When I was growing up, the house we lived in was always host to the whole extended family for Christmas. This meant that for at least the week, if not two weeks, everyone was constantly cleaning, baking, wrapping, decorating, and generally whatever-ing getting ready for the hoard of people that were going to descend on the house in a few days.
Needless to say, tensions were always running high. Everyone was snapping at each other, everyone was stressed, and I generally hated all of it. I never understood, and still don’t understand the manic energy and irritability that took (and still takes) over my family for a week. My mother gets overly stressed out and takes it out on everyone around her by barking orders and criticizing everything, all while acting like the perfect host to everyone who isn’t immediate family with this fake sugary sweet attitude that always leaves us reeling. I honestly don’t know why my stepdad hasn’t put his foot down over the last 20 years and told her either to knock it off or scale back Christmas – they don’t need to host everyone under the sun for the holiday. If it isn’t something that they can handle, then they need to take a step back and do what they can handle easily without this maddening kind of stress that brings out the worst in everyone.
For example – at Thanksgiving my stepdad, Mike, and myself were in the kitchen working, she was sitting at the counter bitching that no one was helping her. Um… what? What the hell does it look like we’re doing? And rather than deal with the issue, my stepdad will look at us and say “you know how she gets.”
That isn’t an excuse. Everyone just excuses the behavior. So this year? We both told her that we had to work until 3 on Christmas Eve. And Christmas Day, that is drastically dialed back in our family, Mike has to run into work around 2 to check the building. Now, not all of this is untrue. Mike does work Christmas Eve, and he does have to run to work on Christmas Day, but I’m off both days. I have no intention of spending my day getting bitched at because I’m not doing something just so. I’d like to enjoy my days off, because even though they are the holidays, those are my only two days off that week. I have stuff that I need to get done at home, and I also want to relax. This is our busiest time of year, and the in the days leading up to Christmas I’m going to be running nonstop at work. I’m going to need a damn break.
Personally I can’t wait until Christmas is over. I hate this time of year, I really do. I much prefer New Years when I’m generally left alone and can spend time looking forward instead of looking back. I’m off on New Years Day, and I plan on spending the day getting a few things done, then watching TV waiting for the Doctor Who New Years special and moving into my new planner for the new year.
I hope everyone’s Christmas is everything that you want it to be this year. I know this year is going to look drastically different than those previous. I hope that it’s enjoyable and that Santa brings you everything that you want.
Stay safe, friends!