Holiday blahs anyone?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    OK..........I am not usually one for an over the top holiday extravaganza............and it is usually just my parents and my son and me.........however, this year I am feeling quite alone. :frown:

    Not sure what the deal is, except, of course, I really am completely alone - haha - but it seems more sad than I had anticipated.

    My dad was diagnosis with cancer, brain, terminal cancer, 6 months ago, and that complicates everything. My feelings about family, closeness, needing my family, a family, my dad, etc.

    difficult child made a decision a year ago not to associate with my dad. His reasons are completely valid, and I accept his choices, and respect them. He has visited my dad in the hospital, and on birthdays and stuff, but he has chosen not to have the same close relationship they used to have.

    These 2 factors have caused my parents to not feel so inclined to stay in stuffy Dallas for the holidays, but rather to go out of town. (Not that I blame them) But........Sigh. It still is sad for me. I am used to spending every holiday with them.

    But even more than sad, it is the beginning of a new era. difficult child soon to be on his own, my Dad and Mom, aging........and me, left to forge some sort of new family, familiarity,, for lack of better words.

    Anyway.......I am not really looking for sympathy so much :wink: As ideas on how to embrace this holiday season solo without feeling overly sad. I can't really go anywhere, because I just started a new job - and I don't have a husband, df, so, or any other hmmmppffff. I thought about volunteering, or having dinner with a friend, but nothing seems right.

    Thanks for listening cyber guys are great.
  2. Perhaps you might consider volunteering to feed the homeless for the holidays? Just a thought.... :thanksgiving2:

  3. disenchanted

    disenchanted New Member

    I hear you!!

    Maybe you could adopt a family for the holiday. Just a thought. :smile: could take dinner to a homeless person.

    Or, I could send you my family :smile: I have tons to spare LOL

  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Do you happen to know someone who is down on their luck this year, maybe someone who is having it especially rough financially? Maybe you could call them up and either invite them to thanksgiving dinner or take all the food over there and cook it with them.

    Helps someone else have a nice holiday, and gives you someone to share it with too.

    Or, do you have a friend who is also going to be alone this tday? You could get together and go out to eat for thanksgiving dinner, and maybe catch a movie or some other fun thing to do.

    Somehow I skipped this awkward period. I went from raising the kids, to wham, finding myself standing in the matrons role cuz mother in law wasn't up to the holiday stuff anymore. Now that was a tough one to swallow. Life can sure throw curve balls.

    Now see, if it were me in your position..... I'd be thrilled with nothing to do for tday. It's my least fav holiday. Always has been. Last year I refused to do any celebrating since I was in school and studying for finals. Loved it. And it worked out with the kids cuz they all had other places to go.

  5. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Sorry! Have you discussed this with anyone at work or a close friend? I always invited co-workers over for Thanksgiving if I knew their families weren't around. My one friend was from out of state and she came over several times for the holidays.

    If not, volunteering is a great thing. You may meet some nice friends that way too.
  6. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Even though nothing feels right, I think the others who suggested volunteering is a great idea. What about you and a friend volunteering together?

    If you're busy helping others, you'll feel better yourself. And, you won't have time to feel lonely.

    I think society places way too much emphasis on having the perfect "Hallmark Holiday." I honestly doubt the perfect "Hallmark Holiday" exists for many.

    I hope that whatever you decide to do, you enjoy the day and have a feeling of peace and contentment when it is over... WFEN
  7. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    The first time I had a Thanksgiving alone I did this. I got up late. Read a book. Read another book. Fixed myself a turkey tv dinner (my one sentimental type thing with the turkey). Took a hot bath. Read some more. Went to bed. I had a four day weekend and I had never spent time alone since my daughter had been born etc. I just decided I wasn't getting dressed. I was going to do the one thing I loved and enjoy the whole time. It wasn't easy mind you when the thoughts are wafting in about others but that is when I would remind myself that I could use this one weekend to pamper myself however I wanted, do whatever I wanted. How many of us get that?

    Take it easy. Come to us. Find yourself.


  8. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    Oh...I think I have the holiday blahs too. I think the ideas the others have suggested are great....volunteering brings a wonderful warm feeling. I suppose I would enjoy the "alone time" though, I really don't see that very often. I hope you have a great holiday & your blahs go away for you!!!!!
  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I have the holiday Ughs. Not the blahs. Different thing completely.

