Mom Lesson: Kids Complicate the Holidays

smiling family in santa helper hats taking picture

For as long as I can remember, I have celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my family; it’s just the way the world worked, as far as I was concerned. When I got married, we had to squeeze in the in-laws, but that’s wasn’t a huge change.

All of a sudden, though, you pop out a kid, and apparently, no one is satisfied with the time you spend with them. I’m not sure whether to be flattered that our little one is so popular, or to be insulted that they didn’t care about extra time before we had kids. Parents are people, too, you know!

The tug-of-war struggle is one of the many ways kids complicate the holidays, but that doesn’t compare to the death stares and purposeful silence that comes when you mention that next year, maybe you could start a holiday tradition at your house, and everyone could come visit? Go on. Try it. I dare you.

The holidays also call for gathering at the table for many family dinners, which leads to food mishaps, spills, and dribbles onto holidays outfits. This calls for back-up outfits, and back-up back-up outfits, and eventually, you have everyone dressed in their Christmas best, and your baby is crawling around in her diaper with just a hint of chocolate in the corner of her mouth.

Extra care has to be taken to ensure that ornaments aren’t taken off the tree, that garland isn’t put into her mouth, and that gifts aren’t accidentally ripped into by exploring hands.

Yep, kids complicate the holidays.

But, as first-time parents, having a baby is making the holidays more special and magical than they have been in a long time. Seeing her look at the lit Christmas tree with big eyes, and having to stop myself from giving her the gifts I’ve been stashing away since September is making the anticipation of the big morning all the more fun. Besides the complications, I’m looking forward to creating holiday traditions as a family (despite the objections of the extended relatives), like driving around looking at Christmas lights with hot chocolate and family holiday movie nights.


I can’t wait to share my love of A Christmas Carol with her, and I’m dying for the first time my dad will call her on the phone, pretending to be Santa Claus, just as my great-uncle did when I was little.

Yes, kids complicate the holidays; but she’s also making them worth it.