Pressure Busting Tip #5
Once, when our family was young and Jared was the Only Kid, we were on vacation and had been driving for quite some time. We were sneaking in a little sightseeing and got a little lost, I think. From the depths of the backseat came a tiny but indignant two-year old voice. "Hey!" it piped up, "am I gonna live in this carseat?"
Kids don't want to spend every holiday in carseats either. Think about it. Could it be said that your children could honestly and rightfully associate every Major Holiday with getting in the car? Something is simply not right about that. If your family's holiday traditions involve leaving your home, it's time to put your foot down. It's a tough one, but Pressure Busting Tip #5 will be the gift to yourself that keeps on giving and giving and giving: Gently but firmly announce to Everyone that it is time for your family to stay at home for The Holidays and begin making its Own Traditions. Naturally, there will be the usual wailing and gnashing of teeth via telephone, email, and social media. All you have to do is remain calm, cheerful, adult, and resolute. Perhaps tossing "surprised" in there might be helpful as well, in some cases. Remain lashed to the mast of confidence whilst being bombarded by the storms of guilt and accusation. You are not killing anyone. You are not being selfish or mean. Everyone is welcome to come to your home in order to see your family and spread Holiday Cheer on the evenings of said Holidays, after your family has celebrated. Visitors can come in their jammies! They can bring comfy slippers! You can serve pie and/or cookies! IT WILL BE FINE.
Trust me on this. I'm a recovering Catholic, raised on years of deep, sticky black guilt. I did this. I do this. And it's been 22 years since I first shocked the world by daring to do it. And still, there is Love.