Friday, 18 December 2015

when the "kids" come home for Christmas

#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

I've always been guilty of wanting a Very Brady Christmas - it's one of the first things I ever blogged about because I've had to learn the lesson that real life Christmas and Brady Christmases rarely intersect. I've learned over the years to accept whatever I can get in family time over the holiday break and be grateful that I see my children for whatever time they can fit me in.

Grinning and bearing it has been part of my Christmas spirit for the last few years - especially since they both married and had to spread themselves over two extended families and numerous Christmas events. Our son and daughter-in-law always come down from the city on Boxing Day and stay in our "guest room" for a couple of nights. It's lovely to have them and to be able to relax and spend some quality time together.

Our daughter married a lovely young man who came with the baggage of a difficult family dynamic and he just didn't understand the need to spend more than a token hour or two with Erin's family. We feel like it's been an uphill battle giving him space and still finding time to spend together as an extended family.

I will admit to shedding a tear or two over the first couple of Christmases where we were lucky to see them for a short visit and where they chose to stay in a motel rather than with family because they wanted to have their own head space. Understandable in its own way as newly weds, but still tough on a mother's heart when they visit so rarely and there is all the Christmas expectations on top of that.

Well this year is different! For the first time ever we get both of our children (and spouses and baby bump) staying with us for a couple of days and nights over Christmas. I can't begin to describe how pleased and excited I am about this. The only spanner in the works was that we only have one spare queen sized bed in the house (because that's all the average empty nester needs!) I refused to let this be a reason for anyone to be uncomfortable on this momentous occasion so.......off to IKEA online and their free country delivery and we are now the proud owners of a third queen sized bed (see above!) We could start our own bed and breakfast at this rate, but it will be worth every penny to have my "kids" all under my roof at the same time.

Now all I have to do is convince them to have a Santa photo like my friend whose children have one every year (they're up to number #26) Seeing the chances of my kids doing that are less than zero, my husband did a photo shop job for me and I'm thinking of framing it to hang next to the Christmas tree this year.

#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

I just love Christmas! And having my children home this year will be the best present ever......well until next year when there will be a grandbaby to share it all with!

#Friday Reflections:      What is the best present / gift you have ever received?

47 comments:

  1. I JUST LOVED THIS POST! And the photoshoped Santa:) I can't even imagine how tough it is as a mum to not have kids over for the holidays. I feel for you Leanne, and I'm so happy that this year you get them under one roof (and all thanks to Ikea):) Happy Holidays to all of you!!!!!
    xx Abby

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    1. thanks Abby - it was worth every penny of that (very inexpensive) IKEA bed to have them all here. Not quite the same as when they are little, but family is just so special and it's a rare treat - Happy Christmas to you my dear xx

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  2. Yes it is hard as they grow up Leanne. We have a Brady Bunch both having children from previous marriages so it became so difficult getting everyone together. Now I have our celebration a week before Christmas and I get to enjoy quality time with everyone especially the grandchildren. Have a wonderful family Christmas and look forward to your posts next year.

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    1. You too Sue - I love that you've found a time that suits you and fits in around the family's other commitments. I can't believe Christmas is less than a week away. Enjoy - and lots of love to you and the whole of your clan xxx

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  3. So glad that you'll have a lovely family Christmas, Leanne - I've got one child coming to stay while the other one will be in another city - now his new home. The main thing is to just relax and enjoy the day, with whoever is able to be there.

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    1. I completely agree Toni - I take whatever I can get (usually I feel like it's all one big compromise) this year it works in our favour and I'm just stoked to see them all and to have some family time together. Happy Christmas x

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  4. Lovely post! I've been through this stage - it's hard. But once the grandchildren arrive, Christmas recovers its lost dimension. Kids generally adore grandparents, and parent are usually glad of some free babysitting, so they can go dancing while you cuddle. Enjoy your Christmas!

