The Holidays - The Good, the Bad, and the Lovely

The holidays can be a very magical time of the year for many of us, but let's face it - the holidays can also be a big pain. Whether it is deciding who to spend the holidays with, what gifts to buy, or what to cook, there are many decisions to be made that can be as hurtful as they are helpful. Take, for instance, the holiday party. My little family was invited to two Christmas parties (and both for the same night!) Unfortunately for us, both of the hosts have indoor cats and my daughter and I are extremely allergic to those darn critters. We can't attend either one, and it really stinks to be left out of the celebrations. Should we just throw our own party, or will everyone be partied out? One can only play White Elephant so many times before it starts to get old...

Ok, so now that the holiday parties are out of our holiday celebrations, let's consider the family gatherings. Since we've been married, Handsome Husband and I have struggled to find balance with our family gatherings. It seems that someone always gets left out and now we just aren't going up to visit with our families at all. Squeezing 50 people into a tiny kitchen just isn't that appealing to us, and the families refuse to divide the family gatherings now that the kids are grown, married, and with children of their own. (That, and my in-laws have an indoor cat now, too!) No family gatherings for us this year.

So what's left for the holidays but shopping and baking delicious cookies? Luckily for me, shopping and baking are two of my favorite things this year, even if the only people enjoying the benefits of my shopping and baking are my husband and child. I am especially looking forward to making some of Martha Stewart's meringue mushrooms! Yum!

How do you deal with this time of year? What works best for your family when it comes to parties and family gatherings?

OH! I mentioned the bad and the good parts of the holidays - would you like to see the lovely part? I thought you might :) This is the picture of my family that is being sent out on card. Happy Festivus, everyone!