I've had the house to myself for almost two hours.
I skipped the local Christmas parade in lieu of taking a shower, making some vaguely spicy vegan food (i.e. something no one else would eat), and watching stuff without headphones.
I hate the Christmas season.
It's a combination of factors, but a lot of it is my family. I'm not religious and I don't understand the need for All Things Christmas for two months straight. And then there's all of the decoration, which feels like a process of telling me over and over again that I don't matter. I don't even want to be in any of the common areas of the house because it's such a chaotic mess that I'm perpetually anxious and angry. It'll be over in a month, right?
I understand and agree with you. I just want peace and tranquility. My entire decoration is a clipped drawing of a snowman on the door and a Christmas Tree that isn't either one, but a small green pillow with a happy face sitting on the dinette table.
Everyone is emotional and expecting of the prescribed "Christmas Spirit" behavior.
I totally understand, I'm not religious either. I remember the stress when I was growing up, so pointless. While I like choosing presents for people I love and eating good food with my family, the rest is too much I think. You're supposed to be doing a million things, fill your house with all kinds of stuff and spend, spend, spend! Nope, I refuse to take part in it and luckily I can get away with that. Yes, it will be over before you know it.
2018-12-07 12:52 PM
2018-12-07 12:55 PM
I hate the pressure. And that wives and moms are supposed to produce all the "magic", i.e., do all the work, of cooking, cleaning, decorating, gift-shopping, gift-wrapping, writing holiday cards, hosting parties, buying groceries, managing family interactions, managing the extra expense, for everyone else.
This. For those of us who are already the primary breadwinners and household CEOs, having to also put on our apron and pearls and produce a traditional magical experience for everyone else so that they can have a merry Christmas is exhausting and depressing.
2018-12-10 10:12 AM
This is my mom's biggest struggle with how I approach the holidays. When we host (or when they host but I get assigned meal planning), I don't do a thousand dishes. We do a main and 3-4 sides; that's it. Usually they're sides that take more a little more prep/cooking than I'd do for a normal dinner, so they're a little special. Every year, I've decorated less and less; I'm finding I like bringing out a few things each year and rotating through them. The house is still decorated, but there aren't nick nacks everywhere anymore. Presents are fewer and more thoughtful, bought throughout the year so I don't feel pressure at the last minute. I feel like I can breathe and enjoy the season again.
My mom struggles with this because she was always over the top. Dinner was 8-10 sides, presents were abundant but not really bought with much thought, the house had Christmas stuff everywhere that took weeks to put up (and weeks to take down). The FOF has finally helped me to see that this is her problem, not mine. :D
Yes! Though not limited to Christmas. Every holiday.
I don't mind buying presents (within reason) or having a family get-together, but most of the rest of it feels like too much.
2018-12-07 11:22 AM
I'm with you on the decoration stuff. Put it on private property or in private spaces, that's fine. Public spaces, makes me angry. In your house, the living room is a "public" space. That's got to be hard to live with!
Feeling your pain, to some extent. I don't mind Christmas decorations, but I *do* hate having the whole damned holiday season extended longer and longer. Two months is one-sixth of the entire year, when you think of it, and that it just too much time for the house to be upended and everyone to be expected to show forced jollity the whole time. Bleah.
I am feeling less burn-out and anxiety about Christmas now that I'm with T-Bone; the holidays in general are much less stressful with him as my husband rather than XH; and cutting contact with Twinzilla, my mother and my other siblings has also made things better. But even so, I still struggle with anxiety attacks over even THINKING about decorating, organizing or socializing.
Today, for example, T-bone and I have a medieval holiday party on the schedule tomorrow, and I've been kind of mentally compartmentalizing the amount of time I'll be participating in it. I like all the people involved, but it involves planning and dressing up and gifts and sh*t, and even that little bit of pressure is making me super anxious. And T-Bone this morning woke up and mentioned we're expected to bring a dish to the potluck dinner at the party, and I almost threw up because I hadn't KNOWN, and hadn't had any chance to plan out anything, and WTF??? Even though I like cooking and stuff, it's HOLIDAY RELATED. I'm making an olive-oil and rosemary cake with a lemon drizzle icing that can be traced back to medieval times (southern Europe, obvy), but it's hard to describe the amount of internal hamster-wheel spinning this has sent me into. I'm okay with ignoring Christmas. Really.
We got a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving.
I hope your holiday party goes well tomorrow.
