Live and Learn

trainlayout11If you celebrate Christmas, I hope your holiday was everything you wished it to be. This time of year is so tough for many people. My heart goes out to those families missing loved ones.

For those that follow my blog regularly, you know that Thanksgiving was awkward at best and I had considered skipping this year’s Christmas Eve extended family celebration. My father must have caught wind of it because he asked me to host it at my home this year. I hemmed and hawed for a good two weeks, before I finally gave in. Dad rarely asks for anything and in the end I couldn’t refuse.

My favorite comedian, Jeanne Robertson, tells her fans to look for humor, especially at family events. Well, Jeanne, dear, I looked at the time and have reflected since and I got nothing. The best I can come away with, is knowing I spent the evening with people I hold dear…and I will not do it again next year.

On Christmas day, when I heard my kids expressing a similar sentiment, I dragged out my laptop and got busy. Family politics are a bit like walking through a mine field. It takes finesse, which I sometimes lack, to make it through unscathed. But, I think, I found a way that will keep anyyone from getting their feelings hurt and put a little Christmas cheer back into the holiday for us.

I booked a trip to Hawaii for the week of Christmas. It’s perfect. We spent the day planning our adventure. Surprisingly, we had less trouble picking the islands than the accommodations. You wouldn’t believe the discussion that transpired over something so simple, but the laughs were loud and long as we finally came to an agreement.

We made a list of ‘must sees’ and have assigned jobs. That must sound silly, but when you live in a house of OCD, over-achievers, nothing can be accomplished without an agenda and spreadsheets. No, sadly, I’m not kidding. Both kids whipped out their laptops and got to work. My daughter designed the ‘jobs’ sheet and my son began on the itinerary. As you can imagine, they are color coded and will automatically generate emails when updated or when a deadline nears. Yes, I too, sit back and shake my head at the over-complicated-ness of it all, but they had fun and that’s all that matters.

All in all, Christmas 2013 was a wonderful time. The four of us laughed hard, hugged hard, and we are looking forward to next year.

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