Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Family Holidays..Heaven or Hell?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
AutumnMist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:50 PM
Original message
Family Holidays..Heaven or Hell?
Please excuse the terminology it isn't about religion. I just got off the phone with a family member that is so stressed about the holidays and what they have to do. I have always loved the holidays in terms of baking and family. Call me old fashioned, but I do love it. How is this holiday season going to play out for you? Anything we as fellow DU'ers can do to help out? Rant away. You wont get coal in your stocking I promise. :) Just wanted to say its ok to not want to sing jingle bells and trim the tree. We can still have a nice DU holiday if for nothing else but to support each other. Have a good afternoon! :hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
1. I enjoy spending time with the family
but I am done with cooking the big meals in my mother's tiny and always too hot kitchen while she bumps me with her wheel chair! I know that sounds heartless, but you try to do all that potatoes and dressing and stuff in a tiny kitchen with a sweet well-meaning 86 year old blind woman in a wheel chair who is virtually helpless with a young cat jumping up and playing on the wheel chair!

I can't order her out of her own kitchen so I'm hoping to opt to do most of Christmas cooking in my home and bring it over.

Thanks for letting me rant.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AutumnMist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Hey thats what its about!
To a stress free and happy holiday for you and yours. :toast:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
2. We ignore them (as much as possible) all.
Both my wife and I come from good Irish Catholic families - which means that we can't stand our relatives - and vice versa. And, we have coinciding memories of family holidays that usually ended in brawls and the intervention of the police and/or trips to the emergency room for the happy revelers.

Ignoring them also saves on hangovers, bankruptcy, and the other holiday cheer enjoyed by so many.

Bah! Humbug! - words to live by.






Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AutumnMist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #2
18. I am Irish and was raised Catholic
your post made me laugh out loud! Thank you for your unique and wonderful point of view. I deeply understand.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Union Thug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. Sort of like the Garden of Earthly Delights but more painful
Between the inevitable damage to our house, the redneck, racist prick of a boyfriend that my currently psycho sister is hanging with, and the everything else, I dread this time of year. Only three new gouges in the wood floor on thanksgiving, so things are improving, I guess.

-Ebenezer McGrinch
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AutumnMist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
15. LOL!
Im sorry I am just laughing at the absurd crap you have to go through. Not the stress it causes you. I hope you and yours have a good one. Lord knows we all need it this time of year when there is damage to the house and psycho boyfriends involved. You will be in my thoughts. :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MadinMo Donating Member (519 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
4. I used to absolutely LOVE the holidays, but
I haven't enjoyed them ever since my dad died 15 years ago. For me the holidays centered around the family home, with lots of family gathering there for all or part of the time. After he died and my mother sold the house, it has never been the same, not even in my own home. And family is so far-flung that no one gathers together during this time anymore.

Thanks AutumnMist for your offer not to put coal in my stocking --- however, when I write this down I realize it sounds like I'm feeling sorry for myself. I do honestly try to get excited for my kids' sake, but haven't been too successful. It would help if MrMadinMo wasn't so anti-social. Entertaining in our home can be tricky in combination with his anti-social tendencies.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AutumnMist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Here is something for your stocking......
:hug: It has no expiration date. Its good all year long. Just ask. I know its hard when we lose the people and the things that we loved so much. Nothing wrong with that. Drop me a line anytime. I do honestly understand.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MadinMo Donating Member (519 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Thanks!
:)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Mz Pip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
6. Unreasonable expectations
seem to be a big cause of holiday malaise and stress. Everything has to be perfect. Perfect gifts, perfect decorations, perfect food, pefectly well mannered children, in-laws, siblings. :eyes: Then when it becomes obvious that perfect isn't happening the crash comes.

It's really unrealistic to have over the top expactations of how perfect everything will be. When people get up to go to the mall at 4am you know they have some pretty bizarre expectations about what the holidays should be like.

I think it's really sad that we as a society have come to this. Stress, greed, gluttony, envy and anger should not be part of our holiday experience.

Just my two cents.