Glad that things are better now.
The season is also getting longer over here. Putting up the Christmas tree was done Dec. 23 traditionally but now some people already have them up.
23 December sounds about perfect for me!
(celebrate with me)
2018-12-08 11:29 PM
12/23 is perfect!
For the Christmas trees, I blame the artificial tree industry. When everyone had a real tree the time it was up in your living room was self-limiting. If you put it up the day after Thanksgiving it would be dried out and shedding needles everywhere by December 10. Now people put up the fake tree the day after Thanksgiving and it still looks the same in January.
Ha I would have bought a ham and said here ya go medieval mutton ! (ok I know ham isn't sheep but try and really find mutton ). I'm so lazy.
(celebrate with me)
2018-12-08 11:27 PM
I'm not religious either. I've lived on my own since 1987 and I've never had a Christmas tree. No need for one. Stopped the gifting about 19 years ago. City DNA and I do stuff instead like catch a show or run a race or go out for breakfast. I know that it's easier for someone like me because I basically have no one. The whole Christmas thing growing up was madness...so much useless drama for nothing. Christmas season also used to be shorter. I don't recall my parents putting up their tree until a week before Christmas but times after certainly changed.
I love Christmas, but hate how they have made the season longer. I don't like the stress of buying gifts, but love giving gifts if that makes sense. It's a lot of pressure. I guess I have mixed feelings.
2018-12-10 4:56 PM
I like Christmas mostly to see family. I like my parent's house, where I can bring one gift (or not), and we play a game to see who gets what gift. This is so much fun. No pressure; nothing needs to be perfect. My In-Laws are over the top with presents, where each person is expected to get everyone else a present. The family keeps growing, and what does an 88 yo need? You might think slippers, but he wears the ratty ones and not the ones he was given 2 years ago... We do it our way, by giving from our family to each person. So that is one gift instead of 3... Then they go to church, dinner, then open presents for hours and hours. Until no one remembers what they got. Or cares what they get. They get their kids so much stuff and it's just total overkill - it takes all the joy out of it for it to be so excessive.
At home, every year we decide if/when to decorate: usually later, and always together, but sometimes not at all if we aren't going to be around. My son and his GF will be here on the 18th, so we will probably decorate then. Christmas Eve dinner was traditionally soup in my family, so I do that if everyone agrees, or we do something else, but it is not solely my decision or job. Cooking, cleaning up is always shared. It's more fun that way. It's always laid back.
I hear you, and I don't even celebrate it. Some cousin of DH got ministicky a gift card on Amazon. Which we can't really use since shipping on anything makes it not worth ordering. And now we're expected to get her kid something. I was like, can you just give her the gift card to Amazon?
And his family is so over the top. They find out he likes something - this year it's Superwings which is hilarious - postman superheroes. So they get him everything related to it so none of it is special anymore. And my family ends up looking lame cause we don't celebrate and do gifts so ministicky thinks the ILs are the best. Here, mini, go spin a dreidel in your cat piss clothes.
I'm going to have to side with Mini on this one. The non-cat piss relatives have a definite edge.
Maybe you can convince the ILs that Mini is really into sports bras and adult-sized running shoes.
And her DH....that would be funny....
Wouldn't be too far off, for most of this past year, mini's favorite was Elsa from Frozen. He wore a blue dress almost every day and belted out Let it Go in English, Chinese, Japanese and Hebrew. His group of friends is pretty international.
The ILs were much less excited about that phase. Haven't seen any Elsa outfits coming in the mail from them.
How's the weather in your part of the world?
I'm trying (and failing miserably) to convince myself that I can do a long run tomorrow and it won't be that bad. It's supposed to be 36*F, raining, and 10+mph wind. I've been out running or hiking in awful weather plenty of times so I know I can do it and not die, but I'm trying to prepare myself to be sodden and miserable. My old stomping ground are supposed to be getting a foot or more of snow tomorrow. I'll take snow over cold rain any day!
Seems I'm in an chatty mood. Only 6 days until Gexit, yay! Still some packing to do but not as much as I thought, seems I threw out a lot in last 2 moves. All my university notes have been ditched, about time after 30 years as well as all my receipts from the 90's. Things have been o.k. here, mostly. Old apartment not sold yet, trying not to be too stressed about that, but the renters are being better, thank goodness. I'll be so glad when this is all over and I'm settled in to my new place. This has been a hard couple of months. But there's light at the end of the tunnel.