My last big, loud family holiday

. December 7, 2012.


I'm a new mom. This is indeed my first rodeo. With this rodeo comes a whole new set of obstacles and decisions. Decisions about day care, work, finances, grocery shopping, and finding time to get a hair cut or even a shower.

Then of course, there's the decisions regarding holidays. Do we stick to the 5 hour marathon of visiting every family function on the same day? Well let’s just say I tried. I really tried. I was really excited for Thanksgiving. Well okay, maybe not excited but mildly optimistic. I even bought Baby a new outfit.

We had 3 thanksgivings to attend in one day. This is quite the norm for my every holiday. I was just relieved it wasn't all four. My mother's family, my father's family, Ryan's mother's, and then his father's. Three thanksgivings? No problem! We've done it before. Just not with Baby. Baby is temperamental and in her defense, only three months old. She doesn't want to leave the house and I don't blame her. It's a scary place out there. So we tried.

We arrived at my aunt's house with the best of intentions with Baby wearing her brand new tutu dress and a matching headband. I must tell you, she's always fabulously dressed. I should mention my family is loud. Imagine you’re in a room with 35 people and they are all talking over each other for hours on end. It’s usually quite amusing and I typically sit quietly as I would prefer to sit like a fly on the wall and observe the chaos. However, this year is different and Baby takes center stage. As soon as I arrived, Baby was plucked out of my arms and from one relative to another.

I looked on holding my breath, while she smiled calmly, waiting for the other shoe to drop. It didn't take long.

Three minutes in, she pushes her bottom lip out, squints her eyes, throws her head back, her hands up, and starts wailing. I mean really giving it her all. She's not much of a crier as she is a screamer. And scream she did. However, rather than give her back to her mama, my well intended relatives were sure they would get her to calm down. So I watch as she is passed back and forth, each person patiently trying to ease this maddening and seemingly angry baby. Was she hungry? No? In need a diaper change? Was she tired? Not really. She is just become very accustomed to a dauntingly quiet home and equally quiet parents. Of course we are always talking to Baby but it's usually just the two of us. Baby was unprepared for how much and how loud my very large family likes to talk.

So I watch as my mother takes Baby outside and I sit quietly and try to eat my turkey all the while knowing Baby is most likely having a mini panic attack. Once she starts screaming, she usually won't stop. I feel a knot in my chest and know I must find my baby! My new motherly instincts are turning me into my Baby's biggest and most neurotic protector. I must protect her from these loud talkers and their baby shuffling ways! I run outside to find her in my mother's arms, sobbing uncontrollably. I rudely tell my mother to give her to me for god's sake! Enough!

As I walk upstairs to my aunt’s quiet bedroom to feed and calm Baby's nerves, I say to myself, never again! Or at least not for awhile. Multiple holiday marathon extravaganzas are a thing of the past. What sense does it make to take a temperamental infant to one house to another to another if I'm going to spend the majority of it alone with her in a bedroom? And this is only stop one! I decided right there in that bedroom while feeding Baby and gazing at my aunt's large shoe collection hanging on the back of her door, that we are staying home for Christmas. Not only that, but maybe I will even buy sushi and drink sake! It's my holiday too and I want to enjoy it!  

When you attempt a day jammed pack with seeing every single person you're related to and/or twice removed, you create a holiday you will never look forward to. It's exhausting to say the least! So I told everyone (really meaning only grandparents) that if they'd like to see me or Baby (really the only person everyone wants to see anyways) that they can come to my house. This may be my first rodeo but it definitely is my last holiday marathon.



 Gina is currently the Event Coordinator at Heather Downs Country Club. Along with her brand new baby, she also has 2 dog children and 3 cat children. Luckily, she also has a wonderful man in her life that seems to enjoy all the chaos in their happy home.

Get in touch with Gina via e-mail