Why I Said “NO” To a Big Family Christmas


It’s Christmas morning; you wake up filled with exciting anticipation to watch the kids open presents while enjoying a luscious cup of coffee. After the thought of that first warm sip enters your brain, it disappears as quickly as Santa’s milk and cookies.

You remember you have to be at your in-laws by 2:00 p.m. with a homemade dish in tow. Not to mention there will be pictures taken, so you better wiggle yourself into those Spanx and make sure the whole family is presentable. Or you’re hosting, lucky you! Instead of enjoying “the most wonderful time of the year”, you end up spending your entire holiday cleaning the house like a madwoman; making sure it looks, feels, and smells like a scene out of the Pottery Barn catalog. 

Why do we do this to ourselves!?

I come from a large, loud, and loving Italian family. Christmas was always a big deal. No matter where we lived, we would travel across the country, and sometimes across the world to have Christmas as ONE…BIG…FAMILY. After our family grew and the kids had their own kids, Christmas became MASSIVE. 

Our once, relaxing and intimate gathering, started to resemble the sincerity and pace of speed dating. We’d go through the buffet line that was Christmas Dinner, making small talk, and shuffling the kids in and out of the living room to open presents. It was madness!

After returning home that evening, exhausted, we would wonder where the heck the holiday went?!

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my family, and I share so many wonderful holiday memories with them. Christmas Day just became more of a stress factor than an enjoyable affair.

After I had a family of my own, I was tired of not spending my Christmas how I wanted to. Relaxing, watching my son open his presents, actually having fun cooking in the kitchen (dinner will be ready when it’s ready), STAYING IN MY PJS! 

So, I said “NO!”

No to the holiday hoopla and the big family Christmas.

Last year was our first Christmas at home, just my parents, sister, husband and son…and it was perfectly imperfect. 

We slept in…as much as you can with a toddler on Christmas morning. Made a calorie laden breakfast and savored every bite while watching my son open presents at his leisure. We drank mimosas, stayed in our PJs, and played Christmas music while singing and preparing dinner. Then, we watched all of our favorite movies before sitting as a family around the dinner table. 

More importantly, we made our own memories, the meaningful ones I want my children to have. Not of mom stressing out because she burned the casserole. 

So, if a big family Christmas is a stress factor for you this holiday season…just say “NO!”

You can still have your big family celebration, just do it a day or two before Christmas. Then, spend your Christmas Day the way YOU want, the way that brings your family the purest form joy and happiness.

After all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about!?







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Christina Griffith
Born to a father who flew in the Air Force, I grew up a nomad. I've lived in Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Germany twice, and this is my third time in Oklahoma City! I graduated from Texas Christian University in 2009 (go Frogs!) and commissioned into the military that same year. I met my charmingly funny husband while I was a bright-eyed Combat Communications Officer at Tinker AFB. I separated from the military in 2013 and now focus on raising our rambunctious and precocious two year old, Harrison. Our family spent the last 3 years living in Germany. While stationed abroad, we toured to over 20 countries, that's when I stepped outside my comfort zone and discovered my love of travel and adventure. You can follow my OKC adventures by following "OKCWoman" on Instagram or my blog, www.TheOKCWoman.com. Aside from sharing my love for all things local, I'm a coffee addict and foodie who enjoys binge watching "The Great British Baking Show" and creating vintage wood signs in the garage studio while listening to my non-fiction audiobooks. My biggest love of all is my son, he challenges me everyday, while teaching me patience and unconditional love. Having him showed me the beautiful chaos that is motherhood, and I am so excited to connect and share with you all!


  1. I grew up attending my grandparent’s Christmas Eve party every year- 4 hours from home. So we always did our little family Christmas early. Much more fun! 🙂 We do that now with our daughters, have Christmas early so we can be with family on Christmas. It’s only a day- we can have our traditions at any time- and it’s fun to spread the festivities, like you said, so they can be savored!

    • I wish!!! We’re actually going to Memphis to be with his nana this year..It’s her first Christmas by herself 🙁


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