Sunday, November 16, 2008

To plan or NOT to plan

It's that time of year again. You know what I'm talking about...fielding the questions from family. I've been practicing my answer.

"No, really, I don't know what kind of schedule Dh will have for the holidays this year."

Every year it seems like the super-store type retailers start decorating for Christmas earlier and earlier. At this rate, by the time my youngest is in Elementary school, I should be able to stock up on Christmas decorations during the first week of August when the back-to-school supply lists come out.

This weekend, as I finished tucking away the last of the Halloween crafts, my extended family telephoned to go over a few upcoming big family events. Thanksgiving dinner will be at my house this year. The kids have a big Christmas program coming up in the first week of December. Then there is the program for church the following week. And Christmas Eve plans, Christmas morning plans and Christmas dinner plans. During the week of New Years, my husband's side of the family is having a huge multi-generation family reunion. Whew, we are going to be very busy this year. While making all of these plans, I'm constantly being asked if the hubby will be joining us.

It's easier for me and the kids to plan on him not being there. Not in a way that says, "no, absolutely not, he won't be here", but in a way that says, "we won't know until much closer to the time". Because we don't really know his holiday schedule more than just a few weeks before the actual holidays and this year we are dealing with lots of family, hubby and I have already set some plans in stone and if he's here, then that makes those plans so much more special. If he's not here, then the plans will continue on, and we will do something equally special on the days that he can be with us.

I have a friend that just emailed me pictures from her Thanksgiving celebration a few weeks ago. She and her family celebrated Thanksgiving a few days after Halloween, since her husband was heading off to a school for a few months. I am so thrilled for them that they were able to carve out some time in the pre-deployement/school schedule to spend some quality time continuing on their family traditions. I also giggled with her, as we have had many holidays on non-holidays in our house. Now that my kids know which days are the holidays, we are trying to find our balance in keeping our traditions alive, but also keeping the hubby a big part of the celebrations, too.

Will you be celebrating a traditional Thanksgiving day on the 4th Thursday of November, as usual, this year? Or are you altering your plans to accommodate duty/school/deployments?

In our house, we are doing a little bit of both. With the big dinner still being on Thanksgiving Day. However, if the hubby can't make it home, we'll be sure to do something extra special with him when we do get to see him next.


April in CT said...

I'm quite thankful at this point we can make some plans. In years past we just dealt with whatever was thrown our way. I always told myself at some point there won't be any question as to IF he'll be there and these times without him will make it all the sweeter. Thankfully I've never had family give me any grief over keeping plans up in the air and they've been nothing but accommodating to our situation.

I think in true military style you have to plan NOT to plan! LOL

(A Little) Gris Gris said...

Well said. I do hate to get the guilt trip from family; as if this is so easy for us to deal with, or we planned specifically to inconvenience them.

Good luck to all of you who are still sorting through your holiday planning. I know we are and it gets messier every time we revisit it. Good times, good times.