You wrote: "my holidays get me thru the winter months...planning, researching....etc etc...it's basically the reason we both work...a decent house and just as important fabulous holidays!"
Don't ever come to the U.S., where there are NO mandated holidays of any sort whatsoever! We over here have to work just to have food and shelter, and never mind the "holidays," which we don't get. Even the so-called "federal holidays" are not mandated as paid workers' holidays in the U.S. Thus, if the boss wants to force you to work on Christmas Day, well, you just have to! Or New Year's Day! And if you object, you're fired. Your hubby "only" gets 4 weeks' paid holiday per year? My dear, right now, get down on your hands and knees and thank the Creator for what you have and that you do not live in the U.S. where such holidays do not exist! Because, as you say in your posting, "[the holidays are] basically the reason we both work." In the U.S., the reason would be degraded to, We have to eat! And that's the way the employers like it! There IS no light at the end of the tunnel, or carrot at the end of the stick!