    I really love the holidays, and Tink is SO into it this year (gingerbread house catastrophe and all). My issue is my self image. When I first started getting sick, last year in the summer, and the doctor put me on medication, it made me gain weight. So much so that I was embarrassed to go the the holidays with the family last year.

    Well this year, I've gained even more since I quit smoking. I am petrified at the thought of being with the family.

    So I'll go along all the way till Christmas, then send Tink with my mom and older daughter.
  10. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Thanks guys for all of the input.

    difficult child and I used to volunteer all of the time.......but for some reason, now, it feels as if it is an effort to go backward, rather than forward. I know that sounds selfish. But what I mean is, that we have been there done that, and it is not time yet to go back again.

    And sadly, I don't have too many friends. Sigh. This needs to get better, and I am hoping with a new work atmosphere, it will.

    Maybe I just need to accept and embrace where I am at, instead of fighting it. No big deal - T-Day is just socio-economic-factured holiday anyway, right?
    Still difficult child seems so sad and lost lately, I just wish I had something to offer him.
  11. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    I like the idea of inviting someone into your home. I'm sure there are others out there like yourself who plan to be alone. How about contacting a nursing home to see if there is an elderly person - who has all their faculties - but has no family to bring them home for a few hours.

    My grandma lives in a nursing home - and we bring her to our house - but it always saddens her that there are so many residents with good minds who are 'stuck' there for the holidays.

    Just a thought.
  12. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    husband and I were on our own in a strange place for the first time last Thanksgiving. I think I read that you are on your own with a child this year?

    What we needed to do at our house was re-establish tradition so that the Holiday would have meaning. It sounds like that is what you will need to do, too. husband had no interest in volunteering or having dinner with anyone else ~ those things would only have underlined the strangeness. What we did instead was to find little, family run ethnic grocery stores (by looking in the phone book). Then, prior to the Holiday, we visited many of the little stores with delis, choosing this or that side dish for our Thanksgiving dinner. We would have a little of something from India, or Japan, or the Middle East, or Italian, and decide whether to include it Thanksgiving (or Christmas) day.

    It was a way for us to create anticipation for the coming Holiday.

    It worked, to an extent.

    The day itself was still awkward, husband was like a bear because I think he felt cheated, and I, with my usual aplomb, just kept stuffing my feelings about where we were and why we were alone (husband's choice).

    So, of course, we had a huge fight Thanksgiving night. :smile:

    But I think the basic idea was a good one.

    When you seek out and shop the ethnic groceries, it is fascinating to learn how the different nationalities interpret Thanksgiving, and to see what they choose to eat for their feast days.

    Another tradition you could begin with your child is to go to a movie together on Thanksgiving Day. That is what our daughter does with her children ~ whether she is with us or not. (Which sets husband's nose out of joint, of course!)

    Or, as one of the others of us said, come to us.

    Almost every one of us checks in multiple times the day of the Holiday ~ whichever one it is.

    You will be surprised at the flow and the feeling of Holiday, here.

    It's a good place.

  13. Star*

    Star* call 911


    After reading your post I think you are dealing with a lot of "ends", and don't know how to proceed. And how would you? We're in a society that praises new beginnings and is saddened by endings. Rarely do we say OH YES the END OF THIS MAKES ME HAPPY!!! Think about it; a baby being born - celebrate. A person dying - mourn. A wedding; celebrate, a divorce - mourn (unless you were me but I swear 'twas me cutting flips across the courthouse yard) a person that gets well; a celebration, a person that is terminal; mourn. Getting a new boyfriend: celebrate - saying goodbye to a relationship that didn't pan out? Mourn.

    So we're preconditioned from the earliest age to 'look forward' to events in our lives. When those events don't happen it's like someone took a piece out of a 2500 piece puzzle. We work hard all year for a break at Christmas - it 'should' be joyous. We live our whole lives with our parents and want our kids to appreciate them in the way we do and when they don't - it's saddens us. We think our parents are immortal; when we get news otherwise that they really are human and are going to leave us - deep sadness overtakes us. Depression sets in and we would just rather feel sad than take the energy to try to make ourselves feel better, and we bargain with depression telling ourselves it's ONLY for the holidays. Admitting to yourself that nothing stays the same is okay, LEARNING that as a reality is much healthier.

