Though most of the world has some sort of celebration at the end the year, here in the US we like to have a clear start and finish. Our holiday schedule officially kicks of with Thanksgiving and culminates, after a brutal test of good cheer, at least one journey of biblical proportions (lost tribes, anyone?) and rampant consumerism, with Christmas. Each year that goes by the dropped guantlet seems larger, the span between holidays feels shorter and the urge to migrate more intense.
This year, I capitulate right now. I actually capitulated a couple of days ago, but only now have I recovered sufficiently to state my capitulation for the record.
1) Seven and a half hour drive from Seattle to Portland
a) With two sick kids
b) And a dog (not sick, but not enjoying 7+ hours in the car, either)
2) One sick family descending upon heretofore healthy relatives
a) Throw in one pregnant relative ('You didn't tell me you were sick!")
3) One set of relatives who got diagnosed with exanthem (highly contagious kids disease) the day before Thanksgiving.
a) Bright spot-- at least they knew before they infected everyone else
4) Another set of relatives we couldn't visit because we were so sick and major surgery is close at hand.
a) Bright spot -- I am so glad they won't get sick because of us and miss surgery.
5) One night with all of us in a room, exchanging various methods of rousing the others from peaceful slumber.
a) Bright spot -- dog seemed to have no trouble sleeping through it all
Thankfully we had the foresight, in hindsight, to call the whole thing off and head back home. Convalescing the last few days has been done in the comfort of our own bedrooms, and the dog even got a walk.
However, I do notice we put up a Christmas tree today.
Perhaps we're not quite ready to capitulate this year.