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Holidays...ack!


Amethyst
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Does anyone else dread the holidays because they are so stressful? I feel like I have no choice but to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas because my family expects it, but it's only slightly better than sitting home alone and surfing the Internet.

 

Still, I do not fit into my family. I never have, not even as a believer. They have always treated me as if I were invisible or something.

 

I always wish there was some way that I could have other plans, but I can't really afford to go on vacation anywhere and besides, I'd feel terribly guilty if my grandma died and I hadn't been there. She is the only member of my family who doesn't ignore me when I'm there.

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I used to really hate the Holidays, especially since I was the one who ended up doing all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, trimming, and whatnot. By the time Christmas Day was over I just ecstactic it was over. I don't like my family either, they always end up ignoring me too like they do all the rest of the year anyway.

 

Finally one year I remember sitting on the couch one night in front of the Christmas tree with my head in my hands feeling empty inside. I finally looked up at the tree and started thinking about how it used to make me so happy when I was a kid. There was one of those stupid, sappy commercials on TV showing a family all smiling and helping out with Christmas dinner. I guess it was a grocery store ad, I don't quite remember. I couldn't figure out how I got so damned unlucky that I had to end up with what I had. Then I realized, I had what I had because I wasn't looking for more. That's the year I finally said "That's it." I told my family off that if they wanted anything done, they were gonna do it themselves.

 

I don't celebrate with my family any more except for stopping by to hand off gifts and say hello. My friends are all too willing to have me over on holidays and we all have a blast now because we do what we want instead of what's expected.

 

I've finally grown to love the holidays again. My friends and I get all sticky making cookies and laughing about how inept we are with making gingerbread, and we make lewd jokes with the turkey gizzards before giving them to the cats. We trim each others trees, throw on DVD's of Charlie Brown's Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, go shopping together, drive around to look at the house displays, and we sing carols really badly.

 

I suggest you bring up your issues with your family Amethyst, or DO make some other plans. Tell your family you're going to do something different with friends this year. They often turn out more understanding about it than you realize.

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I hate the holidays because my mother loves them.

 

My mother is one of those people that 90% of the time is a halfway sane human being. However, if it involves Disney or Christmas, she turns into an all-out corniness and saccharine-sappiness monster, buying up shitastic Christmas flicks (we have copies of Surviving Christmas and Christmas with the Kranks) and the ugliest cartoonish holiday knickknacks (and, for the rest of the year, gut-wrenchingly overpriced and hideous Disney-themed garbage to proudly display on the bookshelves for all the world to see).

 

Already we have, for inexplicable reasons, a huge inflatable plastic snowglobe with snowmen sitting inside still in its box in our family room. We have two seperate little Christmas light-up villages (complete with the little buzzing electric skaters on a plastic lake), dozens of electronic music-producing, light-blinking, plush pieces of worthless crap sitting in boxes in the basement waiting for December to come so they can be placed around the house in all their corny glory.

 

When it comes to holiday decor, I am a traditionalist. I have a particularly lovely Nativity scene (shut up, it's a cultural-spiritual thing more than a particular-religious thing and it's very pretty - besides, I do admire Mary), German whirligig sculptures, elegant reindeer candleabra, etc. And it's not that I'm immune to toys and trinkets - I do have my Pluto plush, Buddy Christ, wind-up Pluto toy, Haunted Mansion snowglobe, and Moscow dog paperweight sitting in front of me right now. But I keep these things in the office, because the office is a place of work and one should do one's best to dispel the feeling of toil. I just don't think it's entirely in good taste to have a rubber dancing Santa Claus displayed prominently on a dignified old piano.

 

Also I hate the media oversaturation. I think this is why Christmas is always a letdown as an adult - it's drummed into you since September that this is the single greatest most orgasmic day of the year, and by the time it gets here there's no way it could possibly measure up to the hype you've had fed to you. Also I hate the pussy-footed way the commercials are. Let me explain. I am totally in support of saying "holiday" instead of "Christmas". The problem is that we've got ads that feature carolers in red and green plaid, roasted chestnuts, jingle bells, decorated trees, Santa Claus, etc. and they still say "holiday". Look, you've obviously geared the entire thing towards Christmas, you might as well just come out and say it instead of pretending that Jews celebrate Hannukah with a roasted goose on an evergreen-decked table singing "We wish you a happy......holiday!" to the tune of you-know-what.

