Will You Actually Get To Be Home For The Holidays?

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As we're cobbling together our family's holiday plans, I'm getting a bit overwhelmed. Itinerary so far: six hour drive to be with my partner's extended family on Thanksgiving, two hour drive to be with my family the next weekend, 10 hour drive to spend Christmas with my extended family, 2 hour drive to celebrate it with my immediate family, and 2 hour drive to celebrate with his. It's going to be so fun but I'm already tired...

That's the thing about the holidays: somebody has to travel. Unless everyone you love lives within a five mile radius, someone's going to have to leave their cozy home and travel great distances, usually under less-than-ideal weather conditions. And no matter how much you extend yourself, you're sure to disappoint somebody, it seems. For example, two of my dear friends will be making a rare appearance in the U.S. at Christmastime and I'd love to go see them, but that would mean missing out on seeing my grandparents and extended family. I can't really complain, as this is the first year in many years that I've had time off at the holidays so all this traveling will actually be possible, but I'm sure many of you have to pick and choose.

How do you decide where to spend your holidays? Have you ever put your foot down and just stayed home? Do you factor all the travel expenses into your holiday budget and only travel as much as you can afford to? Do you take turns hosting so some family members travel for Thanksgiving while others travel for Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year's? If you are going to be doing a ton of travel, do you bother decorating your own home? Growing up, we always decorated the hell out of my parents' old Victorian house... but then we'd leave to spend two weeks with my grandparents!

(Image credits: Two Inspire You via Subtle & Sophisticated: Fall Decorating Ideas for your Front Entry)