Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas=Stressmas! Holly needs to vent.

Ok, first off let me apologize for complaining about how stressful I find Christmas. That being said...I'm still gonna complain.

I always enjoyed Christmas until I met Nick and his family. In my family, you just buy for your immediate family, and something for the little kids. It's fun, you pretty much buy what you want for whomever you want. In Nick's family, you buy for everyone. His parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins...everyone including everone's freakin' pets!! Jesus, where does it stop!?!? It makes me crazy, and I literally start feeling tight in the chest towards the end of October in anticipation of it. The stupid thing is when I'm dreading something like this, I ignore it. I could have shopped 2 months ago, but I didn't and here I am 10 miserable days from D-Day, with no presents. I get overwhelmed and go to the mall, where I just wander around in a daze, accomplish nothing, and go home frustrated. Then while at the mall, I see stuff I like, and buy it...making the holiday that much more expensive! I completely understand why suicide rates are up this time of year. (Don't go calling any hotlines, I'm not suicidal.) It's just such a money grubbing, stress inducing holiday with his family. There are over 20 of them, and we are expected to spend $30 per person. I asked if we could just draw names the first year we were married, and his grandmother said, " FINE, maybe we should just cancel Christmas!" I should have said yes to that once in a lifetime offer. ;) Also on Christmas Eve, we all are on our very best behavior and completely walking on eggshells because his bitchy grandma is just looking for a reason to scream at someone. The best part of it is you never know what might set her off. It's always something minor and unexpected. (I always expect her to come out and start beating us and screaming, "No WIRE hangers!!") It's honestly the closest thing to a hostage situation that I've personally experienced.

Don't get me wrong. I still enjoy some aspect of the holiday. I like to make holiday treats. I enjoy the music. (Especially this year--thanks to Walt!) I like to donate to different charities. I just bought a bunch of Karen Neuburger slipper socks (Love those!!) and donated them to Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly for holiday presents for the elders. (There are over 10,000 elders in the Minneapolis/St Paul area who have 1 or fewer social visits per month, and they provide social interaction for the elders, and holiday meals, presents, cookies, flowers etc.) I volunteered to be the photographer and Nick was the Santa at the Fridley, MN Petco for their Pose your Pet with Santa event this year. Our store took the most pics of any store in the COUNTRY, with the money we raised going to Greyhound Pets of America to help more greyhounds be placed in permanent homes. So I like some aspects, I just hate all the pressure and expectations.

To me Christmas should be about doing something nice for someone unexpectedly. I would far rather go out to lunch with a friend I haven't seen in a while, or have a spa day with a girlfriend. Instead it's about filling a quota. Must. Buy.

Anyway...peace, love, goodwill to all...and all that other crap.


Venus said...

Yea, that's shit, not Cmas. I'm sorry you are held hostage. Are you at least able to drink while having to tolerate that crap?

You are now bookmarked in my blog folder so I'll be back. ;)

Mr. Bee said...

Take all the money you would spend, donate it to a worthy cause in the persons name. You might feel better about that! And tell the old bat to drop dead.
Of course that would suck if she actually did, given your past. :P
You know I love you.

Walt said...

Oy. I'm from a family who just buys for the immediate family. My brother moved away and he's off the list now. My sister's kind of boyfriend moved away and he's off the list now, too. I've got Mom, Dad and Sister this year, as well as an uncle who I don't know how to buy for. He's the only one I haven't bought for yet. He'll get a gift cert. Ken and I agreed to no gifts this year since we bought a new computer, but I got him stuff I know he's gonna love. Ken will buy for his step-mother and maybe send something to his nephews and that's it. We're lucky like that.

It's been many, many years since I've really loved Christmas. Most of my hatred of it stems from my years in the retail industry, but I also had a really shitty Christmas one year and that's always in the back of my mind.

I'm sorry Christmas is so stressful for you. I think it is for most people. It's a holiday for passive-aggressive control freaks who like to make everyone miserable. These freaks take center stage and destroy the joy for the rest. I'm working on regaining my joy for the holiday, but it's hard. I want to know when I can have a Christmas the way *I* want it, not the way someone else insists. We're talking about going away on vacation for Christmas one year. I guess it will be that year.

Walt said...

Ooooh, I like Mr. Bee's idea. If you donate in their names, you might end up being dis-invited to Christmas next year. "What kind of a gift is that?"

Nessa said...

I think Mr. Bee's idea is fantastic! Buy for the kids and for the adults, charitable donations.

RambleRedhead said...

I agree with the gang or try to go in with the others to get something nice for the parents etc.

Take a deep breath and do the best you can!