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Every year, Lauren's siblings snap a photo together. From left, clockwise: Lauren, Josh, Heather, John, Hannah, Evan.
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Lauren blog profile
I have always had a ridiculous number of Christmases.
Being the product of a divorced family, I grew up having, at minimum, two Christmases: one with my mom and one with my dad. Though most of my extended family lives outside of Missouri, occasionally, my two Christmases would expand to two more Christmases with my paternal grandparents (who are also divorced) or my maternal grandma might come into visit us.
Then, when I met my fiancé Jim, the number of holiday get-togethers grew once more. His parents aren’t divorced, but he has a large extended family, half of which does live in Missouri. Christmas with his parents turned into Christmas with his mom’s sisters and his dad’s mom and sister. This was, of course, in addition to my regular two Christmases. Not to mention Jim and I tried every year to set aside some time to spend together for Christmas as well.
When I got to college, spending time with my friends at Christmas also became a priority. Soon, we were taking weekend trips to Kansas City to ice skate at Crown Center or to St. Louis for holiday shopping.
Last year, I think I reached a maximum. I had seven Christmases. Let’s count ‘em: Christmas with Jim, a weekend trip with my two closest friends, Christmas with my dad, Christmas with my mom, Christmas with Jim’s parents, Christmas with Jim’s mother’s extended family, and finally Christmas with Jim’s paternal grandma and aunt.
Time to relax and enjoy my family is important to me. But, I always feel as if I am running around trying to see everyone and do everything. Every year, I tell myself next year will be different. But, I’m pretty sure this Christmas will be just as busy. I just can’t bring myself to say "no" to anyone in my family, and I hate to be left out of my family’s annual impromptu Christmas portrait.
Maybe this year will be different—I’m sneaking away for a couple of days to explore Silver Dollar City at Christmastime this year, and couldn’t be more excited.