I come from a big family… A big, loud family. I am the youngest of four, with ten years between my oldest sister and me. Each of my siblings have multiple kids, and some of those kids now have kids. So family get-togethers are big… And loud. Even us adults are loud, at least the women; we talk loud; we laugh loud. So when we are all together, that’s a whole lot of loudness.

My husband’s family is much smaller (he’s one of two) and much more quiet. So it’s a different experience spending holidays with his family then mine.

For a baby, the excitement of 15+ people in one house at Christmas can be both exciting and overwhelming. We found that out last night.Parenthood and Passports - Christmas

The day after Christmas, Avery and I flew into my hometown of Odessa, Texas. (A small, albeit growing, dot on the map in the middle of West Texas.)
The plan was to do a belated Christmas with her cousins. I’ve learned with children nothing ever goes as planned. It was a long day of traveling for her. We had to wake up at 5 a.m., and she didn’t nap very well on the plane (maybe 30 minutes tops). So by the time the family (and a very special guest from the North Pole) came over to have dinner and open presents, Avery was tired and was not feeling very festive.

Although, she was dressed for a party, in a precious matching Christmas outfit as her cousin, (complete with a Texas sized bow – thanks, Mom!) she was not in the mood to party.

That became extremely apparent when Santa Claus came to bring presents to all the kids. The picture speaks for itself.Parenthood and Passports - Christmas

After her meltdown with Santa, it wasn’t long before Avery and I excused ourselves from the festivities to go “night-night.”
The next morning, Avery was in a much better mood and was able to open her presents and enjoy them.

The next time we celebrate Christmas with my big, loud, exciting family, we will schedule the festivities for the day after we arrive. Traveling is hard on babies. And they need time to decompress and unwind. If you try to do too much in one day, you’ll end up with a grinch – just like we did. Lesson learned.

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