Sunday, December 19, 2010

First Christmas Trip Prep


It’s the night before our big journey down to Alabama for a southern Christmas and I’m a nervous wreck. I think my nerves are from ensuring I don’t forget anything, but also that everything I do remember can all fit into our vehicle. With two adults, two dogs, and an eleven week old baby (Kyler) hopped up in one car for a 14+ hour journey … it comes with a lot of stuff. Plus, we need to be mindful that we are bringing Nana back with us for a few weeks. Do you see why I’m a little stressed? *deep breath*

Tomorrow we embark on the first and longest leg of our journey to northern Alabama in what we are anticipating will be about a 10 hour drive. We plan to stop in Knoxville and stay in a hotel just to break up the drive, and then we are scheduled to arrive at Nana’s house mid-Sunday morning. The anticipation for our arrival is very high … and I can probably say the emotions surrounding our trip are at the same level.

This will be dubbed our “First Christmas.” It’s first for a lot of reasons: Our First Christmas together as a couple, our First Christmas together as a family, Brad’s First Christmas without his father, Kyler’s First Christmas ever, and my First Christmas not spent with my family in 39 years. So many emotions surrounding these “firsts” … some emotions that warm the cockles of our hearts, and others that rip at our souls.

Brad and I are very excited to finally spend our first Christmas together after five years of being a couple. Brad’s homestead is in Alabama and mine is in Washington State. It’s just been easier for us to go our separate ways for the holidays and then convene back at our place after the holiday to celebrate together. Even though we haven’t spent Christmas together, we’ve always tried to make our celebration special. Now, with the arrival of our son and the start of our little family, it is time for a change and spend it together as a family unit.

We chose to spend our first Christmas with Brad’s family for two primary reasons. 1) Brad’s family needs all the support and joy they can get this year as they still struggle with the passing of Brad’s dad just 12 days after Kyler was born, and 2) it wasn’t really an option to head to Washington State with my family because several members of my family are still uncomfortable that we are a same-sex-couple family. There’s so much joy and so much to celebrate that I just couldn’t fathom being somewhere where we felt uncomfortable……or others felt uncomfortable around us.

I guess to find the silver lining in it all, it did make our decision easier. I mean, if there wasn’t this issue with my family and they truly wanted us to join them for Christmas, how would we then choose where to spend our first Christmas? All in all, I will miss my family over the holidays…our traditions, our church, and the gift-frenzy on Christmas morning with all my nieces and nephews (I have 16 of them). However, I need to remember that this is now a kick start for creating our own family traditions that we can carry forward. I’m curious to find out what our Christmas celebration will look like ten years from now. Actually, I can’t think about that right now, thinking that far ahead almost makes me vomit. I’ll live in “the now” for the time being and get through this Christmas first……our first Christmas.

We’d love to know how you decided where to spend your first Christmas as a couple or family? Was it an easy decision, or was it something that did (or could have caused) some conflict? When you first brought your spouse or partner home for Christmas, was there any discomfort and how did you handle it? We’d love to hear your feedback.

Stay tuned…there will be more to come about our road trip down to Alabama in our packed car...packed full of love.

[as seen on Goodkin]