Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Abbey, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I've grown to so hate them. The stress involved on so many levels is just too much. So this year, I am officially boycotting them (except for the card exchange).

    I worked a double shift this Thanksgiving so others could be with their families. I didn't mind. I watched all day as frantic customers came in for what they forgot. Were they enjoying their day? No. They were stressed to the hilt. That's not having 'thanks' for Thanksgiving.

    Then took daughter to a shelter to give out food. We did do a small time with MIL1 for dinner. Passed on the formal one tomorrow. (That went over well.) I just wanted to spend time with her.

    Christmas? Sorry, I'm not a scrouge (sp?), but I can't do it. I can't feel the pressure to buy, shop, go more in debt, blah. I don't want a tree, lights, anything.

    I think people have SOOOO lost sight of what Christmas should be if you're in the faith. If you're not religious, why are you observing it? Tradition? Well, I'm bucking tradition. I might bake something and schedule time to be with people, but I am NOT doing the shopping thing. I about died when I saw a commercial today about stores opening at 12:01am for sales and were expecting hundreds to show up, which I'm sure they did. That almost makes me sick.

    It's just all got so commercial. my soapbox and to corner. Feel free to delete if too touchy of a subject.

  2. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    There is way too much pressure and stress Abbey. I couldn't agree more. And if you choose to unplug from the madness, I say more power to ya.

    I spent my entire day yesterday, cooking and preparing. I was still doing dishes last night at 9 pm. The only person who offered to help me was my husband. Kinda miffs me.

    I am rethinking my Christmas traditions too. And I am 'in the faith'. But, the spiritual aspect has gotten obscured by the commercial aspect of Christmas.

    I'm joining you on your soapbox!
  3. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    For the last several years we have not done major gifts for Christmas. I usually do the day after Thanksgiving for things we want or need (husband and myself). But Christmas not a whole lot gets bought for the day. We tend to get the kids something at tax time but that is because that is when we have money and then it is usually something major that we want to get them.

  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I've never quite understood the idea of celebrating a day in memory of food. They took the only good part of Thanksgiving away years ago -- I loved watching Heidi on turkey day. It really was a family tradition.

    I'm one of those Christmas lovers. Both for the religious aspect and for the gift giving. This year, my friends are all getting cookies. I've had to pare down on gifts for family. My daughter will understand. My mother won't. Her problem, not mine. I will get her something from my heart and for her bath (which she adores). It won't be enough, but that's how she measures her worth -- how much did it cost. Even so, I love Christmas. It is a chance to show others that I am thinking about them. I wish I was in a better financial situation but I'm not and that's life. They'll still appreciate what they get. My daughter will love her sweater and hoodie. I'll love looking at this dump all decorated and looking Christmassy. I'll enjoy going to the hospital and giving snuggy blankies to the little ones and the elderly. My daughter and I will make time to make some gifts for a local shelter. We've already signed up to spend 8 hours bell ringing for Salvation Army and a day packing food for the needy. So, it will be a good Christmas.

    But I do understand those who have had enough of the commercialism, etc. Christmas should be the time for kindness and true good will. Too many have forgotten that. Whatever you do, as long as it makes you feel good, do it! Enjoy this season in the way you want. In reality, Jesus was born in June or July anyway.
  5. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I went out last night to empty the garbage around 8:00, and three people on the street had Xmas lights up and on already :( I will put a little wreath in the window but I am soooo not running up the electric bill more than it is.

    Each grand is getting one set of clothes, one small toy - the boys are getting 100.00 each and a stocking stuffer - eldest 100.00 gift card from the supermarket - just cannot afford it this year.

    I was looking at my living room which is now my office and started stressing already about room for a tree. SO has already been to storage to pick up his collection of Santas to line the dining room..sigh..

    Am so not in the mood this year.

  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'm with ya, Ab. The craziness of it all....

    We spent yesterday at an impromptu lunch with the ex-in-laws and had a wonderful time - we went into it with no expectations (we had no plans until 12 hours before).

