How do you feel about the holidays? Love, hate, apathy?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think I'm falling into the apathy department. It's just another day, in many ways. It IS an excuse to see the kids and my granddaughter. But it's also stressful and expensive and I wonder if all holidays have lost their meaning.

    Think about Veteran's Day, admittedly not a big or popular one, but my husband has often said, with a smile, "There's no point to it. Vets all work while government workers get paid time off and the kids don't go to school." It's lost it's meaning.

    The only holiday I kind of still think has kept it's meaning is Thanksgiving.

    I'm not one of those holiday haters because we don't have to deal with toxic relations. However, it also is not the big deal to me that it used to be when I was much younger. And I don't mean a kid. Living in a Jewish house, I never saw Christmas!!! I didn't even know it was a big holiday since almost everyone who lived near me was Jewish...hehe. When I first married my first hub, Christmas was HUGE to me. Now it's just...kind of...a reason to spend money???

    How do you feel?
  2. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Same way, Apathy and it makes me very sad that it use to mean so much more to me when I was younger. I miss it so much, nostalgia , pain in remembering the good times too that are lost in space.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I've always loved the holidays but this year (and in recent years) I've become more apathetic. I think part of it has to do with being somewhat depressed (not majorly but some). I want to enjoy them more like I used to. We have traditions of things we do every year. Even though we have fun visiting everyone, it sometimes feels like a chore to get things together enough and have difficult child get off work. easy child/difficult child doesn't even come most of the time. The actual Christmas day is nice-as quiet as it can be with difficult child but it's just the four of us. Still I'm not feeling the excitement this year. We'll go to Christmas Eve Mass which I always love except for the fact that difficult child still can't sit quietly through church.
  4. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    My grands are no longer small children. They want money to shop the after sales. My youngest is in jail.
    I will travel the 6 hr round trip and sit and watch him scarf down 10 dollars worth of junk food. I would rather be home and watch my fur babies tear into their presents. BAH HUMBUG
  5. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    For some reason this year I'm more in the holiday spirit than I've been in many many years. Not quite sure why but I think it has to do with the fact that I'm beginning to accept things for what they truly are. For a long time Christmas time was horrible for me. It was my mom's favorite holiday and she always made it so special and after she died almost 10 years ago I lost that "magic" feeling. It will never be the same without her. Add to that the stress of difficult child's ongoing issues and spending money we don't have and the hustle and bustle it has truly become more of a nightmare than an exciting holiday. However, like I said, this year feels a bit different. I've been working on radical acceptance (thanks MWM) and I truly think that's helping put some spirit and joy back into my life. I feel at peace this year for the first time in a very long time.
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I think my favorite holidays are Thanksgiving and New Years. I truly believe it is vital to be grateful for all the good in our lives and to do our best to concentrate on our blessings as best as we can. And I like New Years, because it is a benchmark of sorts to evaluate the previous year (with gratitude for the good) and to set some healthy goals for the future. I do like Christmas, but at times it does get overly stressful for me. Some of this for me and my family is that difficult child is often very demanding on this day and in the days leading up to Christmas. I suppose, like most everyone, she has unrealistic expectations. But, she is not usually able to self soothe (or whatever we do) and get past the stress so that she and everyone around her can have a good time. Knock on wood and fingers crossed, this year is looking a little better in that department and I will be doing the happy dance if she can rein in the angst and grouchiness and just go with the flow. I made cookies the other day as an experiment in preparation for Christmas Eve dinner at a relatives house and was testing the recipe. She seemed very happy to be the taste tester. :) The more I think about it, if difficult child did better, yep, Christmas would be great. I guess I kind of am a holiday kind of person!
  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I don't enjoy it at all any more. I haven't for many years. For me it's just a big stress filled, expensive ordeal to get through and it's pure relief when it's all over with! Starting mid-November, I start to feel the "Christmas noose" tightening around my neck. All of this, the shopping, decorating, wrapping, baking ... they're all just chores that I do NOT enjoy doing and never have. I used to enjoy it when the kids were little and I got to see it all through their eyes. But somewhere along the line, my function became being the one doing all the work to ensure that everybody else has a good time.

    And now the kids are grown. My son lives here, my daughter, sister in law and five year old grandson live 600 miles away. And ever since my grandson was born, my son and I have made the trip down to see them every Christmas. My son does help out but my funds are very limited and every year I figure and refigure my budget to make sure that I can afford the gifts, gas money for the trip, boarding the four dogs, etc., without running myself dry. Even after downsizing on the gifts this year, I'm cutting it very, very close. I hate the ordeal of that long trip. I don't really enjoy it until we're pulling in to their driveway, but I only get to see them once a year and I would enjoy it just as much if it wasn't Christmas. If it was all up to me, I'd crawl in the closet with a blanket over my head and stay there till it's all over with! It makes me sad to feel that way but I do, especially this year.
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  8. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Can't stand it. Hate it.

    It's the season of stress, clutter and greed.