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    1. Thanks Marina - next year will be the first grandbaby year and I can't wait for that next stage - I hope it's as good for us as everyone says it will be! I'm just happy to have my kids down for a visit and to just chill out together for a change. Happy Christmas x

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  5. Leanne, have a wonderful time with all the family and the Queen beds, great idea.
    We love your posts on Blogger's Pit Stop
    Kathleen

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    1. thanks Kathleen - and merry Christmas to you and your family - I hope you have a really special day together and I look forward to all the pit stopping in 2016 :)

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  6. How exciting to have them all home no matter how that happens! It will be so lovely for you Leanne and you may be surprised if they're up to having a Santa photo taken for you. C'mon kids! Have a lovely holiday!

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    1. Thanks Cathy - I won't hold my breath for the Santa photo, I'd be happy with a group one in front of the Christmas tree! It's just lovely to think of them all down for a visit at the same time! Happy Christmas to you too x

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  7. It is difficult when your children grow up and move out especially if they move out of town. I got to see my girls and all the grandkids and grand baby over the Thanksgiving holiday. Christmas I only get to see my oldest daughter and two of the grandkids. Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy your days with your children.

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    1. thanks so much - I can't wait to see them and yes, having them living away makes those visits rare but really special. I'm glad you have some of your family for Christmas - and some grandkids!

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  8. How glad I am for you to be rushing around making these sorts of arrangements. The kind of flurry that we don't ever mind, right?! And those are mad photoshop skills on display. :)

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    1. thanks Mithra - the rush was definitely worth it - I love looking at that end bedroom and knowing that it will get some use over Christmas! And I'll pass your compliment onto my husband (the photo-shopper!)

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  9. So happy for you, Leanne! I am praying for a blessed couple of days filled with lots of love and warmth!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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    1. thanks Lori - that is exactly what I would like - you nailed it :)

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  10. That's great Leanne and with five kids, three of them married, it is an entirely different scenerio to work with on holidays, and about everything else too. You're doing great to keep at it, patiently and lovingly. Thank you for sharing so much with us.

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    1. My pleasure Carrie - I hope you get as many of your family around you as possible during Christmas too - it's such a special time of the year :)

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  11. Very nice post. Sounds like a great Christmas.

    Give the young man time. I know because I was just like him (as an old man), I still have my moments. Coming from an interesting (ok, super difficult) family dynamic myself the holiday season is the worst because you dread what is going inside the family.

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    1. Thanks for the insight Patrick - it's easy to say that I understand, but at times I want to be selfish and have them all here feeling "joyful" - I'm hoping with time he will relax and we can give him the space he needs to see that we are a fairly undemanding bunch! Happy Christmas to you and your family and thank you so much for stopping by :)

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  12. Enjoy your time with your family! I am preparing for my sister her significant other, her two sons, his daughter, my mother and step father staying in my house and then even my dad on Christmas morning with us, as well as a friend of mine. My husband and I are already pulling our hair out, and no one has pulled in the driveway yet!

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    1. It's funny JenniLeigh how easy it all sounds at the beginning and then the logistics kick in! What's nice is that it will all work out on the day and that's part of the magic of Christmas x

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  13. I'm happy you're kids are coming home, all under one roof. Enjoy! I hope it's a joyous time for all of you, and the son-in-law comes to see what a loving, extended family looks like.

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    1. Thanks so much Brenda - and congrats on the sale of the ranch. I hope you have a lovely Christmas and that this is the beginning of a new stage of life. Happy Christmas xx

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  14. Oh I'm so happy for you and I hope it turns out better than you expect it to be! Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thanks Janine - I'm trying to keep my expectations to a minimum but despite that, I'm sure it will be lovely with all of them here - Happy Christmas xx

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  15. Have a lovely, lovely time.