    I am pushing to forgo the useless pile of Christmas gifts and put that money towards a family adventure that the kids would actually remember beyond 4 weeks out. So far, I'm being shot down, but I'm still pushing.
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    The way I will survive them is the way I got through yesterday. Another difficult part of the holidays for us "older" folks is that we have had so many of them and it's hard not to use the past as a measuring stick to the present. There is a strange phenomenon that our minds play ticks on us; that the past, the "happier times" were better than what they actually were. The good ol' days are right now.

    So yesterday instead of thinking about how I miss my son, how I miss my dad who passed, or feeling bad that my mom spent the day with her stepkids, I kept thanking God for all the good things in my life. I have a great group of moms who GET IT. What a gift you all are to me. I have a good job, granted my boss is a jerk but I will look at the cup as half full. I have my amazing son who teaches me to be a better person, the list goes on.

    I think most people will understand the inability to receive gifts from us and if they don't, they need to learn. Make it about the pretty lights, the cookies, the friends, our faith and our hope.

    At least that's what I'm shooting for.


  8. Jena

    Jena New Member


    I'm glad to hear that you had a good day. Your a good person, working so others could enjoy the day and than heading to a shelter. That's what I had wanted to do than do this whole bs with yesterday. difficult child broke down at least 4 x before i even left, my anxiety was thru the roof and i said never again!

    I'm with you, yet for younger children we have to do what we have to do to an extent. I will agree that it is too too commercialized though. I actually said that in one of my posts that i'm going to try to teach difficult child and easy child the real meaning of the holiday since "gifts" will be totally minimal this year.

    i'm glad you had a good day once again
  9. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I get it. I can't get away from it... I beg for some distance from it. I beg for the commercialism to be taken out of it.
    The in-laws have ruined this for me. The years we were in Idaho were nice and quiet in the snow.
    They are pushing for decorating this weekend at their house, they *brought a tree and 'some stuff'* down from Chicago!
    I said no to spending the night for the girls I said maybe an hour or two.
    I bought a little live tree for N. We will pot it later and keep it.
    I bought a couple of educational gifts for the girls. I try to stretch it out over the week before so it is not one huge day. But it still ends up being the BIG day. Too much. Just too much for the kids.
    I just want then to have a nice time, it turns into the whole, "Here open this, open this, open this"

    I would skip it if I could, I don't feel right celebrating it. But I do for the girls. Mostly for the in-laws.
    Of course I love the cards! That means somethings to me...
  10. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I agree that so many have gotten into the hustle and bustle habit, stress and shopppping, decorating, running it's a mad dash to the 25th. I am not religious, but I love the holiday time. I don't do the stressed out thing, nor do I overindulge. I think we should just keep in mind that it's a time to enjoy, whatever that may be. Keep it simple, that's the right idea. I enjoy myself more sitting in my house drinking a cup of tea, listening to the wind blow outside, with my family by my side than any traditional celebrations. People should take the craziness out of it. But I do love Christmas!!!!! The cards from everyone here were very special. I can't wait to send mine out!-Alyssa
  11. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    This is the first year I am in the spirit. Usually I am so down, but this year not so. I don't know if it is the stuff I am taking to combat depression, or if I am just finally at peace with certain things. My family is not perfect and that is ok. It is really ok. For so many years I wanted everything perfect, but it was not to be. I am ok with how we are. husband is antisocial and odd, well he has BiPolar (BP) II, had an awful childhood, and many head injuries when he was younger. Who wouldn't be!!! difficult child is, well difficult child. easy child and I live with the two of them, so what do you expect from us???

    As for gifts, my kids don't believe in Santa and I think that is helpful. They know where their gifts come from and know we are not rich and they cannot have everything they want, tho they do not always act like

    I made our Thanksgiving dinner tonight, ate with family yesterday. Today difficult child's daytrana rolled up so he was super wound. He wanted to take a bath at dinner time, and I let him. Why make him, or try to make him, sit still? He cannot, and he cannot help it. It was not big deal, and no one made it into one. He took a bath, and easy child, husband, a friend and I all ate (very understanding friend). It was a nice quiet meal and difficult child is clean, and thank god asleep. As is everyone but me.
  12. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Abbey, I love this time of year.
    Life is a bear most days. This time of year gives me an excuse and a date to focus to connect with those I care about. I don't mind sharing a meal with them. I don't mind cooking or cleaning up if everyone pitches in. I don't feel used but maybe because I ask for help. It can be pressured but it is the anticipation of sharing time with those I love that makes it the preparation for something I want worth while.
    We have done the quiet, no pressure Thanksgiving for a few years. It's ok and suited us at that time in our life. We prefer the hustle, bustle, sights, sounds, smells that this holiday brings.