    The shops here in the UK have been blasting awful christmas music since October. I have some extra-strength earplugs that I wear to get my grocery shopping done. What's the noise supposed to be for? To get us to stay in the shops longer and buy loads of christmas tat? Yeah right.
  9. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Can I join you?
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Worst part is... for two weeks, difficult child will be home "full time" and working "weekends" (i.e. works two days each week, off otherwise). It's difficult for all of us to survive that many consecutive days together... and yes, we all live under the same roof.
  11. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I've been thinking about what everyone has said and although I totally agree about the greed and the stress that surround the holidays..................I still LOVE Christmas.

    For me, it brings out the child in me, the excitement of thinking about and then witnessing the smiles and joy that those I love have on their faces when they open their gifts. That excitement stays with me from the beginning of the season right up to Christmas morning. I can hardly contain myself! I love having the family and my friends over, for me it is a time to be grateful and to recognize all the love that surrounds me.

    I love the smell of the tree, the lights, the candles, the food, I even like the shopping. In the last few years I've done a lot of shopping on line which is great, you click and it arrives a few days later! My experience is that most of the folks I run into are in a happy place. I don't participate in Black Friday or go to any huge stores where I think the element of scary greed exists, I tend to shop in smaller local shops. I live in a smaller town where there are wonderful shops and I like to give them the business.

    I love Christmas morning, even though it's now only my husband and granddaughter and our PJ's, sipping hot chocolate or tea or coffee, listening to Christmas music, a fire going, (or at times the YULE LOG ON TV) eventually getting around to some special breakfast. Then cooking and waiting for my guests to arrive. Even when my daughter was in the bad throes of gfgdom, we held a cease fire for the holidays and we all managed to have a good time. Two years ago, we had spontaneous surprise guests really early on Christmas morning, before we were even dressed and the whole day got completely altered as to who was coming who wasn't, and because we all just let go of how it was "supposed to be" and enjoyed how it was, it ended up being a spectacular time for all of us. Now I don't go in with expectations, I seem to be able to just "show up" and see how it all turns out. It's a lot less stress that way.

    I still feel the magic of it all, the same magic I felt as a kid when I thought Santa was coming. I watch all the hokey old movies, we hang lights, we decorate the house, it all brings me a lot of joy.

    I guess I am a cockeyed optimist in many ways. I'm looking forward to next Wednesday and Thursday.............still waiting for Santa to arrive.................:beautifulthing::beautifulthing::mistletoe:
  12. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    I always say, we "tolerate the in-laws" for Christmas Eve, and then spend a low-key Christmas to ourselves (husband, me, difficult child 2). It's much easier that way. We don't spend a lot of money on gifts. New Year's is more exciting to me - the promise of a new year- maybe more sense out of difficult child's.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    For us, the holidays end at Christmas. New Years is kind of a non-holiday for me and always has been. We don't go out or drink at all and I usually fall asleep before midnight. I even did this on 2000!!! I have a fear of drunks on the road too. The one time I went out on New Years was with my first husband way before we were married, so I was a teenager and you guessed it...a drunk guy hit us.

    That was the last time I ever celebrated it. Hubby and I don't even watch the New Years Eve shows.

    So of all the holidays, New Years may be the one I'm most apathetic about. Our store will be open on New Years Day and I volunteered to work because I'm sure many employees will not be :)
  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yeah, I'm kind of apathetic about New Years Eve too. I agree about staying home and being safe.

    When I was 17 and living in NY, I went to Times Square for New Years Eve. It was an amazing trip. I was jammed in with all those other New Years Eve ever compared to that for me. That was the pinnacle!!! You're only 17 once and it was all new and exciting and fun and dramatic. You couldn't pay me enough to go there now, but then? Fabulous! Terrific memories too.
  15. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    I'm really torn this year. I WANT to be excited about Christmas. difficult child will be there for a couple hours...first time she's been home since she went to detox. Only the 2nd time our GS will have seen his mommy in about 100 days. I'm very aprehensive about how that will go but we've limited her visit and told her don't be late, leave the phone in the car and spend that time completely focused on her son since she's had absolutely no focus on him for so long - being in the throws of her addiction and then rehab after. I guess this is the part I'm torn about. The unknown. How will difficult child act? How will GS react?

    Oldest easy child - not sure when we'll see him but we will see him at some point Christmas day. He lives out of state so he'll be making a lot of rounds visting his girlfriend's family, my ex's family, us, etc.

    Middle easy child and GD will be spending the night Christmas Eve. She and I are the closest of all the kids and she has expressed she wouldn't even think about spending time with ex's family over ours. She and ex don't have a great relationship. Ex is big D-Bag (narcissistic) and can't manipulate her like he can the boys.

    Youngest easy child will be with us at some point Christmas day and for dinner at my parents but being 17, his social calendar will take precedence at some point.

    I've come to accept they are all getting older and have their own lives to lead so whatever time I can get, I cherish.

    It will be great having both grandkids there to watch their reactions after finding Santa came and left them some loot! 2 and 3 years old and all the wonder that is Christmas for them is the most exciting part of the season!

