Thanksgiving is over, and it’s starting to snow (at least where I am. Sigh.) So now it’s time to start thinking about Christmas vacation. The countdown has begun.

Every year, I take my daughter away somewhere warm for a week. Last year was the very first time our new entire blended family went away on a beach vacation. This included me and my daughter, plus my fiancé and his two girls. It was a lot of fun and actually really relaxing. The three girls, aged nine, 11 and 13, pretty much spent their entire days running around the resort and most of the time, aside from meals, my fiancé and I barely saw them. We booked two adjoining rooms, because quite frankly, there was NO way I was going to share a room with all of us. I’m still traumatized by traveling with my family as a child and having to share a hotel room with SIX of us. I shared a bed with my mother. My dad shared a bed with one of my brothers and my other two brothers slept in sleeping bags on the floor.

This year for Christmas vacation we booked a villa (For all those with big families who think booking two hotel rooms is too much, I HIGHLY suggest looking into villas because you can rent one for a week for a quarter of the price of staying at a hotel.) In any case, I’m not bragging about the vacation. In fact, I’m slightly mortified about going on this vacation.

When I used to go on vacations with my daughter’s father and my daughter, or just my daughter, we’d pack only two suitcases. Her dad would have one. And my daughter and I would share another. If it was just my daughter and I, we’d share one suitcase. (Bonus about kids? Their clothes are small!) Her father and I would look at big families traveling with their carts loaded with 12 suitcases and think, “Thank GOD that is not us! Could you imagine? It looks like they are moving for good and not just going to the Bahamas for a week.” Ah, karma. Now I’m the one who will be THAT person with a cart (or two) traveling with suitcases stacked to the point of falling over.

This trip, we have seven people going. Me and my fiancé, our three daughters, our newborn son, and the nanny. That means seven suitcases – one for everyone – along with a stroller, a car seat, tons of formula (which means maybe an extra suitcase.) I’m thinking I’ll just yell out, “Everyone grab a suitcase and pack yourself!” I’m wondering if we even HAVE eight suitcases. I’m now ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE (which I NEVER imagined I’d be.) The person around which everyone is whispering, “Can you imagine having a family that large? And all that packing?”

Not only will we definitely need two carts to load the suitcases, we’ll also need two cars to take us to the airport and back home. There’s no way we could fit seven, possibly eight, suitcases with seven people into one car. I have a friend with three kids who travels with her nanny and they hire two drivers. One driver to take the people, and one driver to take the luggage. I have to admit, it IS sort of embarrassing. I really will pity the people behind us in line to check in, not to mention security, because ALL of us have laptops, iPads, phones, and the whole shebang.

I have a feeling we’re going to have to leave to the airport about seven HOURS in advance just to get everyone organized for our four-hour plane ride. And, yes, we saved a lot of money by renting a villa, but think about it. We needed six plane tickets, which is costly to say the least. Still I know it will be fun, once we get there as well as the luggage. I can’t say it will be fun, however, for the person who is sitting next to, or in the same isle as my newborn. That’s the other thing about traveling with so many people. The airline, of course, can’t guarantee that we will all be sitting together. Again, pity the people on the plane, who will have to deal with all of us getting up and rearranging seats. Oh well. What can I say? I’m ONE OF THOSE people now. So sorry.

(photo: Inara Prusakova/ Shutterstock)