’Tis the season for military families to pack their luggage and begin their yearly pilgrimage to their family home, much like Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem for the census. Fortunately for military families, they get to take a car or plane instead of a donkey.
As much as we may miss our hometowns and families, that journey may be filled with a lot of emotions and stress.
Sometimes the best way to deal with stress is humor, so here are the 20 stages of holiday travel with children, illustrated by GIFs.
The 20 Stages Of Holiday Travel With Your Children
Stage 1 You Solidified Your Plans With Your Significant Other
He got his military leave approved, you bought the plane tickets, and the grandparents have reserved the guest room for you.
Stage 2 You Want Everyone To Pack For Themselves And You Don’t Want To Forget To Pack Anything
This involves yelling repeatedly, “Why haven’t you packed yet?!” and “You can’t just pack toys!” and you will probably find yourself overpacking as you plan for every situation.
Stage 3 You Are Desperately Trying To Get Everyone Loaded In Your Car
“If you don’t get in this car RIGHT NOW I’m leaving you!”
Stage 4 Your Spouse Is Driving Like A Crazy Person
You’re not trying to pick a fight, you’re just trying not to die.
Stage 5 You Are Trying To Stay Calm At Airport Security
“Do they have to search me EVERY TIME?”
Stage 6 Your Kids Are Getting Stir Crazy and Won’t Stop Fighting
“I WILL TURN THIS CAR AROUND RIGHT NOW!”
Stage 7 You Threaten To Cancel Christmas
“I swear to God, every single present will disappear if I hear you talk back even once.”
Stage 8 You Arrive At Grandma’s House
Stage 9 ALL THE FOOD
“I’m just gonna eat fudge and Christmas cookies for breakfast, is that OK?”
Stage 10 Your Aunt Feels The Need To Give You Her Opinion On Your Parenting
“Oh, you allow your kids to have sugar?”
Stage 11 You Keep Your Mouth Shut Because You Don’t Want To Bicker During The Holidays
“Not today Satan.”
Stage 12 You Manically Encourage Everyone To Get Into The Holiday Spirit
“I only want to hear happy thankful voices!”
Stage 13 You Have A Heartfelt Moment With Your Kid And You Actually Feel The Holiday Spirit
This moment is short-lived, soak it in.
Stage 14 Your Family Spoils The Kids
“You know we have to fly home with all this, right?”
Stage 15 One Child Refuses To Eat Anything Except A Dinner Roll
“Just try ONE bite!”
Stage 16 Your Other Kid Complains To You For The 1000th Time
Stage 17 Your Kids Are Over-Sugered, Overtired And Insane
Nothing like a deliriously tired 2 year old.
Stage 18 It’s Time To Pack Your Suitcases
“We are leaving NOW so you better have everything. Did you check under the beds?”
Stage 19 Your Children Act Insane The Whole Way Home
“We are ALMOST HOME. Be quiet or we are never doing anything fun ever again!”
Stage 20 But In Your Heart You Know You’ll Do It Again
Just, maybe next year you’ll make your family come to your house.
So good luck on your trip to see the family this holiday season.
May your kids listen to you, may your judgy Aunt Judy have laryngitis, and may the house you’re going to have your favorite wine.