    Well the holidays are EVERY month except August. (thats my birthday so I don't get a break) We have New Years and we make lots of promises we never keep and that sets the tone, then there is February with its holiday of LOVE LOVE LOVE (Swear if I had a bow I'd shoot cupid myself) nothing says "I love you" like a box of chocolates to make my rear end bigger than it is. Then March is St. Pats day (a great excuse to get drunk which doesn't help depression) April - Well if you're Christian it goes back to the Celebrate (and mourn) Christ is crucified, then he rises and lives which messes up my theory totally. May is a double whammy with MOTHERS Day -and if you don't have a super supportive significant other that makes your kids WORSHIP you = most kids shrug and go "it's just a day" so we're left feeling unappreciated again, and then there is Memorial Day to honor the people who are fighting for our freedom which in my head gives me visions of not being appreciative enough I wouldn't have anything I have if those people didn't sacrifice so much- and worry about my son in the draft next year - June brings Father's day, (and well my son was torn by bio-dad being abusive/step dad being great - and longer days and usually about then I'm a little happier for the sunshine and summer coming. July is the fourth and MORE thinking about people having fun, fireworks, picnics, get together events, and I'm basically alone - last year I toasted a hot dog on a fork and got some pre-made mac salad (pathetic) = the hot dog fell off the fork and the dog shared in my delight/sorrow. Then there is August - and you get a break (I have another year to add) September the kids go back to school then there is worry about clothes, fees, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur (Oh dear if I atone today) YIKES.

    October brings shorter days, cooler weather and Halloween. Novemeber brings us to the kick off of the holidays and thoughts about the year, everyone meeting and having family over, getting together, black Friday is coming I want to shop but I have no money and Christmas will be here soon and I still won't have any money and then we all exhale after noon on Christmas thinking THANK GOODNESS THIS IS OVER - until you go back to work and have to hear everyone tell you of THEIR fannnnnntastic holiday, family togetherness, they did this, they got that - and somehow we muddle through it until Dec. 31 and hope that we can just be in bed and once again not get asked to go out and celebrate, but....
    You</u>Willow- have the worry of this could be the last holiday with everyone together and as the picture in your mind plays the movie you think is how everything should be - it makes you a smorgasbord of emotions on top of all the difficult child :censored2: you've had to endure for the year, AND you're alone, AND you don't have many friends - and this is DEPRESSION and holiday BLAHS....but most people think it's JUST around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    Well - what if you said November 22 was JUST another day. And have a hamburger - WHO CARES that you aren't having traditional turkey? And Christmas should be celebrated as a BIRTHDAY - which if you refer to the above mention - birthdays fall on the celebration side. Largely I think industry made us forget what Christmas is all about. Tons of snowmen, reindeer, penguins, wrapping paper and one tiny little section about Christ and what the holiday is about. Amazing to me. Jesus must be going _"NO please do NOT celebrate my birthday this year - it makes so many people sad and I'm going to be like 2040" And New Years - means nothing this year - it's just a new year, so what, big fat hairy deal - for 2/3 of the world it is NOT. Then Valentines day - you want chocolates? BUY them yourself by the pound - leave it on the table the night before and in the morning tell yourself thanks for the chocolates and I love you. Hide your own eggs on Easter, Share a 1/2 lighter burnt hot dog with your dog on the 4th - get the idea.

    Tell yourself that it is just another day - enjoy the time you have with your Father and CELEBRATE his life, busy yourself with making videos of him and do things "in his name" for charity while he's here and tell him you did it for him and your Mom instead of (traditional holiday).

    It never hurts to start your own traditions, march to a different drum, help others less fortunate. I believe that is what this life is for. It's a test to see how we react despite all the :censored2: that gets thrown our way how we're able to help others because if nothing else - this board is a testimony to the fact that you don't have to look far to see someone else with problems greater than (mine & yours). Some days I'm flat out on the ground with my own problems and I come here, read a post like yours and I think - "My cross is not so large to bear - it's just mine." And some days it's all I need to make me feel a little less unfortunate.

    This year - adopt a child off a mall tree, and SHOP if it's whats in your heart and buy that child toys, clothes - or send a family a meal by going to the grocery store buying a meal and sending it to a food bank or local charity - If giving makes you feel better - then do that. If volunteering is your gig - find a place - heck it may even be something you like to do more than just around the holidays. I've met a ton of really interesting and less fortunate people than myself. When we talk - some are just amazed by my life and some are inspired to do better after they hear my story - it makes me feel like I've done something.

