The who, what and where of a cheap Christmas
Where and who we spend our Christmas celebrations with is a major factor in the seasons greetings budget. The difference between catering for five or fifty or having to invest money in flights and accommodation is a big decider of the financial and emotional cost of the silly season isn't it?
As a child, I picked up on the subtlety of the politics of family Christmas gatherings. Whose side, whose turn, who brought what and who-got-what. I picked up the tension and stress of Christmas that inevitably ended with my family in a stinking hot car and serious 'discussions' between my parents.
It is stressful keeping everyone happy isn't it? I have friends who are close to nervous breakdown - they have young kids and have their family nearby but have to wrestle the politics of who has Christmas lunch together and who is the perceived 'runner up' for Christmas dinner.
Sometimes it's not even as easy as that - what happens when your family is spread from one end of the country (or world)? Travelling can be stressful if you have small kids and if you add the presentload, priceload and motherload of things to organise then it's enough to want to drown in egg nog, with double the nog.
So what do you do? Decide where you are having Christmas and be done with it. There may be disappointment and tears, but as long as it's fair and you see as many people as you can, it's best to make the decision early so everyone has time to get used to it.
Each family is unique and only you know how to approach it, sometimes it works like a charm, sometimes you crash and burn. Just ensure you create your own family Christmas traditions , the part of Christmas reserved for your own family where you can create your own memories.