I’ve described how our family staggers through enjoys four Christmases each year – if you missed reading about that you can check it out here – and today’s the end goal for 2015.

We’ve finally reached Christmas #4.

(Do you hear the angels singing?)


After having my family gathering last weekend, enjoying Christmas morning at home, and celebrating Cabin Christmas with BrightSide’s family, we’re heading into the home stretch.  Today we’ll go to BrightSide’s aunt’s house for a Christmas lunch with his extended family.

T-man and Bear are so excited about seeing their cousins from the beach.  The four of them are lined up perfectly in age (12, 11, 10, and 9), and since Bear doesn’t mind hanging with the guys it doesn’t bother her that she’s the only girl.  At Thanksgiving they spent the first hour playing with Nerf guns, and after lunch there was a spirited game of touch football.  The weather is so bizarrely warm here that I’m pretty sure we’re in for a repeat today.

They’re also excited to give the cousins their Christmas presents.  After drawing names at Thanksgiving T-man and Bear thought long and hard about what to give them, and they’ve chosen items they’re positive will be a hit.  Fingers crossed, I’m pretty sure they’re right.

This is a weird time of year for me.  I’d always considered myself an extrovert – at least, being around lots of people never seemed like a problem.  It’s only within the last few years that I’ve noticed I have a number of introvert qualities, ones that make this many gatherings in a two week period (even with family) a bit overwhelming.

Much like T-man, sometimes I’ll be at someone’s house and find that I’ve hit the wall…I’m working with him on knowing when he needs to step back and take a break, advice that I really ought to take myself. Unfortunately I have just a little too much navy upbringing still banging around inside my stubborn head. The kind of baggage that makes me feel like it’s my job to be social and make nice and not look, well, exhausted.  Which is ridiculous when I think about it, because everyone’s tired by this time of year.

So today I’m going to take care of myself.  I know the kids will be fine, playing up a storm until we drag them home, and BrightSide will love visiting with his family.  It’s going to be a wonderful day, filled with family and celebration, but if I need to check out for a while…well, I’m sure there’s a back bedroom I can hide out in.