This year we had Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with D's, and it was all rather exhausting and, in some cases, dispiriting.
Or, I guess, "spiriting," since family holidays involve a lot of alcohol. My mom's drink of choice is a lot of whiskey every night; D's mom's is a lot of vodka every night. In both cases, they tend to hold off on the first couple of days we're there and then start getting blotto by about the third evening. They both are so happy that family is visiting, but they also both live alone and clearly find it a stress to have so many people around, and so after a couple of days they start drinking heavily every night. This just adds to the stress of family dynamics, of course.
And I always drink far more wine when I'm with family than I do most of the time. I guess it could be a coping mechanism, but stress eating is far more my usual coping mechanism (and I certainly do that at family gatherings); I think it's more that everyone else is drinking and I sort of just go along.
But here's the important thing: As of last night, D and I are back home! There has been snuggling with kitty-cats! Enjoying the comfort of our own bed after a week sleeping on a hide-a-bed! The blessings of quiet when one wants it!
I have a whole glorious week of winter break left. Yes, I have some work to do, but it's no big deal, and I'll be able to do it sitting in our own sun room, looking out at our own backyard, and undoubtedly with a cat or two in attendance.
Big sigh of relief.