Posted by: Kate | December 9, 2010

Holiday Bonus

I have spent days pondering this topic, and making no headway whatsoever.  The concept of a holiday bonus – the traditional one, in which an extra check slips into your paycheck at the end of the year, and you thus justify an upgrade of your gift-purchasing plans – is something with which I have familiarity without first-person involvement… kind of like most street drugs, tanning booths, and friendly RMV employees.  I know such things exist, but I’ve never experienced them myself.

My holiday bonuses, instead, have always come in the form of vacation days: either my own, or time off for my loved ones.  As a child, it meant long, quiet days with my parents.  I am nine years older than my sister Sarah, and so for a long time  it was just the three of us.  We all tended to be fairly introspective and self-sufficient, and so those holiday-time days off were not particularly exciting or interesting, but they were comforting and relaxed and special.  Not unlike the feeling you get when you’ve been sitting and talking with a close friend for a long time, and then you both sit back and simply be, without needing any more words.

By the time I was an adolescent, our family had expanded from a triangle to a pentagon.  Now, days at home – especially around the holidays – were brighter, louder, more dynamic sorts of experiences.  Thanks to poor hearing and an ability to shut out the rest of the world on a whim, I could still disappear into a book if I was feeling overstimulated or otherwise unpleasant, and so I really was able to experience the best of both worlds: cute, giggly children and the solitude of a good read.

College came and went, and suddenly somehow I was married with a child of my own.  And if  time seemed to slip by a little faster than I was quite ready for as a teenager, then it is damn near approaching the speed of light now.  It seems like I’ve barely put the last box of ornaments away and we’re already making plans for the next Christmas.

Through it all, I have continued to receive the same holiday bonus: extra time with my family.  Willem was so kind as to choose teaching as his professional calling, and so he has always had at least a week-plus at home; now that he’s back in the college world, I get him for a month or more.  I get extra time with the kids, too, and can usually squeeze in time with other family members here and there, too.

So, I don’t get the traditional sort of holiday bonus… but I like my version better.

Late once again, but this is my Madhouse entry for the week. Go read more posts on the same topic, or post one of your own and let me know so I can add you to the list… see, all the cool kids are doing it:

Allison – Allimonster Speaks
Barb – Spencer Hill Spinning & Dyeing
Batty – Batty’s Adventures in Spooky Knitting
Dave – Notes from the Field
Eileen – Art Deco Diva Knits
Evil Twin’s Wife – The Glamorous Life of a Hausfrau
G – Not-A-Box
Heather – She Flies With Her Own Wings
Jennifer – Ask Poops, Please
JMLC – Daydreams and Ruminations
Kate – One More Thing
LC – LC in Sunny So Cal
Lisa – As If You Care
Louise – Child of Grace
Marcy – Mittentime
Melanie – usually, things happen
Nikki – Land of the Free, Home of the Depressed
Peri – knitandnatter
Sara – yoyu mama


  1. I hope to get time too; after I graduate. My eyes have been opened to how much I miss my family time after being home as a full time mom and now in school full time and going into a career like my husband’s that is on 24-7 any time as a family will be the best BONUS around.

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