did, I wouldn't spend more than $35-ish? each.
But again, decide on your budget and don't worry about 'beating' last year's gift. Our first year together, my P's took FDH & I, and my DB and his family to Florida. The next year it became a HUGE joke that DH was shaking each gift wondering if "this" was the tickets for this year's trip. It was all in fun.
Do you have one room you can baby-proof? A family room would be ideal. If I were you, I would make that room completely safe, for your own sanity, as well as for the parents not having to chase after the littles saying "ta-ta, don't touch". You can even say that you "de-cluttered" as part of your Christmas decorating. Do you have some toys? They don't have to be expensive or anything, but a few toys for the littles would be fun. Although, I'm sure the P's will bring something, and there will be their Christmas gifts too.
Eggnog - yes please! Just make a little something else for the littles. Put some marachino cherries in your ice cubes and give them a sippy of apple juice - done and done.
How to keep them bouncing off the walls? Keep them busy. Take them outside. Put on a movie. Try and keep their routine. Or better yet, let their parents deal with them. If they go in rooms where they're not allowed, herd them out and show them something else that's cool.
Good to see ya! And yes, life is a hoot! Sending love...
Welcome back thelaststraw :)
I like Scoop's suggestions.
Also, games -- ones everyone can play. Just google Xmas games and a lot of ideas should bounce up.
Get the whole family involved with kids stuff! Buy logs of premade sugar cookies, clear some tables and put out cookie cutters, sprinkles, icing, rolling pins, and wax paper. Let the adults help the kids make cookies, bake them and decorate. That evening can be spent with your eggnog, hot chocolate or chocolate milk for the kiddos and sampling cookies!
We used to do this when we all had little kids. It took the pressure off the host to be watching the kids constantly, filled up a good couple of hours in the afternoon and the kids loved it. We would do it in the afternoon, after getting all the lunch stuff cleaned up.
I love Scoop's suggestions too.