There are countless holiday movies providing comic relief to the oh-so-common struggle of holiday chaos. Sometimes, I feel like our family holidays are the perfect script for one of these holiday movies. My family is made up of every step, half, and twice removed you can think of. So holiday chaos is our forté. Chaos is inevitable. But, I’ve honestly never met a family that has escaped holiday chaos. Gathering people together is no small feat. Now, gathering people AND having them all happy at the exact same moment? Nearly impossible.
Bring on the strays
As if my family didn’t have enough chaos in our holidays, we make it a goal to include others. You know the saying, “misery loves company.” That’s our family philosophy. We always have “strays,” as we so lovingly have termed them. We LOVE to include friends that would otherwise be alone for the holidays, and have them join in on our family activities. It is my all time FAVORITE family tradition, and it just adds to the loud and crazy chaos of the season.
It’s simply not a holiday for me without a little chaos. For our family, chances are, someone has already been arguing, and kissed to make up before the turkey is out of the oven. There’s bound to be some burned rolls, and I’ll probably cry over some spilled milk. The kids will be loud. Wild with too much attention and way too much sugar. Football games will be blaring in the background trying to keep up with the noise. The house will be a mess. And I will love it!
I love the beautiful chaos of the holidays, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Our ultimate form of holiday chaos occurred the day my oldest was born. Thanksgiving Day, six years ago. Nothing stirs up a little family chaos like a first time mama going into labor. Our chaos started around 2:30am, Thanksgiving morning when contractions made me literally JUMP out of bed. We held our little butterball turkey around 9:30am, but family lunch back at home was when the real fun happened to the rest of the family.
“Remember that time the oven caught on fire…?” is my favorite beginning of a story ever!
For my family, the fun didn’t stop at the hospital. Flames coming out of the oven are sure to make for a memorable Thanksgiving. The whipped cream on the pumpkin pie, that year, was the sight of our family walking the entire meal down to a neighbor’s house to finish the remaining cooking. Our village at its finest. Priceless!
I ate that year’s Thanksgiving meal out of Tupperware, sitting in a hospital gown, and surrounded by family. I became a mom that Thanksgiving. It was full of chaos, but still, nothing could top that holiday for me.
This is the meaning of the holidays, isn’t it? Bringing people together, things not going as planned, and rallying as a family because we’re determined to get together. Despite the holiday chaos! It’s not about the bright and shiny gifts under a tree, or perfectly set tables with gourmet food served on fine china. That is not my reality. Holidays, to me, are about family, friends, and neighbors swooping in to save the day WHEN not IF the chaos occurs. Or maybe it’s about just being together to laugh about the freshly baked cake upside on the kitchen floor (another true story). Often, the things that go awfully wrong, are some of the very best memories.
Chaos is part of the fun of the holidays. Embrace it! Turn the music up. Pour some more wine. And if you’re joining our crazy crew for the holidays, don’t be surprised if there’s a little Xanax cocktail waiting for you alongside the gravy.