We started a tradition several years ago with my side of the family. Because we were all so busy trying to do all and be all at Christmas time making it difficult to get everyone together, we get together in the spring or summer to celebrate Christmas.
The decor is Christmas themed and we have the Dirty Santa gift exchange for the adults where everyone brings a gift. The gifts are chosen by each person according to the number they pulled. The next person can either chose another gift or steal a previously chosen gift. You get the idea. Kids drew names unless they wanted to be a part of the adult gift exchange.
I got brave one year and we set up a swimming pool for the littlest ones and provided water guns and balloons for the older kids. We had a big back yard so they had a blast. It gave the adults a chance to visit and the kids were entertained.
I highly recommend this idea. There is no conflict with other family gatherings, no rush and no pressure. Meals are usually “bring a dish” to share with the host/hostess providing the main course which can be anywhere from sandwich fixings and condiments to a turkey.
This idea was borne out of frustration in trying to get everyone together and sadness that it might not even or did not happen. We had it at someone’s home that was central to the family. My sister’s in-laws have had it at a local motel on New Year’s Eve. We try to take turns having it at alternate homes but sometimes life happens.
This year, our daughter has offered to have Summer Christmas at her house in Texas since we are in Colorado and getting everyone here from Texas would be a problem. I am so grateful to her for volunteering. She is taking on a lot because she is having Danny’s family for a reunion the week before. I will be looking forward to spending a week in Texas since our last visit for a wedding was so busy and rushed.
So, no need to sacrifice having Christmas with your family due to timing, just send out a “save the date” card and have a Merry Christmas.