This seems like one of those articles that should write itself. Everyone has to deal with Holiday Stress in some way. Either you are hosting, and have performance stress in terms of what to serve, cleaning your house, and making sure everyone has a good time; or you are going visiting, and have logistical stress in the form of organizing your family and what you need to take along to make sure the visit is enjoyable.
I have hosted Thanksgiving dinner before. It is very stressful making the holiday main course. Regardless of if the pressure to cook the perfect turkey was real or imagined, I felt it. I cooked for 16 people in my home I shared with my boyfriend (now husband). Everyone was bumping into one another in the small galley-style kitchen. Those without jobs to do in preparation of the meal walked around the house wondering what the rest of us were buzzing about. There’s always stories, funny and some not-so-funny following a family celebration.
But that is not this year. This year we are visiting. We are embarking on a road trip from our home near Kansas City to visit family in the Chicagoland area. Since we recently lost one of our dogs to cancer, we don’t have the heart to board our other dog, a 10lb. Jack Russell terrier, so we’re bringing her along. We will need to make many stops along the road, so it will be a long trip there and back, not even considering the whirlwind we'll experience while we are there.
We usually stay with my parents who still live in the home where I grew up, but after the last several visits coming home with allergies flaring from Dad’s smoking, and neck tense from sleeping on a cramped bed and having to play nice with Dad’s good-humored jabs, we decided to stay in a hotel. I’m hoping it is the best decision we’ve made in a long time. The place we’re staying boasts comfortable queen beds, special bedding for children, and even a doggie bed and toys for our pooch. I’m looking forward to soaking in the pool with the kids when we’re not visiting family and friends.