    I like the idea of having a day to reflect on gratitude.

    You can make Christmas as non commercial as you want. No one forces anyone to buy into craziness. I also get the fun of Black Friday but it isn't for me. Crowds overwhelm me. I do get that it has become an event like the Super bowl. Let those who enjoy it participate. This is one of those things I enjoy more from the sidelines.

    Not everyone likes holidays. I get that but having a youth of holidays that seemed unfulfilling, I now enjoy being the one who creates the fulfilled feeling within myself. I have grown to love the effort and energy put into the holidays. They are not commercial based for me so I don't resent it and ignore a lot of solicitation.

    We don't volunteer for the holiday feeding fest strictly because there is such an overflow of once a year, working professionals induced guilt volunteerism that the organizations don't know what to do with them all. I prefer to put my energy to the more neglected time of the year and focus on the charity that begins at home. The giving and the thanks starts with a full heart and forgiveness of those that you care about. Why is feeding the poor more fulfilling then feeding those that you love? I'm not sure.

    I hope your holidays or non holidays are what gives you satisfaction or peace. No one should be forced to enjoy a day because they feel obligated.
  13. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    I have little immediate family left - only my mom. So the big huge family get togethers no longer exist, until and if my kids start them. And we currently have no little ones around, so that whole "wonder" thing just isn't that important. We've only had husband's daughters with us one year for Christmas (they live across the country).

    I decided when my son was 10 months old that I would do Christmas. I make a big meal. Anyone and everyone is welcome to come and join in, but other than mass (and usually we go to midnight mass) WE do NOT leave the house. I've had 15 people and I've had 3 show up - doesn't matter to me.

    My son in the Navy has volunteered to do duty every Christmas he's been in. He feels that since he doesn't have kids, he'd rather let those that do be off. That means he can't be "home" for the holiday, so I gave him his Christmas presents yesterday.

    husband and I don't do "big" Christmas. We get each other things during the year as we think or see them. We just find some little, but thoughtful things for each other for Christmas morning.

    We decorate, but it's only things WE like and want to put up.
  14. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hey, Abbey, I totally know what you mean.

    Over the past several years, I have developed personal traditions that mean a lot to me at this upcoming time of year. I am not a traditionally religious person. I was raised Catholic, so I still carry some of those traditions (difficult to shake), but I incorporated my own so that I could get through the holidays and, slowly, celebrating the holidays has become a really enjoyable time for me.

    I try to focus on the time spent spreading happiness and speaking with people I normally do not. I try to be mindful of acquiantances who have no family and I love to bake, so I put a lot of love into everything I make and share it with my neighbors and family. Instead of buying up all sorts of wrapping paper, we use plain white or brown shipping paper and decorate it ourselves, using stamps or finger paints. Although my kids are grown, they still love making our own wrapping paper. And it's all recyclable! There is a certain spark and warmth in the air. We used to go overboard buying the girls presents - I always felt like it was never enough, but now, it's just fun hanging out and eating and laughing and watching our favorite holiday movies, going for walks and playing board games.

    I love decorating the inside of my it's a reflection of how I want Christmas to be!

    I pretty much stay away from the stores altogether and if I do buy anything, it's usually on line. I try to spend more time with friends or family that I don't normally see - meet a friend for lunch, coffee or even a quick bite for dinner, something inexpensive just to catch up.

    My H is an absolute grinch about Christmas - he is already telling me how much he hates it because of all the wastefulness. I told him to just stop buying crud - no pressure. He just looked at me sideways.

    I hope you're able to make this holiday season a time of reflection and joy, and a time for you to build or create new traditions that mean something to you.