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    1. thanks Mimi - and I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

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  16. So thrilled for you! Sounds like a magical Christmas time is on its way. I guess I take for granted having my children at home every Christmas, it is hard to imagine them all grown up and leading separate lives, makes me want to hold tight to every precious moment I have whilst they are still little and believing in Santa. Merry Christmas xx

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    1. Yes Mackenzie - Christmas is definitely more special when little children are involved! Still it's great compensation when the big children return to the nest and play happy families! Merry Christmas to you and your family xx

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  17. Our kids study in Perth and due to work commitments can't come home. So hubby and I go there. Its not the same as having everyone back home.Merry Christmas to you and your family xxx

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    1. Merry Christmas to you and your family too Suzi - having kids that live away from home is hard, but any compromise that works is a win/win in my opinion!

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  18. This is something I know I'll have to come to terms with in the next few years. It's so hard to imagine Christmas holidays without the boys here the whole time. But I do realize that's the natural progression of things. Love the santa photo your husband made!

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    1. it's hard when you have to play second fiddle to another family - you understand but you still want first place! I think (after a few years of adjusting) that I'm finally finding a balance. No real Santa photos though!

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  19. Ohh Leanne, this truly is the best present one could have for Christmas. To be with the ones they love. Enjoy the time with them now and your new bed... because next year it will be a whole new ballgame. You'll need a crib in the house... ohh what a fun time you have to look forward to. Merry Christmas my freind.

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    1. thanks so much Mary - it's just so nice to have them all together - it's been quite a while since they were excited about Christmas too (and not just me!) Having a grandbaby next year will be the icing on the cake. I hope you have a beautiful Christmas - I think it's every Aussie's dream to have a Greek Christmas!

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  20. Wishing you a happy house filled with laughter and joy with all of your family. We traveled to FL in November for Thanksgiving and it's on to TX end of this week for Christmas. The holidays are where you park your heart, and I'm thrilled to let someone else do the cooking! :-)

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    1. I'm a bit envious of someone who doesn't have to cook (or in my case - prepare a million salads and desserts!) so enjoy your Christmas break Kim and your family time - it's just all so nice :)

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  21. How exciting that you'll have all your kids home with you this year for Christmas. You were so good to be patient and wait for them to see things your way. ;) Thank you for sharing your story at the Over the Moon Link Party. Merry Christmas!

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    1. Hi Sandy - it was lovely having them - and it's been a learning curve for me (I think I'm starting to get it right most of the time!)

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  22. I'm glad to have found your blog, via Millers, I think. We seem to be in the 'same lane' in life - so much of what you've written in your blog posts to date really resonates with me. I look forward to reading more of your insights. My 'mid-twenties' children, and my (second) husband's 'early-twenties' children also share their time with their other parents' families - so we are always grateful for whatever time we can have with them. This year it was Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. All the best to you for the New Year, Cheers, Lisa Smallridge (Melbourne).

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    1. Hi Lisa - so glad you found me and yes, we certainly sound like we are on the same journey! Adult kids are wonderful but there is a lot of adjustment along the way. My husband tells me that we aimed to create independence in them, so I can't complain when they are making their own way in life and not hanging off my apron strings :)

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  23. I have been neglecting my computer this month Leanne to spend time with my family - but as they are all sleeping in this morning, I have dropped by to get caught up with your posts. I hope you are having a wonderful holiday with your family. A belated Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to you - and I look forward to continuing to follow your blog and our blogging friendship in 2016. All the best!

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    1. Hi Susan - so glad you've reappeared - I thought you might have been away on holidays because things have been quieter at your end. I hope your Christmas was lovely and I think getting off the computer and spending time with the family was the best thing you could have done. I'll be looking forward to continuing our blogging friendship next year too xx

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  24. Wow what a way to make them feel so welcome! I'm glad you got to have that time especially with a new baby on the way. So exciting! Our Christmas started off bad, but with the babies you couldn't help but enjoy it and we did even through our pain. I have never in my life been a baby person, but when they are your grandchildren wow. I'm so glad you get to experience that Leanne! You will be a remarkable grandma!

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