Help for Holiday Madness

Make Time

Extreme Togetherness

I was obviously thankful to spend that Christmas with my mother. But once you have a baby, it's possible that all the grandparents (and aunts, and uncles, and friends) will be clamoring to see him, and decisions on where to go can be laden with emotion.

Robin Thiel, of Fairfax Station, Virginia, mother to 2-year-old Liam, tries to host the festivities at her house so she can celebrate with both sides of the family at once. When that's not possible, she has to take turns with each set of grandparents. "Take a rotating-holiday schedule seriously -- they will," she warns.

If both families live within a reasonable distance, consider splitting the day: morning in one place, dinner in another. But you may have been doing this already, and maybe all that traveling with a baby is too much. In that case, remember that you're not obligated to spend the holidays at one place or another. In the long run, though, it helps to find a way to see everyone, even if it means having a day-after-Christmas celebration. (Maybe that's why England and Canada have Boxing Day!) All this love aimed at your baby is a good thing, even if it's exhausting for you to rotate among your baby's many adoring fans.

Kristin Miles, of Easton, Connecticut, has a good attitude about it; if she's going to have to see a lot of people, she's going to put them to work. "Since everyone wants to hold the baby, I try to take advantage," she says. "Sit down and hold your spouse's hand while you have a drink together. Or if you've got guests, sneak away to read while they think you're napping."

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