Alright, here we are… Christmas Eve. This means a couple of things. For some, it means Santa Claus and presents. For others, it’s the observance of the often-debated and inaccurately calculated birth of Jesus Christ. No matter what you’re celebrating tomorrow, Christmas Eve carries it’s own weight, in terms of holidays. December 24th will often represent the day that family get together in anticipation of Christmas, meaning a lot of traveling and making one’s way to whatever family destination one’s household may be undertaking.
During my childhood, the family dynamic was a bit different for me. My mother’s side of the family were the one’s who lived in our general area and my mother would always host. This meant that all her siblings and their respective families would pile into whatever apartment we lived in at the time. My mother would make a varied assortment of desserts and finger foods and people could eat at their leisure and enjoy some time together as a family. For the most part, my brother, some cousins and myself would be the highlight of the evening as we would be watched and cheered by the adults as we opened our respective gifts.
I guess my point is that we never had to travel over the holidays when I was a kid. I always took for granted that family would come to me, and so they did. I never truly took the time to appreciate the time and effort shown by my family in coming to us. That is, until I made a family of my own and started travelling over the holidays. Then and only then did my eyes open and I came to recognize the time, effort and stress of packing, loading and moving an entire family in order to meet up with other family. One could argue that such efforts are worth it, in order to spend time with said family. Not only would I be inclined to agree but in 2018, I travelled with my family across Canada in our family SUV in order to meet my parents for Christmas. It would prove to be the first time I had spent Christmas in New Brunswick in ten years.
This year, we won’t be doing anything nearly so dramatic. We’ll be travelling by car for about three hours to join up with my wife’s family. In a couple of hours, we’ll be doing the packing, loading and driving that I mentioned earlier. It’s always a bit of a tedious thing, travelling with two young boys. Although Alex is still in his pull-up diapers, it still means an increased number of stops for the washroom, for coffees and for stretches. Depending on the weather and condition of the roads, it can stretch that three hours into four, quite easily. If you’re travelling during this time of year, be sure to drive safely and make sure that you come prepared. Keep blankets and first aid kits in your vehicle. Ensure you have family who know when you’re leaving and when you expect to arrive. Being safe over the holidays as at LEAST as important as seeing family. ☯️