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Also I hate the media oversaturation. I think this is why Christmas is always a letdown as an adult - it's drummed into you since September that this is the single greatest most orgasmic day of the year, and by the time it gets here there's no way it could possibly measure up to the hype you've had fed to you. Also I hate the pussy-footed way the commercials are. Let me explain. I am totally in support of saying "holiday" instead of "Christmas". The problem is that we've got ads that feature carolers in red and green plaid, roasted chestnuts, jingle bells, decorated trees, Santa Claus, etc. and they still say "holiday". Look, you've obviously geared the entire thing towards Christmas, you might as well just come out and say it instead of pretending that Jews celebrate Hannukah with a roasted goose on an evergreen-decked table singing "We wish you a happy......holiday!" to the tune of you-know-what.

 

Oh, I hate the media saturation too. I hate seeing all the Christmas stuff go up in stores the day after Halloween. Not to mention, even the supermarket plays religious songs. Can't they at least have a moratorium until December 1st? Does it all have to be about making money and spending money? We can do that any time of year. :ugh:

 

 

I suggest you bring up your issues with your family Amethyst, or DO make some other plans. Tell your family you're going to do something different with friends this year. They often turn out more understanding about it than you realize.

 

See, you don't understand. If I try to bring up the issue with my parents, they'll just try to talk me out of it and make me feel like feeling any way other than happy is somehow wrong and guilt me into going with them. They won't listen to me. They never do.

 

Not to mention, I know that my friends will be doing things with their families, so I don't really have any alternatives.

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See, you don't understand. If I try to bring up the issue with my parents, they'll just try to talk me out of it and make me feel like feeling any way other than happy is somehow wrong and guilt me into going with them. They won't listen to me. They never do.

 

Not to mention, I know that my friends will be doing things with their families, so I don't really have any alternatives.

 

Well, I don't know your family, but I understand what you mean about people ignoring you and not listening. My family doesn't bother to answer my e-mails or pay attention to me the rest of the year, why should they bother at Christmas?

 

Honestly though, are you really certain their reactions are going to be completely irrational over it, or do you just want to stick with the "devil you know?" You don't need to answer that, it's just a question to consider. I don't blame you in the slightest for recoiling at the idea of talking about it....Christmas is a touchy subject and a cultural force to be reckoned with, that's for damned sure.

 

I have a LOT of issues with my family, but since Christmas isn't going away, it got to the point where I couldn't avoid talking about it anymore. Yes, I got guilt tripped to the hilt and accused of being a scrooge when I started voicing what I wanted to do, but people are going to do what they are going to do, and it was time I considered MY life. I sat down and had a really long talk about it with my folks. Things worked out better than I expected and things got changed and compromised on. They still try to guilt me every year, but what are they going to do to stop me? :shrug:

 

My point is stressing over the holidays is a choice. People freak out this time of year because they tend to think they don't have any control and they feel obligated by all the marketing. It's all an illusion. Stores and media are going to do whatever is necessary to sell and market because that's their job. The season isn't going away, but we can decide whether we're going to let it make us twitch or not. I don't even notice the commercialism anymore. It's like white noise. I only pay attention when I see something I like. I had to practice to do this, but it can be done.

 

I like this season now because I'm doing what I want, not what's expected anymore. Once you realize you have control over the season instead of it having control over you, it becomes a peice of cake to get through.

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I sympathize, Amethyst. I have come to really dislike the holidays (loathe, perhaps?) and will be happiest when they are all over.

 

I'm counting down the days till January 2. Here's to hoping it will all go faster for all of us :beer:

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I'm not stressed out by Holidays because I just don't do them. If some relative or friend wants to hand out a free meal, hey I'll eat it. But I ain't bringing presents (when I give presents, I try to give them when they would be unexpected. It is more fun that way, because I'm giving them out of desire to do so rather than obligation.) And I ain't decorating anything.

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Does anyone else dread the holidays because they are so stressful? I feel like I have no choice but to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas because my family expects it, but it's only slightly better than sitting home alone and surfing the Internet.

 

Still, I do not fit into my family. I never have, not even as a believer. They have always treated me as if I were invisible or something.

 

I always wish there was some way that I could have other plans, but I can't really afford to go on vacation anywhere and besides, I'd feel terribly guilty if my grandma died and I hadn't been there. She is the only member of my family who doesn't ignore me when I'm there.

