...but its almost where I hate Christmas. Its not that I really do hate Christmas, I dont' - even after the kid phase I reveled in it - but it has become somwhat of a full-out chore the last several years.
You see I live in LA but the parents and family are in Houston. While I'm in my late forties and live with my long-time girlfriend (whose kids are grown and in Indiana) I don't have the local need to do something in our own house. So we have always gone to the parents house in Houston - and while that is great and wonderful there has always been the little tug to just stay and do our own thing. But I think my parents would die if I just said one year we're not coming. We already do our own thing out here for Thanksgiving (usually travelling to co-workers house et al) but it would be a sacrilige to say "hey I got my own life, we're staying put" for Christmas. And this doesn't mean we don't like going to Houston and the parents house - it is going home and the house is so warm and done up and we see friends and all - and in the end it is fun.
It just means arranging air travel far in advance so that it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, arguing about when to go and when to come back and which flights and taxis to take, renting a car and somehow asking for gifts that are easily packable. I was very envious one year when my brother was able to pull up in his pickup and just cart everything away. On the other hand I need to make sure our stuff can be stowed in an overhead compartment. After you run out of the small electronic gifts there's only so much you can do when you really want furniture.
But everything is set and we are ready to go. We do Christmas big so we always have to strategize on what we want so that it obtainable - so making out the list (for my girlfriend and I) becomes a monstrous task. I have already been admonished for not getting it in time this year.
This all may sound a bit over gratuitous to those who do Xmas in a more modest manner - but what I'm trying to convey is this is how it always has been since I have been alive and it will never stop. And frankly it is great, I really can't imagine it any other way - but sometime I would just like to put up my feet, take the phone off the hook and wave to Santa as he glides by.
Deck the halls everybody.