Heading home for Xmas?

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Jaclyn and Heidi etiquette
'tis the season to head to the Barossa?

Dear Jaclyn and Heidi,
We’re facing a bit of a Christmas Day conundrum. We’ve been on the road since Australia Day this year and are having a ball. But there’s a fly in the ointment … we have one daughter who lives in Kalbarri in WA and one daugh­ter who lives in Townsville, Queensland. Both have asked us to park up the van and spend the festive season with them … and both have two gorgeous children under five. Our daughters – and their husbands – really don’t get on at all, and I don’t want to put one – or both – of their noses out of joint. I guess Bruce and I are paying the price for telling them “our schedule is always flexible”. In actual fact, we had intended to spend Christmas in the Ba­rossa Valley. What shall we do?

Kids! Even when you’re on your great escape you can’t always escape family drama, can you Alison? It’s an issue … with an individual twist here and there … which many grey nomads face. You don’t say whether your daughters are actually communicating with each other at all but the obvious solution would be to ‘share yourselves around’ as fairly as possible. Perhaps Christmas with one this year and Christmas with the other next year. Or Christ­mas with one daughter and then Easter – or possibly a grandchild’s birthday – with the other. It shouldn’t have to be this way, Alison … but family is family. If you can negotiate this ‘conundrum’ successfully, it will be so wonderful that your new lifestyle will enable you to catch up with your far-flung family.

Hmmmm! Christmas in the glorious Barossa with a glass of red in one hand and a Christ­mas pie in the other with bick­ering kids a distant memory. Or, spending the festive season with one or other of your selfish children? What’s the conun­drum, Alison? Total no-brainer. How dare your two daughters leave you feeling so worried at the prospect of ‘putting their noses out of joint’ that they cast a shadow over your first year on the road? I should let them both know when it will suit you to visit your ‘grandchildren’ and be done with it. After all, you’re the ones driving thousands of kilometres. These ‘sisters-at-war’ will just have to get over their petty jealousies and silly games. The whole thing makes my blood boil.


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