 

fortunately, i have my gf's house to go to for the holidays. i don't usually do much of anything with my relatives for the holidays. i am the black sheep as well. i have dinner with my parents, sister/sister's kids every few weeks. i mostly go for the free food, and it's less than an hour of exposure. after spending a few years around my gf's family, their (my family's) overly-religious, naive ways stand out even more. i feel really awkward because i am SO different from them, and i'm afraid if i open my mouth, i'm going to make the children's ears bleed or something.

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I've already committed to having the 'rents over for Turkey Day. But I'm seriously considering being out of the country for Xmas.

 

Mostly I hang out with my family for my grandmother, who's 88 and a hoot. She's been more wrapped up in her first great-grandchild recently though, so I don't see much of her anymore.

 

Sometimes I go to family visits to see my sister, because the rest of the time she's extremely hard to get ahold of. (I don't know why I don't take that as a sign that she's not intereted in seeing or talking to me... maybe I should.) Sometimes I go to visit with my dad... but the truth is, I can think of a dozen places I'd rather be on any given day than with my family. Holidays especially.

 

So maybe we'll... I dunno, go up to the mountains for Xmas and go snowshoeing or something.

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Does anyone else dread the holidays because they are so stressful? I feel like I have no choice but to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas because my family expects it, but it's only slightly better than sitting home alone and surfing the Internet.

 

Still, I do not fit into my family. I never have, not even as a believer. They have always treated me as if I were invisible or something.

 

I always wish there was some way that I could have other plans, but I can't really afford to go on vacation anywhere and besides, I'd feel terribly guilty if my grandma died and I hadn't been there. She is the only member of my family who doesn't ignore me when I'm there.

 

Yeah, I understand not fitting in with the family, also. When I was a fundie it was even worse, but now they've gone back to the, "oh, it's just Candi, the idiot." My mom's a total yuppie DA who's life revolves around wine tasting. Don't know my dad. I could never talk to my mom, either. She has this way of making me look like an over emotional, over reacting psycho sematic freak.

Luckily I moved out of the state and won't be spending the holidays with any parents at all!!! Glory!!

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I wanted to create this thread :HappyCry:

 

Anyways this what I think about Christmas. It is not neccesarily bad just exclude the fundamentalism in it and everything will be ok. I remember I HATED to go to Church around Christmas because it was always so depressing how the sermons were. It took the joy out of Christnas .

 

I do not hate Christmas I hate the way Christians act on Christmas that is what bugs me. The new scandal that Christians is the Toys for Tots issue now. If you haven't heard they do not want Jesus dolls. Funny thing I always thought Jesus dolls were insulting to Christians because they are always with novelty items. :shrug:

 

This is my second atheist Christmas I do not mind it. I like when it all the foods and egg nog come in stores and hickory farms. :scratch: Don't take the Chirstianuss of it and its good.

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Does anyone else dread the holidays because they are so stressful? I feel like I have no choice but to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas because my family expects it, but it's only slightly better than sitting home alone and surfing the Internet.

 

Still, I do not fit into my family. I never have, not even as a believer. They have always treated me as if I were invisible or something.

 

I always wish there was some way that I could have other plans, but I can't really afford to go on vacation anywhere and besides, I'd feel terribly guilty if my grandma died and I hadn't been there. She is the only member of my family who doesn't ignore me when I'm there.

 

I am sorry that your family isn't better behaved.

 

You think that seeing your grandma is important, and that you should keep going to see her. If that's the only practical way of seeing her, then that's a great decision. If there are other ways of visiting her, maybe you could do that instead of visiting family.

 

I decided a few years back that we would spend time with relatives over the holidays, but that what we wanted to do (my wife, daughter, and I) came first. We will host Thanksgiving, but we won't have a prayer before we eat (my family is quite religious, but they can pray on their own).

 

And on Christmas day, we ski, and we told our families that they shouldn't plan to ever see us on Christmas day. They have been accomodating, but if they hadn't, we wouldn't see them then.

 

We still get invited to come to church every Easter, however.

 

I have friends who decided for various reasons - financial, vacation time, family issues - that they didn't want to go home for Thanksgiving, and that group started their own tradition of getting together on Thanksgiving. Other friends always go to the movies on Christmas (you need to be in an urban area to make this practical).

