I’ve been very clear about my dislike and withdrawal from the Christmas holidays. Christmas was just never a happy time during an abusive childhood, and then as a very young mom, I tried to create magic every year only to be left with a feeling of failure. I wrote about it in my other blog; onbothsidesnow
A recent poll suggested 45% would rather skip Christmas. So I am not the lone Scrooge here! The concept of Christmas is beautiful, but that’s not what we celebrate now. As a child, I remember nothing….just a feeling of tension and the dread of “oh, no it’s not going to perfect for our mother!” As a young mother, I drove myself crazy trying to create magic out of thin air and low balances in my checkbook. As my family started to multiply with children in law and grandchildren, the stress was compounded and I knew I was just one of the many grandmas and relative giving unwanted things to children who were, by the end of the day, too exhausted to even know what had been given to them.
Since my kids are grown with children of their own and we live hundreds of miles from all of them, I decided to “pull out” of Christmas. Stop the Christmas Bus. Turn off and take down the Christmas lights….for good. Thanksgiving is our holiday, and we all agreed we like it much better. The first year was hard, guilt crept in, anger could easily take over and my will to abandon this now commercial excuse for a holiday weakened. I held fast though…and came through it without too many scrapes.
I send my kids and grandkids things at a different time throughout the year….when I’m not just adding to a stack of cardboard and paper strewn about. They seem to notice and appreciate it more. I don’t ask them to travel to see me, I’d rather have them come in pleasant weather and do things outside we can enjoy. I don’t put up a tree and I don’t have a mess to keep cleaning up and put away in two weeks.
Every year, I buy a beautiful beef tenderloin. My husband and I love a recipe I have for it and since it’s about $100 for a whole tenderloin, it’s not on the weekly rotation for menu suggestions. I make a few desserts that we both really like and we stock up on some good movies. We’ll FaceTime with the kids while we’re snuggled up in our warmth with a great glass of wine and enjoy the fact they’re enjoying a different version of “comfort and joy”.
To know the rest of the world is in the midst of “tidings of comfort and joy” and we are stress free and enjoying our time together seems to be a real bonus and truly comforting and joyous to us. I say bring “THE SPIRIT” of Christmas to your life all year long and enjoy the quiet holidays!