We’ve been busy preparing for the winter holidays around here, but one thing is different from usual – we’re not packing for a trip home to the Midwest.
Normally, we make two annuals trips home to see family – in July for our family reunions and in December for Christmas. And, from our point of view, neither is negotiable. We’ve now lived away from family – either abroad or halfway across the country – for 8.5 years and no matter how much we’re “used to it,” we still don’t like it, so those two annuals trips are must-dos.
Unfortunately, no matter how much we want to go home for Christmas this year, it seems it’s just not in the cards.
We watched air fare for several months, starting back in July or August, and never found a decent deal. With Poppy being officially 2 for the first time, she no longer flies as a “lab baby” and requires her own seat and accompanying ticket, thus increasing our travel costs significantly. That, paired with my upcoming return to stay-at-home-mom status (i.e. no income) and my husband’s lousy paid time off from work, the trip just didn’t make sense. We would’ve had to rush home for the holiday, rush back, spend a lot of money doing it, and sacrifice any sort of brief paternity leave we manage to scrape together with my husband’s remaining vacation days.
The pregnancy itself is not such a big concern – my health is fine and pregnancy normal, so I’m all officially clear to fly. But, honestly, at 32-weeks pregnant, I’m feeling large and hormonal and tired and overwhelmed just getting through the day-to-day here in Brooklyn, that staying here for Christmas is sort of a blessing in disguise.
Come Christmas Eve and Day, I’m sure we’re going to be bummed, though, no matter how laid back and stress-free it will be for a change. The holiday is a big deal to our families and are always a couple of fun-filled days packed with tradition and valuable time spent with our parents, grandparents, siblings, nieces and nephews, and cousins. We’re doing our best to make the most of it, though, and planning several video chats to try to bring as much of home to Brooklyn as we can.
We’re also working on a planning an all-day Christmas Eve Extravaganza of Fun! with some dear friends here in Brooklyn and are declaring it an Orphan Christmas at our house on Christmas Day, welcoming any local friends who are also without extended family on this special day.
I’m sure the holiday will be fun and staying back in New York will allow us the opportunity to start some new traditions with our own immediate little clan, which is exciting. But I can’t help but be bummed that we’re going to miss out on the usual craziness back home.
If pregnant, are you traveling for the winter holidays this month? Are you making any changes to your holiday traditions in order to accommodate your growing bump and looming family changes?