By Sandra Brown - January 5, 2010
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Why do I hear Hank Williams Jr in my head? The one Christmas tradition we have in my family is that the traditions keep being altered. When I was a kid, we always packed up and drove 250 miles to my grandparents house, where I got to see my number one favorite cousin. Santa Claus always -- miraculously -- found my sisters and me there. One smart cookie was Santa. He worked around our not being at our house. Flash forward a decade or two and my grandparents are no longer with us. MY parents were the grandparents, and we spent every Christmas Day at their house with my four sisters and their family. A horde of about 30 people. Loud, noisy, lots of food and fun. Then I lost my parents, and suddenly (not sure how it happened) my husband and I are the oldest in the family and everyone now comes to us. The kids would come home from college, my sisters would bring their families...again, a loving noisy horde. This lasted a few years. Then my children got married within three months of each other and we added two more children to the family, but NOW we had to split the holiday with INLAWS. Who had their own traditions (weird ones, if you ask me) and their own timetables (which invariably conflict with ours) and so we settled on having Christmas Day at our house only every other year. The "off" year being the one where the kids, and now our precious grandsons, go to the INLAWS and observe all those weird traditions -- like Boxing Day. Okay, I'd almost learned to behave like a grownup about the whole sharing thing, when last year (MY year), I was informed by the kids that they want to be at home on Christmas morning so the grandsons could experience Santa Claus. So now, I have to compete with the only man in the world who holds more influence than a grandparent. Don't they know how smart he is? More importantly, how in the world did my children not get the memo about Santa finding the little ones anywhere?!?!