Why We’ll Be [Staying] Home for Christmas

So the Christmas classic goes, “There’s no place like home for the holidays.”

But, what if home is in multiple places?

Home is easy to define when we’re young. It’s family–no matter how they are related or affiliated to you–it’s where your heart lives.

But, as we age, our heart expands and the definition of home is no longer so simple.

It’s that growing definition that has led me to this conclusion: we’ll be staying in our home for Christmas.

Spending the holidays at home graphic


First comes marriage, and the official predicament of how to split and share time with multiple families during the holidays.

During our first year of wedded bliss, it was tough navigating how we would spend our time during the holidays, and trying to explain to both of our moms that things would be changing.

Except, they didn’t.

We simply flip-flopped each year which family we would travel to see on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We juggled paid vacation days and car rides, and at the end of it we returned to work and school exhausted. Next year, we said, would be different.

It wasn’t.


Then comes baby, and the continuing predicament of how to split holiday time with multiple families who now all want to love on a tiny baby.

We’ve made the trek in the snow to spend Christmas in our parents’ homes two years in a row. As we all know, this requires packing all the baby items: diapers, wipes, pacifiers, [holiday] clothing, [holiday] PJs, white noise machine, pack-and-play, toys, bottles, bibs, baby food, baby spoon, baby monitor, books … what did I miss?

After a marathon of packing, traveling, and re-packing with a baby, I vowed yet again: no more. 

Our Family

And this is finally the year no more will be put into action. If I sound harsh or ungrateful at this point, that is really not my intention. I fully realize how fortunate we are to have this perceived problem, and we do love spending time with our families.

But year after year, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “When do we start creating our own holiday traditions in our own home?”

I may have not known the answer then, but I know now I want these three things for our daughter:

  1. To have memories of waking up in her own home on Christmas morning
  2. To have some expectancy of what our immediate family does each Christmas
  3. To someday invite friends and significant others to be part of our holiday festivities

And someday (far away) I want her to create her own holiday traditions with her own family in her own home. 

Let me be clear: our door is always open for any and all family and friends who want to spend the holidays with us – but we won’t be budging from our own home on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

At least not this year. Christmas in Hawaii isn’t totally out of the question.


Katie is a spouse, mother, and professional communicator. She became acquainted with Iowa City as a student at the University of Iowa, earning degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and most recently her MA in Strategic Communication. Katie and her husband met and fell in love in Iowa City, deciding to never leave. Their family can often be found eating their way through downtown, walking their dog in City Park, or cheering on their beloved Hawkeyes at live sporting events.


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