“Santa is coming! Santa is coming!” I sure do love me some Will Ferrell in Elf. For some people the holidays, specifically Christmas, are their favorite time of year. Family gatherings. Shopping. Chocolate. Chocolate and more chocolate. Christmas music. The list goes on and on. For me, I feel like the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving, are the most stressful, unexciting time of year. The pressure to find perfect gifts, to travel to and from so many different locations to celebrate the season, is quite unbearable. I’ve hosted one Christmas my entire life, and by host I meant everyone else cooked while I watched in my house. I am quite good at setting and clearing the table and that’s about all I can handle. I’m not sure when the holidays started to feel like a burden for me. I do know its been many, many years now that I’ve felt this way.
The preparation of all of the food and making sure there are enough place settings always seemed to be so stressful. The grocery list seemed so long. And, you can’t buy the food too early or it’s not fresh. You can’t buy the food too late because you and everyone else and their mother’s are shopping for the exact same food for their festivities. It’s the holiday’s and who wants to throw down in the middle of the grocery store? How about trying to find parking at said grocery store or shopping center? Just thinking about it now is giving me anxiety. I can feel my chest tightening.
Let’s move on to the gifts. I. Can’t. Even. Deal. I have walked around aimlessly for hours year after year searching for just the right gift. “Will they like this? Will it fit? Is it something they would buy themselves? Did they really mean don’t buy me anything? They bought us a gift, but we didn’t get anything for them. We said we weren’t doing gifts!” Again, chest tightening happening again thinking this is just four months away. GAAAHHH.
How about traveling to and fro to squeeze in as many family members as you possibly can in a ridiculous amount of time? Remember that movie, Four Christmases? The couple had to drive to four different relative’s house in one day to celebrate Christmas because their flights to their tropical vacation were canceled due to a winter storm? They had the right idea. Get. Out. Of. Town. Drive two hours for the Eve of the holiday, then back two hours for the day of the holiday, then another 45 minutes the weekend before or the weekend after to make up for not making it to the Eve or the actual Holiday. The drive times I have provided are the actual times it should take to get from our home to the hosts, but remember, it’s a holiday so tack on at least an extra hour of drive time. It’s all so exhausting and I hate traffic so much. My anxiety is kicking in thinking of the three hours or more in the car.
Do not get me started on the Christmas music that starts playing before Thanksgiving gets here. Or, the Christmas decorations that are up and available for purchase right after Halloween. It’s just bonkers to me. Christmas music, can’t stand it for some reason. I don’t know what it is, but as soon as I hear it, I want to scream. I remember my co-workers playing it 24-7. I brought head phones to the office so I could drown out the sound of the jolly ol’ music. Every year the holidays approach, I want to run. Run as far away as possible. I want to be on an island sipping cocktails on the beach. (see movie Four Christmases).
However, now, I’m part of my own little family of three. There is a little boy who I can’t ruin this time of year for. I want him to love the holidays. I want to see his little eyes light up at the Christmas lights and I want to see him sing along to the music. You know what they say, “fake it, til you make it.” That’s what I’ll do for him because it’s not about me, it’s about him and his experiences. Who knows, maybe all the faking will rub off and I’ll start to enjoy the holidays. Maybe. Until then, Bah Humbug….
I’d love to hear if you love or loathe the holidays. I’m hopeful I’m not the only person who feels this way!