Mz Pip
:dem:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AutumnMist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. ABSOLUTELY!
I think its about really great bad food, laughing with friends and family and putting up sometimes incredibly tacky ornaments just to piss the formal holiday people off. I hope regardless you can have your own fun night with whatever it entails. Throw them off and make some calamari instead of turkey. Its always fun. LOL.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Union Thug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. The consumerism makes me sick. We vowed a long time ago not to participate...
Edited on Wed Nov-28-07 02:12 PM by Union Thug
except for gifting our two kids (and I don't mean extravagant overspending). Otherwise, the marketers can shove it all up their collective arses.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LSparkle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
8. As a single person with no family of my own ...
The holidays have always been about returning to MY family's home and replaying the same old psychological dramas from my childhood. I'm sure I'd feel differently if I had my own kids and could focus on a family that doesn't dredge up the same old dynamics/jealousies/hang-ups, etc. As it is, I dread the period from Thanksgiving to Christmas because it's usually spent either trying to come up with some excuse to avoid having to go home and deal with "the folks" or "girding my loins" for dealing with them ... It's a shame, too, because I used to love Christmas as a kid.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AutumnMist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. I did that for years with my own family
I still have many friends that have now decided to not go back home for the holidays because of it. There isnt one person I know that likes to be beaten down by the ones that they hold most dear. I started my own traditions, even before my husband and I had children. Mainly because I also loved Christmas as well as a child. I hope that you can have a good holiday season and get some friends together and start your own tradition. Live it up and have fun. It could be something that is special and without all the family B.S. :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LSparkle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #13
31. Thanks! This year I have a reprieve and won't have to go
because the family is gathering out of state. (Joy to the World, indeed!) I do plan on getting together with friends and having a tree, even if I'm the only one who sees it!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Lady Effingbroke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
12. Heaven, as long as no one is drinking.
:hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LibertyLover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
14. It's just my husband, our 5 year old and me
so it's no big deal. His daughter from his first marriage sometimes dains to come down on Christmas Eve, if she can break away from her mother, her grandparents, her boyfriend's mother and his grandparents. We get the 45 minutes betweeen engagements visit, but since we can't stand her boyfriend, it's ok. My husband isn't on speaking terms with his brother or sister (I've met the brother once and the sister never in 9 years of marriage)or his son and the only family I have left are a bunch of first cousins once removed, who, even though a couple of them live close, have families of their own to holiday with, although I still have to do the stupid present buying for them. We make the best of it for our little girl - do the tree and room decorations, but truthfully, lately I just don't care. If it were just husband and me, I wouldn't bother decorating or giving presents or anything and would probably eat Chinese on Christmas day with a lot of alcohol to wash it down.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AutumnMist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. mmmm chinese food.
"If it were just husband and me, I wouldn't bother decorating or giving presents or anything and would probably eat Chinese on Christmas day with a lot of alcohol to wash it down."

Every parents dream..plus sleeping in. And maybe someone to take the Christmas lights down after new years. LOL.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Beer Snob-50 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
16. christmas eve will be with abut 30 of my wifes family
and this year for the first tiem we will also have my wifes single brothers over for dinner christmas day. my family will come over the weekend after christmas. it gets stressful a couple of days beforehand but after people come, things are fine.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
murphymom Donating Member (443 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
19. I've been slowly opting out over the years
I had gotten to the point where the holidays weren't any fun anymore because of the things I felt I "had" to do. Finally I came to the conclusion that the holidays were like a giant all-you-can-eat buffet - you can't eat it all, you really aren't expected to, and you just make yourself sick if you try. Now I try to pick out the parts of the holiday season that I really enjoy, or that have special meaning for me, and let the rest go.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AutumnMist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. I think
thats a great bit of wisdom for all of us. It seems that so many are focused on doing instead of enjoying. Who cares? Just have fun and do what you want. Have a great holiday. It sounds like you have a very good plan.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
21. Family holiday should be endurable
same old family dynamics, joys and irritations.

What completely kills my holiday spirit is the obligatory gift giving that I have to do beyond my family: clients, employees etc. I usually have to gift more than 100 people by the time I'm done and it never fails to have me thoroughly provoked by the end of the process. Every year I start out trying to perform the shopping with gratefulness and peace - I mean, this is my support team - the ones who make our lives successful, productive, interesting etc. But it's expensive (when I usually have a really little budget). I can never find something that will suit "everyone" so just buying in bulk is tricky. It's hectic and I have to wrap the stuff - a task I am really bad at, and add meaningful cards - even to the clients I hate and it always pisses me off when I have to fake it....

By the time the actual day comes around with my family, I am cranky and completely out of any ho fucking ho. Can you tell I am getting revved up to go shopping this weekend? Must. Be. Grateful. I. Am. Grateful.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AutumnMist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Of course you are grateful
but grateful doesnt always mean you are wealthy. Could you have a party possibly and invite the people you usually gift and send them home with a gift thats homemade? Or maybe something that feels homespun? Have a nice toast to all and that will eliminate the need for all the cards and then talk to each person on an individual basis at the party. Have them each bring a bottle of their favorite wine and exchange it. I have been to wonderful parties that were upscale "potlucks" and we always had a great time. Im sorry if that sounds insulting to you. I wasn't in any way meaning to be so forward. But more than 100 people? That would make anyone not want to be in the holiday spirit.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. You are sweet to put up with my grousing!
I do take out my employees for "the" lunch and they usually get bonus checks, tucked inside something small. Actually, this is the easiest group for me to shop for - they could care less about the gift, they want the bonus $$

My husband's office however, is a govt organization so he can't give out bonus checks. He takes them all out and gives out gifts. He always goes with me to find what he wants to get but he takes foreeevvvverrr choosing - it makes me crazy.