 

Hope that helps.

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I am sorry that your family isn't better behaved.

 

You think that seeing your grandma is important, and that you should keep going to see her. If that's the only practical way of seeing her, then that's a great decision. If there are other ways of visiting her, maybe you could do that instead of visiting family.

 

Well, I can drive up any time, but I still don't have a good reason not to go for the holidays.

 

I decided a few years back that we would spend time with relatives over the holidays, but that what we wanted to do (my wife, daughter, and I) came first. We will host Thanksgiving, but we won't have a prayer before we eat (my family is quite religious, but they can pray on their own).

 

Yes, it's much easier to do that when you're married. I'm not.

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There is one good thing about the holidays, though, and that is the food.

 

I just came home from grocery shopping, and I seriously had to hold myself back from buying a pint of BRANDY-flavored ice cream a local dairy was selling there. I mean, holy shit, alcohol and ice cream. Then I headed over to the bakery section, where the store's own kitchen (it's a local chain) was selling Rice Krispie treats formed by the hand of God (how else did they manage to pack 720 calories in a single brick-sized bar?).

 

I have always felt this strong pull towards Jewish holidays (perhaps my Jewish ancestry talking?), and last year I actually went out and bought a menorah and candles. I would perhaps even convert to Judaism, but I can't say I'd be an exact follower of every tenet of the faith, and besides, my Christian experience has made me pretty anxious about giving myself over to any one religion again. But I was thinking about how nice it would be to celebrate Hannukah instead. It's given just enough attention in the market to be politically correct and a semi-major celebration, yet it's far and beyond from being pushed on us. Sometimes I think it would be nice to be quietly celebrating Hannukah and quietly snickering behind my menorah at the Christmas-celebrators going through their personal media and shopping hell every year.

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This is my second atheist Christmas I do not mind it. I like when it all the foods and egg nog come in stores and hickory farms. :scratch: Don't take the Chirstianuss of it and its good.

 

just remember: christmas was stolen from a pagan holiday, so no need to attach christians to it. i don't think you want to celebrate the original meaning either, but hey, just have fun.

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What I do appreciate about the December holidays in particular is that they're all about *light*. Not as in foofy spiritual/religious "light", but as in lumens. Which comes in handy in the middle of the damn darkness, on the longest nights of the year. Yule logs, crackling fires, strings of lights, candles, all that. That's what I like.

 

And yeah, the food kicks ass. November is crabbing season around here, so there's major potential for evenings with Dungeness, sourdough rolls, dry white wine, and enough butter to choke a horse.

 

Heh, maybe I'll head down to the beach house for Xmas or something. And have a bigass bonfire and eat crab and have friends over and light up a bunch of bayberry candles and get three sheets to the wind on hard cider. Woohoo! :woohoo:

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Yesterday, on Thanksgiving, my aunt gave my mother a giant Advent calendar, in the shape of some kind of hideous toy-like modern Swiss Chateau (made in China, of course), with figures of Santa and his goons that light up and spin drunkenly every time a door (day) in the Calendar is opened, and plays a electronicized version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town".

 

Oh, yes.

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Does anyone else dread the holidays because they are so stressful? I feel like I have no choice but to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas because my family expects it, but it's only slightly better than sitting home alone and surfing the Internet.

 

Still, I do not fit into my family. I never have, not even as a believer. They have always treated me as if I were invisible or something.

 

I always wish there was some way that I could have other plans, but I can't really afford to go on vacation anywhere and besides, I'd feel terribly guilty if my grandma died and I hadn't been there. She is the only member of my family who doesn't ignore me when I'm there.

 

 

Are we related? Because that is me to the letter. I honestly cannot stand my family. That is the reason I really hate the holidays. The fact that I loathe my siblings only exacerbates the stress and bother of the holidays. You are supposed to pretend like you don't hate each other's guts while you smile in your face...

And of course I hate praying over the supper...God didn't buy any of the food. I so desperately want to say that but I would blow my cover...I'm an athiest undercover...

 

I never had nothing in common with my family, and yesterday I didn't even pretend...I skipped thanksgiving altogether and I took in a movie. And I had more fun doing that then I had at ANY dinner with the people that share DNA with me.

 

NOw, I hope to get CHristmas out of the way...Then I'll be home free.

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