Top 10 Holiday Lessons I Learned This Week

Top 10 Holiday Lessons I Learned This Week

10.  If you plan a early season ski vacation, it will be the year the only snow existing on the mountain is the stuff they have to make. For four years they’ve had above average snowfall before December. Naturally the one year I convince my family to go somewhere with skiing capabilities, it is the year with below average snowfall. Luckily ski resorts know how to make snow…

Only about 18% of the mountain trails are open. Luckily, most of the closed ones are black diamonds I'd never go on.

9.  Grocery shopping for ten people, even if one of them is a picky two year old, takes a long time. You will always forget one vital item and have to go out again.

8.  Cooking for nine people, plus one picky two year old, takes an even longer time. Multiplied by seven days.

7.  Did I mention how long it takes to wash dishes for ten people? Multiplied by seven days? We took turns, but all I want now is a dishwasher capable of clearing the table and loading itself.

6.  It does not matter if you fly to Iowa or Colorado: The Cough will appear late one night, especially if your children are forced to share a room and run the risk of waking the other. It will likely take the form of a scary, “Crap, I can’t breathe!” croupy cough and you will spend the next three hours trying to keep the child from waking the entire house.

5.  If you use an outdoor hot tub, leave the towel inside the house. It is better to run dripping wet outside and grab a warm towel left inside, then grab a towel chilled to five degrees before wrapping it around you.

4.  Plans are organic and change from moment to moment. Become too set in an idea and watch your inner toddler come out in the presence of your family. Or, watch your son refuse to ski because his teacher called in sick.

3. Whatever gift one child gets, the other child wants. If they are given identical gifts, this is still somehow true.

2.  Getting the perfect family photo with four and half year old and a two year old is impossible. The two year old won’t look at the camera, the four and half year old makes faces, and the one time all aligns, someone else blinks.

Mental note to improve my photoshop skills.

Family photos are impossible to get.

This is as close to perfect as it comes for family photos. You should see the outtakes..

1.  No matter how big the house is, if you’re staying with your family, you will still find yourself needing more space. This is especially true when #6 comes into play and no place exists for the sick, screaming child that will not wake up at least one other person. Family is also capable of pushing every button you have.

This can be fixed by enjoying a day on the mountain skiing, leaving them with your two year old, and coming home to a hot dinner they cooked for you while they take a turn on the dishes.

And suddenly, everything is perfect.

A perfect moment of snuggles.

A perfect moment.

What have you learned so far this holiday season?

About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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14 Responses to Top 10 Holiday Lessons I Learned This Week

  1. Justyna says:

    ‘all I want now is a dishwasher capable of clearing the table and loading itself.’ That would be great!

  2. Love #3. And those pictures: wow!

  3. John says:

    I’m not allowed to ski . . . I will hurt myself, massively.

    And if that’s a failed family portrait, I don’t know if I can stand seeing a “good one,” because that looks pretty damn-near perfect.

    Sorry about the cough…I really wish there was a travel option of “guaranteed to not get a cold.” Because that would be worth a whole lot more than a first-class ticket.

    • My family was about ready to lynch me because I kept saying “No! The light is too wrong. G-pa, please move out of the sun. Tickle Lil Diva, honey so she’s smile…”

      Travel is like a bad joke, where everyone knows the punchline (the illness) but we still do the same joke (fly to visit family, especially over the holidays) over and over.

      And it ends the same 90% of the time.

      Forget first class…. Give me that guarantee!

      Now I should sleep before The Cough strikes for the third night of sleeplessness….

  4. Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments says:

    Love your family photo! I think it’s fantastic and worth all the out-takes!

    I’ve learned that sometimes a little distance from (some) family (like 3000kms) can be the best Christmas present of all 😉 oh and I also want that self-clearing/self-loading dishwasher!

    • Until I started cooking at home, I’d forgotten how long it can take to set, clear off, and clean dishes. Whoever invents the self clearing/loading dishwasher will be a bazillionaire…

      My family was a bit annoyed about the photo, but I’m glad I insisted. This one was as “right” as I could get it with all the variables in play.

  5. Kristina says:

    Love the list and adore the last picture. And so glad little Diva was safe the other day.

  6. “And suddenly…everything is perfect.”
    Even better than perfect? Everything is real.

    I was just thinking this morning that I’m letting this be the Christmas of NO STRESS.
    Just love and time together. Joy and relaxation. Celebrating, no worrying.

    So far, so good.

    Maybe almost perfect.

    • Sadly, there was stress involved. It’s pretty much impossible not to have any when 10 people are one roof and one of them is a coughing two year old who screams at bedtime because her throat is raw and you’re desperately trying to avoid waking the entire house.

      Skiing helped a lot with the stress.

      And watching my children with my family.

      So not quite perfect, but the good definitely made the bad bearable.

      Now if we could just shake The Cough again..

  7. Annie says:

    Aw….such fun! Love the pictures. What wonderful memories you are creating.

    Do you mind me asking what slopes you visited? I absolutely love snow skiing. I wish we could go every year. 🙂

    • Sadly, we picked a year when Colorado desperately needed snow, which in true irony, began falling the morning we packed to leave and where we were is now under a winter weather advisory as it dumps snow that I shall miss skiing in.

      It’s good we aren’t driving in it, but the skier in me is totally bummed.

      We skied Keystone and Breckenridge this year – the closest ones to our lodging. I absolutely loved night skiing at Keystone, even in the man-made snow.

      Of course, I’m drooling over what it would be like with fresh snow…

      Perhaps we should do a joint trip some year. Always looking for others who love to ski…

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