There is nothing quite like fall. The low-humidity, changing colors in the trees, mums on the front porch and the smell of a burning Yankee Candle. While it's fun to enjoy fall for the split second that it stands alone, you can't ignore the Christmas items arriving in stores right now. Undoubtedly, this is the time of year full of hustle, bustle and anxiety - especially when dealing with multiple families.
This may be the second round of annual holidays for Andrew and I as a married couple, but this doesn't mean the stress is any less. While I do find myself luckier than most with regards to family flexibility, this is the time of year where my heart starts racing and my thoughts start drifting. Getting a jumpstart on holiday planning is a good idea when it comes to putting the "happy" in holidays, especially in the newlywed years when your family wants to experience holidays and special occasions with you. These times are almost like firsts even though you may have shared several together before becoming husband and wife. We have our holiday plans pretty much down pat. From our early years of dating, Andrew and I solved the holiday stress by delegating time to each of our families because we wanted to be careful not to hurt anyone's feelings.
On Thanksgiving, we stay in town and spend lunchtime with Andrew's family since they are all from out of town. We gather for dinner at my family's house, conveniently right down the road from his. On Christmas Eve, we go to church with both of our families, and on Christmas Day, we find ourselves eating breakfast and opening presents with my family and then spending the evening with Andrew's. After Christmas Day, we must add in a day to visit with my dad and stepmother at their lake house. This, in itself, is an all-day event, but it's a chance for a brief, refreshing getaway. This year we may switch it up by hosting Thanksgiving at our house. Due to a slight change in my father-in-law's work schedule, the opportunity came up for our very first Thanksgiving in our home. At first I was slightly apprehensive about taking on the challenge of cooking for our families. The last thing I wanted to do was spaz out on Thanksgiving or step on anyone's toes and traditions. However, the thought of decorating our formal dining room table and using all of our still-in-the-box Pyrex sparked my intrigue.
After serious consideration, I really warmed up to the idea - mostly after my brother (a chef) offered to assist me along with both my mom and Andrew's. If I were fighting this battle alone I might have to surrender, but with my troops right behind me, we just might be able to pull this off. I am still not certain whether this will work out, but I am pretty excited and hope to make it deliciously successful. And, of course, I'll be sure to fill you in on all of the juicy details!