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Lives of Doctor Wives: Holidays When There's A Doctor In The House

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Holidays When There's A Doctor In The House

I was replying to a friend's email today and mentioned the fact that I keep forgetting Easter is just two weekends away. Part of the issue is that my husband and I just moved and currently do not attend a local church. I'm only reminded of the upcoming holiday when I enter a store and see all the Easter candy, baskets, bunnies, and eggs. However, I also realized that I haven't talked to my husband about whether we're going to do anything for our son, or not. He's 2 1/2, so he's not really fully aware of Easter yet, and my hubby and I have agreed that we're not going to make a big deal out of holidays until our son is old enough to understand what's going on around him. For the past several years (even before our son was born), most gift-giving holidays involved us trying to find a couple of hours to just be able to sit down and unwrap maybe one gift from each other. Even this past Christmas, when my husband actually had the day off, we still only gave each other a few things, probably because we just got into the habit of not going overboard. I remember one Christmas during my husband's residency when we didn't even put up a tree. We were going to be spending our entire holiday away from home, so we didn't even see the point of putting it up if we weren't going to enjoy it. I know how cynical that sounds, but it's really how our lives (and priorities) have changed since my husband started residency (or maybe even before that during med school). Holidays are special times to spend with family and friends, but when your significant other has to spend that time working and away from you, it's kind of hard to get in a celebratory spirit. I remember going to many family get togethers in our home state without him because he had to stay close to the hospital while he was on-call. I also remember missing many celebrations because of the very same reason. Do I regret it? Not in the least. My husband dearly loves what he does, and even though we've both made sacrifices along the way, it's still been worth it. This past Christmas, he actually had the day off, even though he's technically the low man on the totem-pole. However, he had to work a 1/2 day on Christmas Eve, so we decided it was a good time to try to start our own Christmas traditions at home (most of our previous holidays were spent traveling to families' houses). Actually, it was a good thing we had to stay home, because we all ended up getting a stomach virus, but that's beside the point. I think having my husband working in a profession that can't really take time off for "special days" has really helped us in a way. We've learned to look past the materialism and the stress and the overabundance, and we've learned to see the central reason for celebrating: just being together and loving each other. So, really, I don't care whether or not the Easter Bunny visits. I'm just so glad my hubby will have the weekend off to spend with us!

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Blogger --Leann-- said...

You have brought up something that not every profession has to deal with--working holidays. It is such a good idea to start ideas to make the holiday your own. That way, when he *does* end up working Xmas Eve and Xmas Day, you wont feel totally thrown for a loop.

We have developed our solid Christmas traditions to all fit within one day. What day we celebrate Christmas on will vary from year to year, but the main players will ALWAYS be there.

Maybe the Easter Bunny comes a few days early?

April 2, 2009 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger Melisa said...

This is so true! We've celebrated holidays on all kinds of days. The important part was being together. Of course, going to family celebrations by yourself means that you can celebrate again later with hubs. :o) I can't remember the last New Year's Eve I spent with Brad... That one IS hard to celebrate on another day. LOL!

April 3, 2009 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger Doc's Girl said...

When we were in Minnesota for a four month out of state rotation for J, we were quite sad that we weren't going to be able to buy a tree. So, we bought a neat paper tree from the bookstore and, honestly, I felt the same way as you. As more holidays go by, we, too, are reminded of how important family time is more than spending money on everything else that comes with the holidays. :)

April 3, 2009 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

If you have ever looked closely at the picture of the 3 of us on my personal blog over to the right side of the page, you will see that it is our -2008 Christmas Picture- such a professional portrait! We had been on the road for 4 months for rotations with Tom, I had a kidney stone out in the backwoods of Pennsylvania, and I made a paper tree out of construction paper with Grant and taped it to the wall behind us in our hotel room. We sat the camera on a table and that's what we got. We didn't have any presents out on the road, but got to spend the day home together! It's probably the best Christmas I can remember. A yummy meal, just the three of us in our jammies all day, watching holiday shows, and playing. It's truly time together that counts and not the material things!

April 3, 2009 at 3:51 PM  

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