How many times do you celebrate Christmas each Christmas? We have recently made the effort to streamline our holiday events in order to make some sanity out of the chaos. Lisa and I are both from small families, but we were still hitting the following places for Christmas: My paternal grandma's, my maternal grandma's, my immediate family, Lisa's paternal grandma's, Lisa's maternal grandma's, and Lisa's immediate family. Add our own Christmas morning, and that's seven Christmas celebrations! Without a divorce in the family to speak of!

We already worked on some combination celebrations: Thanksgiving/Christmas on my side. We also made sure to avoid the separate day for immediate family celebrations the past couple of years. Now we try to celebrate at or before one of the other gatherings. However, because not everyone is following our lead or are hard-headed on what days MUST have a celebration, some of the events are attended by fewer people. We certainly can only figure out what works best for us, and that's really to plan fewer days to plan around, not to skip events or make certain official days the only option. Experiment a little to see what works best for you.

Think you're alone in having to make tough choices? Try this book: I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids: Reinventing Modern Motherhood

Maybe you get bored at family gatherings because you don't know what to talk about. These TableTopics Family Gathering cards seem interesting. I usually just drink a few beers and take some pictures to pass the time.

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