Well it has been a very busy time of the year and I have been very quiet. I am sure that everyone else was busy too, so you probably didn't miss me anyway!
Christmas and New Years have been and gone, and my daughter has been through her first Christmas. It was great fun, as you would expect. But I think we are extra fortunate in that I only had to visit one family group on Christmas day. Plus they provide everything and give us a wonderful day.
I have heard from friends who have had to travel from one family to another, covering an insane amount of kilometres. Some have to travel for a couple of hours in each direction just to satisfy everyone. I cannot begin to imagine doing that at all, let alone with one or more children in the car.
Is there not a better way? I know some people who have Christmas Eve with one side of the family, then Christmas Day with the other. Or maybe Boxing Day instead of Christmas Eve. Even so, that is a lot of travelling.
I remember when I was young we would all meet at my grandparents for Christmas Day, a whole heap of us, step-families and all, and celebrate together. They were wonderful days as my Grandparents lived in the country, so there was a bit of room and if you really wanted to be alone, you could find peace somewhere.
It also meant there were cousins to play with instead of mere siblings, once all the grown ups fell asleep, stomachs full of food and brains scrambled by a combination of the Queens message and a few glasses of wine or beer.
Things like this seem less common these days, almost like both sides of the family want to put their claim on the younger generations. If we hark back to the favourite saying that it takes a village to raise a child, why can't the village get together and celebrate as one, instead of creating opposing tribes stretching families between them.
Just a thought.