I was as an only child to my parents. When I was eight, my parents got divorced and honestly, I was okay with that. As I've grown up, my parents have remarried and begun new lives with new significant others, and my family tree has grown a ton. I now have stepmothers, stepfathers, stepbrothers and stepsisters, lots of stepcousins – even stepgrandparents. You name a step, I've got it.
And then I got married, so let's just quadruple my family tree. . . WOW!
When the holidays roll around, I have to lock down a schedule of when we’re getting together, where and with whom, and what all our people are getting or not getting, depending of course on which branch of the family tree we’re talking about. It's crazy hectic and uncomfortably packed with family holiday events alone. But there are all also the presents I have to get for other people we exchange gifts with. I’ve got to get all those gifts ready on time too, wrapped and prepared for the designated holiday party they goes with. There’s a lot to do during my holiday season!
The party invitations to all sorts of Thanksgiving and Christmas events start rolling in around mid-November. My husband, two boys and I are literally invited to nine different family events beginning the week of Thanksgiving, and ending the third week of December.
All you children from divorced families understand where I'm coming from. I don't mind it so much anymore, but my husband, who comes from a parental unit who has stood the test of time, has had a challenge getting used to the enormous amounts of get-togethers we are obligated to attend during Thanksgiving and Christmas season. And because my family at large is so large, he’s committed to spending quality time with a whole lot of folks we only see once a year and make meaningful chitchat about life. Whatever it involves, holiday time is mandatory family time every year – no excuses allowed.
It's hectic, no doubt about it. It's a task just keeping up with all the magnetic party invitations I've got stuck on the front of the fridge. But I get lots of beautiful holiday photo cards in the mail, and I get to have Christmas dinner a week before Christmas with my Dad, which involves 30 people (literally), and Christmas Eve dinner with my Mom, which involves only a few family members. Then on Christmas Day we get together with my husband's parents and throw wrapping paper at each other while opening presents, and I enjoy the new family members I have been linked to. I'm definitely not an only child anymore.