After all that stress and worry about having my cousin and her family stay with us right after Christmas, they called and informed us that they would not be staying with us after all.
Truth be told, we still have not put the heater on at our house. When you are at work all day and the kids aren't at home due to being babysat until I get off work, it just seems so wasteful to turn it on. We dress warmly in the house, and of course cuddle up in the blankets. When I was young, that is what I remember about Wintertime. Granted my parents did turn the heater on, but it wasn't really warm in the house. They would keep it down, so you still needed a sweatshirt or blanket on inside. I am still alive, aren't I? We have lots of nice, warm blankets at the house. At nighttime we bundle up, and we are just fine.
I informed my cousin prior to them agreeing to stay with us, that we don't turn the heater on at our house. She was just fine with it and said they would just bring extra blankets and dress warmly as we do. I have been thinking the past few weeks about all the preparation I needed to do so they could stay with us. In addition, I factored in additional food costs to feed them for about 4 days (all 3 meals, of course). That might not sound like much to someone, but when you are used to only feeding 3 people it is a change. You see, my daughter gets free breakfast and lunch at school, my son eats breakfast and lunch at Grandma's house, so I only make dinner and snacks... other than on the weekends, of course. I also thought of all the cleaning and rearranging I would need to partake in to prepare for their stay. Many thoughts and a great deal of stress have been added to me lately.
You have to know the truth, I haven't been in much of a Christmas spirit lately. In fact I have just been down right sad, bummed, down and not happy. That in addition to the stress of having 6 more people staying at our house right after the holidays wasn't helping any. Don't get me wrong please. I love family and friends. I love company and enjoying each other. I love this cousin to death and think that she is awesome. I just haven't been in the best mood with life.
As you can imagine, when I received a voicemail from my cousin informing me that they would not be staying with us since we don't turn our heater on, I was a bit relieved. I am sure that sounds really evil and vain of me. It has just been weighing down on me a bit about all the preparation that goes into having house guests, especially 4 little ones.
I am sure my cousin expected me to say that I would turn the heater on for them, but right now money is really tight, as I have mentioned. Even when I have turned my A/C on during summer, I keep it at a very warm temperature as a result of the Power bill. As well during the wintertime in past years, the heater is kept at a low enough temperature that I still would need a blanket or sweatshirt. When you aren't used to living in a house where the temperatures aren't significantly altered due to utilities, I am sure you would probably touch the thermostat and adjust it to your prefered temperature. I will admit that I was afraid that they would do that if I did agree to turn it on. This family keeps their house cold in the summer and very warm in the winter. They aren't used to feeling unpleasant or not as warm/cold as they would like to feel. I was afraid of it all being changed when I came home. Also, I was afraid of that LARGE bill after they were already gone.
It feels like a big weight was lifted from my shoulders after I heard the voicemail. I messaged her back and told her that I completely understand them not staying with us. We will definitely go over and spend time with them, wherever they are staying, and let the kids play during their visit here. It will be nice to catch up and get together.
In the future, I have learned that if I am ever asked during the holidays if someone can stay with me, I think I will be saying no. Well, unless it is my parents or something to that nature. I just think it is too much stress to add to someone during the holiday season. I have never been away from my home during the holidays, so I don't know how that would feel, but I surely hope not to ever have to stay at someone elses during Christmastime.
I asked my hometeachers to come over and give me a blessing last night, and I am so glad that I did. It was EXACTLY what I needed. I can't even put into words what a difference it has made.
I hope you are enjoying your family and friends during this great time of the year. I feel so blessed beyond words. Remember the reason for the Season.