Our clients at our farm however require more... just more tlc and careful handling. I usually know them quite well, caretake and train their horses, play with their kids etc. etc. I have tried to throw parties before but there's always that percentage of folks in a barn who are feuding with others and the fiesta is always strained. Besides, my only warm area of any size for a party at the barn is the viewing room which holds about 25 people max, if we are packed in like sardines. I would need a space for close to 75 people and then we are talking major bucks to rent a place....

And homemade gifts?! Wowza! I don't go overboard on the dollar value of the gift - it's more of a gesture of gratitude for their trust in us but any gift I hand-made would probably look pretty bad and probably turn them off! LOL!

I think the bottom line though for me, is that the shopping really does kill the joyfulness of the holiday. Anyway, thanks for the suggestions, I'll get through the season as usual. :hi: :hug:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. I'm fond of Harry and David's
Getting a basket of tasty, REAL fruit in the middle of winter is heaven.
The Rivera pears are sooo good.
http://www.harryanddavid.com/gifts/store/category-displ...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AutumnMist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. You have your hands full girl!
Im sorry if I sounded like you were going overboard on the gifts. It wasn't intentional. :) It also sounds like you are a kind and very considerate person who thinks about all of them. Shopping during the holidays is irritating, I agree. I hate it. It really does suck the life out of holiday joy when you have to walk down row after row and stand in lines after hours of trying to think about the right thing. That does take effort! Gift cards perhaps? Online shopping has come a very long way. LOL. I am sure you will do it right....have a wonderful holiday my friend! Thank you for the response.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
23. Holiday hell for us...
my parents divorced 28 years ago, have both remarried, and can still barely stand to be in the same room with each other. Plus, my in-laws don't mix well with either of my two families, so we get to have 3 entirely separate, but equal, Christmas celebrations, usually all on Christmas Day. Throw one parent's birthday, on Dec 26, into the mix because Christmas isn't complicated enough on it's own.

All of this while dragging around 2 young kids, who really just want to stay home and play with their new stuff.

Our best Christmas ever was the year that my daughter came down with chicken pox on Christmas eve, and we spent the next week at home. We cooked a small roast chicken, and had a nice little Christmas dinner, just the 4 of us. 'Course, I ended up with chicken pox 2 weeks later, which, as an adult, isn't a whole lot of fun.

Lately, we've tried to adopt the attitude that "Christmas is a season" and spread things over the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. That's made the holiday season much more bearable. But my wife and I are both happier when it's all over.

Happy Freakin' Holidays.

Sid
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
24. I love to cook and bake.
So I love the holidays. We generally gather with just my inlaws, which is a bit of stressful but they only stay for a couple of hours.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NeedleCast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
25. The Usual Chaos
I'll probably be with my mom's very Southern Baptist side of the family. They're strong conservatives, very religious but in generaly they're good people. My sister and I are the "liberal" black sheep (although by DU standards, I'm not very liberal), but I enjoy tweaking them a bit, in a good natured way. There's only been one major blow up in the past and that was when I was younger and more hot-headed.

I'm not huge on the decorating and the carol singing and all that. I'll buy most of the gifts I'm going to buy on the internet, preferably from a store that will gift wrap and mail it for me.

I'll also use it to buy myself a few new toys. New Sony "noise cancelling" earphones for my Ipod. I also have 330,000 Priority Club (Holiday Inn) reward points burning a hole in my pocket and it might be time to spend em on a nice new TV.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
27. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
Edited on Wed Nov-28-07 03:34 PM by JDPriestly
I love spending time with my family. Love them all, even the one, sole, single, oddball Republican in the bunch. (Just kidding. Of course I love her -- she is one of the ones I love the most.) The Republican one was always in trouble as a child, and it is because of her to a great extent that I became a defender of and counselor to the underdogs. I owe so much to my wonderful noisy family - children, siblings and parents and all of them.

Come to think of it, my family was Methodist and nobody drank or even drinks much to this day. Maybe that is the secret to a happy family life.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sicksicksick_N_tired Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
30. I love the holidays specifically because our family comes together.
Everyone is getting hand-crafted gifts from me because of financial limits. But, everyone appears to genuinely appreciate the uniqueness of hand-crafted items. So, it's all good.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Jul 29th 2014, 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC