Last minute Christmas

last minute gift and travel ideas for Christmas

Too early to talk about Christmas?

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I'd like to make plans for the holidays but my family is a little complicated, yet I'm concerned that the longer we wait, the fewer options we will have. For as long as I can remember, I've spent a significant part of Christmas in the house where I grew up. My favorite parts of the holiday are basically hanging out with my brother and sisters, watching dumb movies, wrapping presents, occasionally playing games, drinking beers, eating leftovers, etc. Watching that craziness grow to include my nieces and daughter has been a delight. I realize it's a consumerist nightmare but going down the stairs on Christmas morning, seeing the presents under the tree and exchanging gifts with everyone hanging out in their pajamas is a happy memory for me.

However, my dad is in the process of preparing to sell his house so something is going to have to change. Assume that even if the house has not sold by then, it is not a great place to spend the holiday (minimal furniture, no internet, etc.). I haven't had feelings about my dad selling the house except that I'm concerned about how it will affect Christmas.

My dad has said that we can spend the holiday with his new wife and her family. They are lovely and it'd be nice to have dinner with them and such but I don't think her house can accommodate us. I'm one of four kids; two of us have two additional people and two of us have one additional person. New wife's house has a basement with more than one bedroom and she is in the process of building an apartment on her property but it's hard for me to believe that will be set up by December. Also assume that people in my family are lovely but flaky, and that getting them all to agree on something is like herding cats.

My brother and his wife have friends in the area and can probably crash at one of their places. My sister and her family live within two hours of my dad's new wife's place (yeah, just realized I should probably call her my stepmom - still getting used to this thing). But I'm bummed out about the idea of us not having a place where we can All Be Together.

I've looked at hotels, at least for my husband, daughter and me. There are options and I thought about getting a hotel room with a flexible cancellation policy. But part of me feels sad about the idea of spending Christmas at a hotel. I know it's a totally normal thing but it's new to me.

So I've looked at AirBnBs. There are fewer options but with an AirBnB it would be easier to make meals, figure out a tree, stockings, host movie night and present-wrapping and such. Part of me really wants to just rent a huge place so I can continue to harbor this fantasy that we will All Be Together. But they're more expensive and the cancellation policies are less flexible plus I expect that I will feel sad if/when my sister just gets the cheapest hotel room she can find or my brother and father spend the entire holiday with their wives' families.

I'm sorry - this is one of those questions where the question is unclear but I'm looking for advice. Given the circumstances, what would you do? I'd be willing to pay more than my share for an AirBnB if my siblings would go in on it but convincing them to do that may be tough because their budgets are tighter plus this isn't something they have had to pay for before. How have you and yours celebrated holidays on the road? What did you do when your family holiday situation changed. Staying home or only spending a few days with family is an option but it would make me pretty sad. Husband's family is Jewish so at least that's a non-issue.

Again, I apologize if this is too chat-filter but would be happy to hear your thoughts. Thanks in advance!

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