You mean it’s just us?

My husband pumped his arms in the air when my daughter announced that we were staying home all day Christmas.

Ordinarily we have a number of places to go, and even spread over a couple few days, the 25th manages to be busy. The worst was when the children were small and a cousin’s Dec. 25 birthday came into play. We opened presents at our home in the morning, went to my husband’s side later in the morning, went to my side of the family after that and then returned to my husband’s side for the birthday party in the evening. By the time we got home it was 10 p.m., and I was in a foul mood and swearing we were never, EVER dragging through all that again.

We didn’t plan to carve the day out to ourselves, it just evolved that way. Birthday Girl’s celebration has been moved to other dates in recent years. My husband’s parents are leaving for Florida soon, so we have an early Christmas with his side. A divorce on my side means dual gatherings, but both dates are before the Big Date.

Choosing Mass on Christmas Eve was done weeks ago, but is the final time we will have to leave the house until returning to work, which means we can spend Christmas hanging out, playing with the dogs in the snow, likely watching “Elf” for the fourth or so time this season, and making a turkey dinner and all the trappings for just the four of us.

Nothing against the larger gatherings, mind you. But as the children get older and busier, the idea of a very insular day is precious.

This post originally appeared on, the online home of the Midland (MI) Daily News. Republished with permission.

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