    Life is so short - Kids grow up so quick, Our family doesn't get to be here forever, and being alone will be what you make it. Remember you may be lonely but you will never be alone.

    It doesn't hurt to talk it over with a psychologist either. You have a tremendous amount to deal with - maybe you should start by allowing someone to help you sort it all out and break it down so you CAN find the best way to deal with it yourself.

    If not you are welcome to my house in SC for an orphans thanksgiving. Because every day I am here I give thanks.

    Many hugs - many, many
  14. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    The others had wonderful ideas. But, I think it's ok, too, to acknowledge your feelings and feel bad about spending the holidays alone. I think if you to try to create something so that you won't be overly sad, you may end up rather disappointed because...well, those feelings ARE there and they are valid. It's ok to feel bad. It's ok to have a cr@ppy holiday and it's ok to say that it's a cr@ppy holiday because so much is happening at once. And then you'll have all of next year to rebuild before the holidays hit again.

  15. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    WOW Star........your post just blew me away. You get exactly what I was and am feeling.......and even brought to light things I had not thought of. Wow. I am going to re-read your post several times, because it had so many nuggets of truth, so many. Thanks.

    And thank you guys for all of the other suggestions. I actually think it would be a good idea to form a tradition this year for just my son and I, since there may be many years in the future when it is just us. It is hard because he is a teenager, so I have to find something to do he would enjoy as well. I like the ethnic food thing. I don't know. If it was up to just me I would do little crafty, shopping, adopt-a family stuff............but I am trying to incorporate him into the tradition as well. I might do both my own thing, and one together with him.

    Maybe the overbearing topic is that I feel like this could possibly be my last holiday season with my parents, and I will not get to spend it with them, and that makes me SAD. Really, really sad. Mortality seems to be very present in my life for the first time. My dad's brother is sick, My dad's uncle just died, and my grandmother just died........reminding me that life is so very short, when I had previously thought that my world was rather invincible.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    WW...I just had the time to respond to this post. Kidlet is here and she is keeping me running.

    The year that Jamie left for the Marines left me feeling like my family was torn in two. He was really the glue that held us together in many ways. With one member of the family gone, it seemed so hard to have the holidays without him. He was the one who adored easter still at his age. He still wanted to hunt easter eggs at 18 and that year I couldnt even call him or contact him or even send him an egg! He was in boot.

    After he got out of boot and was at his duty station he was always working on both Thanksgiving and Christmas themselves but normally came home over the New Years holidays. We were extremely lucky in that respect. Sometimes we went up and had a meal with him while he worked. I repeat that I cannot express how blessed we were that Jamie got such a great duty station close to home. Angels smiled down on us. Maybe "someone" knew how much I had gone through already with

    We still had to change how we celebrated the holidays. There were no more Christmas trees for probably 2 or 3 years. I think I just put it back up last year when Cory had the baby. Or maybe the year before when she was pregnant. I know Cory was the one who got it out and did it. I didnt have the heart since the boys were grown and there was really no point in it to me.

    I have to admit I have a problem with the holidays though. My depression kicks into gear bigtime about a week prior and normally I cant even function by the time the day comes. Im hoping this year will be better with the baby.

    As Star said...endings are different. But kids do grow up, we move out from our parents, our parents die. My mom died right after Thanksgiving in 2005. Gosh...guess its been two years now. Sigh. Things just change. But dont worry, next thing you know it will change for the better again. Life just keeps turning.
  17. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Yes WW- Stars post blew me away also... I have always had horrible holidays... until I met husband. It took me A LONG time to let go of that feeling...
    Even having you guys in my life has made things better... I don't have lot of friends, nor family.
    I try not to look at things as begining and ends as well... I like that. I love change. I have never been one who has been afraid of death or losse or things taken from me. But I do understand the overwhelming hit you all at once feeling at times especially during the Holidays. I think because you see it everywhere, people ask you what you are doing... it is expected.
    If you are alone people make you feel like something is wrong with you. If you are not chipper and joyous... you are a scrooge...

    Pooh on them... feel anyway you want... if you want to sit with difficult child and play videos and eat desert all day... so be it!!!
    Start you own thing. I agree maybe you guy's can compromise and do 1/2 & 1/2. A mix of what you want and a mix of what difficult child want's for the day... Even if it sounds silly...