    I do agree it is a stressful time with all the shopping, decorating, baking, etc. I do it all by myself. Although GS did "help" me decorate the tree and sugar cookies :)

    New Years Eve has never been a big holiday for me. I spend time worrying about the kids being out on the road with all the "crazies" and like some of you, am asleep on the couch before midnight. LOL
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    New Year's Eve was the biggest holiday of the year, growing up. That's when family got together. No drinking. Parents talking in one room, kids playing Monopoly in the other. If you were tired, you grabbed a blanket and napped on the couch. Nobody went to bed until WELL after midnight. It was just... extended family time. We don't have that now, and I miss it.
  17. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I am still a xmas fanatic.

    But I admit, I've had to find other ways to enjoy it because it has been many years now since there were small kids living at home. And my girls are carrying on traditions with the grands, so there is little or no need for me to do so.

    One of my big things is being an elf to someone who might not otherwise have a decent holiday. Sometimes this means donating groceries for a big dinner, and or putting toys in for Toys for Tots, and watching the local community pages for folks in need (who thought they'd be ok but the bottom fell out at the last minute) and doing what I can to help them out.

    Toys for Tots this year I truly enjoyed because the need multiplied by tenfold and thus donations were down due to it too. Walgreens had a fabulous sale on one get one free. This meant I was able to give twice as much as I could have........which I did. :)

    New Year's has never been a holiday I make a deal out of so........phht. lol
  18. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    I wholeheartedly agree. What we enjoy is giving a little something to that person who doesn't expect it and watching the joy on their faces when they aren't expected to give anything back. The give-mes of the holiday seasons has turned me into a bah-hum-bug of a person. I don't see why people feel the need to splurge their hard earned money on multiple gifts. I am OK for the small kids still getting excited about Santa and his gifts.
    Seems to me to becoming a huge commercial mess and it just doesn't feel the same. Also every year, I understand the community needs have gotten greater - but so has the begging and the guilting. I try to give to my favorite charities or people in need year round but having to listen to the "adopt your angel today" type stuff, really ends up irritating me. I do give to toys for tots for both the kids and the Marines behind the charity - but if these damn news companies who beg the loudest - would push more companies to pay a living wage - they wouldn't have to beg the rest of us every year ad nausea um.
    husband and I will be treating ourselves to a nice at home dinner of our favorites but if I hear one more Christmas song I am going to implode LOL.
    We don't need anything, if we did we would just buy it. The only highlight is if you really do need something it might be a great time to buy it and save money.
  19. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    I think I came into my anti-greed Christmas era when I was a volunteer for a domestic violence hotline. One day near Christmas I came in to the shelter and the STAFF were fighting over all the "good stuff" that had come in for the homeless women and children - justifying it by whining that they make low wages and their children deserved a Christmas too! (I quit that day) So they were picking through what they wanted FIRST and leaving the rest for the people the stuff was actually donated for. UGH!
  20. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I like Holidays. My favourites are the big ones, Christmas and Midsummer, and the big reason for that is their importance as natural turning points of a year, keeping in touch of nature around us, though Christmas has also great religious meaning to me. And I do enjoy family interaction of Christmas (and partying with friends in midsummer), especially when this year I will have both boys home for Christmas Eve (which is the main day of Christmas to us, we tend to always celebrate eves of everything more than the day itself around here ;)) Whole Christmas time is nice to me, starting from first advent and ending to Epiphany, lots of different things to celebrate the season with different people. So much fun things to do with people. It is not so much about one big day or family dinner, but whole process.

    I mean, I truly enjoy for example making crafts and baking with friends for the Christmas markets for various organizations, being there to sell those items and chatting with neighbours etc. Decorating, baking and cooking for our own Christmas (not about cleaning though ;)), this year I for example had immensely fun when baking and decorating gingerbread houses with our respite kids. I also like Christmas parties of local school (I have couple god kids, who were part of the show, so we were invited, other organizations (for example the figure skating club one of my nieces is part gave awesome show this year.) Then there are all the Christmas concerts and Christmas carol singing things. And of course all the racy 'little Christmas' parties workplaces and clubs are throwing. And walking around in the woods with family members looking for Christmas trees for everyone (yeah, father in law has actually been looking for them from the early fall, and probably has trees for years to come chosen already, but then we all spend a day at the woods going from tree to tree he shows us and choose and bargain with each other till everyone has a tree they are happy with and we can make a bonfire, grill some sausages and drink coffee and hot chocolate.) I love that whole process of getting to the Christmas and community feeling of it. And then the contrast of all that slowing down from the Christmas Eve morning, settling down to really celebrate the Christmas and the full stop of the Christmas night, letting go of all that worldly stuff and quieting down and opening yourself to deeper religious aspects of Christmas. And then again getting it going and meeting and visiting extended family and friends till Epiphany. And new years parties are great fun too.

    Christmas tends to be more family and community orientated, but I also enjoy Midsummer, what is more about being frolic with friends and also about celebrating nature and light or Walpurgis night, again spent with friends in merrymaking and anticipating coming summer.

    I have nothing against my ordinary, everyday life, but I certainly do enjoy Holidays that cut into that and give a great excuse for something else.