    I really am hoping you have a nice week...
  18. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    There are so many truths in this thread. Alot of things to help put our own individual situations into perspective, validation that your feelings are completely natural and not to be discarded. Great ideas on how to find a way to begin new ways of doing things that can hopefully begin to bring new meanings and joy to special occassions while not getting stuck living in the past and mourning the way "things used to be". This board always amazes me at the support but also at the combined wisdom and wonderful ability for members to put things together in new ways that help us see things in a new light.
    I do relate to the passing of the old, having to let go of old traditions and things that made certain occassions special that have to change. I have been going through this for a couple of years. The death of the "glue" family member for us. Family divisions that forced change because certain family members could not be in the company of others, suddenly have "multiple" get togethers in order to not offend others by choosing sides (a sucky position that will always be sucky but I have learned finally to balance in a way that is healthy for me). difficult child was away for 2 Christmas holidays, 2 years of birthdays (his, mine, easy child's, etc), Thanksgiving etc. It was, in my words, pure h-e-double hockey sticks. Other reasons factored in and holidays suddenly loomed large way ahead of their actual dates. Nothing was the same.
    I have very few friends. Finally I am forging some better/healthier bonds and coming out of my hermit shell. But the past couple of years felt very isolating for me. Family dissintegration was an additional kick in the rear end. Family is important to me. We are next to none of us anymore, closeness in the few of us left has been destroyed. Add in all the day to day life stuff like my horrible medical health, cruddy financial situation, a long term relationship ending, trying to date again and weed out the toxic possibilities, difficult child issues, blah blah blah. You get the picture.
    I made a DECISION. I didn't know if it would work, if we'd enjoy the new "ways" for holidays. But I DECIDED. Just to do something completely different and embrace the fact that things were changing and I was going to not let it ruin things, but start something new. Example: last Christmas I did not do the family dinner at my house. Drama, stress, juggling family members, too much money, disappointment it we never what we had before anyhow and the new way was not working to forge something fun in leui of the old. I instead had "visits" with the family that had time, sometime through the holidays and did tea/coffee, snacks. I destressed Christmas morning by making a decision to do it Christmas eve. Bluffed easy child saying that Santa was coming a night early because then she could spend Christmas eve here having gifts, family time, a nice dinner. Then she could go to her fathers to sleep and share Christmas morning with him for the first time (usually it's gifts on the 25th, then by noon rushing off to her dad's for her week long christmas visit, deflates our day anyhow having her go). She loved it. We had so much fun doing something so out of character for us. My difficult child and I spent the rest of the evening of the 24th watching comedies and laughing our tush's off till the wee hours. After all, no 25th a.m. issues of waking up, being busy etc. We slept in late. We got up, had simple brunch, showered, put on our new pj's, and spent the next 5 hours at a movie theater here in town watching back to back movies we wanted badly to see. We stuffed ourselves with popcorn and got all kinds of great input about coming in our pj's. Theater was near empty anyhow. So we kicked off our shoes, put our feet up which is normally a no no in a theater but works when it's dead in there. We left after dark and drove home enjoying watching the light traffic of people travelling to visits or out walking after their big meals etc. Decorations and lights etc. Shared leftover turkey dinner plates. Played Risk until something crazy like 5a.m., and then slept off/on all of the 26th with breaks from sleep to play with Christmas presents (even mom gets a toy for christmas, new tradition started that year for this purpose).
    What would work for you and difficult child? What would be fun if you two could just claim a day or two as YOURS to do everything you both enjoy doing together??? What food do you two both enjoy but dont have often? If you can find how you two can best have a great time with just the two of you, something different than the norm for you two, I can almost assure that you two are going to suddenly go from the lonely aspect to realizing that you have a chance to forge something new and WONDERFUL. The past will then become great memories and the present suddenly has new ability to enjoy and the future isn't so daunting because change suddenly isn't a black cloud.
    I had to do the "mind over matter" trick to pull all these changes off. I wasn't convinced the whole thing would flop and 2006 could well have been written in history as our worst holidays ever. But here I am, in 2007, with both of my kids no longer upset at the changes (nor am I) or the letting go of previous traditions. Both difficult child and easy child practically begged to redo last years plan to the T. I completely agreed. A new tradition was formed. Untraditional for most people. Turns out perfect for us. This will also change again. We know this. A few more years and difficult child will no longer live home, he'll be a man on his own (yikes). Then easy child and I will rethink things and I am no longer scared of it coming down the line. I have learned that to embrace change can make it great!
    I hope you can find something that is going to not only get you through holidays this year, but also bring you new joys.