Holiday Musings and the New Year

I’ve been trying to put my finger on when and what caused me to stop enjoying the holiday season.  I know that up through high school I liked Thanksgiving and Christmas a lot and looked forward to them each year.  Maybe it was my sophomore year in college when my mother dis-owned me and told me I couldn’t come home for Christmas because I had a girlfriend instead of a boyfriend.  Maybe it was because after high school I felt a lot of pressure to buy a lot of presents for people who only seemed to love me if I followed their rules even though I was a poor college student and had no money for all of that.  Maybe it started when I moved far, far away from my birth family to escape their tyrannical governing over my life and the pressure and guilt they put on me to travel home to spend the holidays with them each year when I really wanted to be with the people who loved and supported me throughout the year.  Maybe it is how the stores insist on putting Christmas decorations out earlier and earlier every year and the commercialism of the holidays takes over the true meaning of why we’re supposed to celebrate.  Maybe it’s because Candace loves Christmas so much and I feel pressured to enjoy it too.  Maybe it’s all of the excess, extravagance and gluttony.  Maybe it’s because I really don’t consider myself a Christian anymore.  Maybe it’s because I hate travelling during the holidays and dealing with all of the crowds and stressed out people, sleeping in someone else’s bed and being friendly 24/7 when I don’t feel like it.  Maybe it’s just all of it.  It’s all just exhausting and every year I dread it.

I’m not a scrooge, really.  I do love a lot about the holidays.  I love to drive around and look at the way people decorate their homes for the holidays.  I enjoy the parties and the cookies and the fruit cake even.  I enjoy decorating the tree and watching it light up my living room every evening.  I like to buy meaningful gifts for people and see them smile with surprise and happiness when they get something they really like or that was unexpected yet thoroughly appreciated.  I love the smells of the holidays and the delicious tastes as well.

Somehow, at some point, the magic of the season died for me.  Now, it’s just something I have to endure and get through.  I miss the simplicity of the Christmas of my youth when things were simpler.   Being an adult sucks sometimes and this is one of them.  I know, attitude is everything and I have a lousy one.  I try, really I do.  I put on that happy face and soldier on but inside, I just really want to stay home and have that simple Christmas that I miss so much without all of the guilt and stress.

But hey, I survived another year and am home again in my favorite chair now and I’m contemplating the new year about to start.  New Year’s still has its magic for me.  I look forward to it.  It means I survived Christmas and another year and get to look forward to starting fresh with new goals or maybe the same ones but a fresh start either way.  Clean slate, no more Christmas songs on the radio or decorations in my house and time to reflect on what I want to do with the next 12 months of my life.  It’s like cracking open a new book you’ve been dying to read.  What will happen in the new year?  What will I be thankful for at the end of this new year?  It’s a mystery because even with goals and plans you just never know what’s going to happen.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  What are you hoping to make happen in 2016?

 

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11 thoughts on “Holiday Musings and the New Year

  1. Lots of thoughts flitting through my head about this, but the one that strikes the hardest is that I don’t any men who love all the Christmas mushiness – it is really a holiday for kids, and those who fuss over them. The next bit is that you might enjoy it more when you can be authentically who you are at it. Lastly, is there a way to sincerely allow Candace to enjoy it without having to “fake it” yourself? I hate clipping Donna’s wings, and I can often find a way to indulge her without having to sacrifice too much (this year we rode the 5th Avenue bus downtown at night through all the holiday traffic so that she could enjoy the lights).

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    • I agree it would be a whole lot more fun if there were kids involved. Unfortunately the youngest member of the family is 16 now. We still over do it for her but it’s not like it was when she was little. I do actually enjoy quite a bit about the holiday and indulge Candace honestly. Really, the part I dislike the most is having to leave home for several days and, actually, that doesn’t happen every year. This was a particularly odd year for us and neither of us was really into the spirit. We didn’t even put up a tree or decorate other than a wreath on our front door.

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    • Also, I should mention that I enjoy seeing the family but my social anxiety, gender stuff, and introversion make it difficult over an extended period of time to really relax and enjoy them fully. In general I think I’m pretty fortunate to have such a great family. I just need a lot of alone time.

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  2. Reading your blog brought up much I could also relate to. It seems the theme this year is a little along the lines of why we all seem to be not liking the holiday season this year. It was almost for me like watching from outside of a snowglobe. Everyone inside seemed so happy and jolly, yet I stood outside and just wanted to shake the shit out of the thing and wake them all up. I struggle with being alone more too, I just hate being alone during the holidays, at least you have Candace, I am envious! 🙂
    Happiest of New Years to you! I hope your year gets off to a good start and I hope to be reading more great blogs from you! Peace! ~MB

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    • Thanks MB! I know exactly what you mean about the snow globe. You kind of nailed how I felt while we were visiting family this year. I can tell you that if I didn’t have Candace in my life I’d really be a big Scrooge and the holidays would suck royally. I hope you find someone who appreciates you for who you are this year and fills your life with joy. I am really lucky to have my relationship and all that it brings to my life. This year I hope to appreciate those things more and let her know how much she means to me. Happy New Year to you too!

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  3. We had a quiet Christmas, well as quiet as it gets with a oneyear old child overexcited by opening presents. We were at home and anyone wishing to celebrate with us was welcome to join us at some point over the day. After breakfast my mum and her new husband came over for lunch sandwiches and my wife’s family came in the afternoon and had dinner with us. I was very happy with that arrangement!
    Now I’m really looking forward to crack open that book to see what this new year will bring us.

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    • Thought sounds wonderful Fredric! I’m glad you had such a great day with your family. I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s books this year too, especially my own. Happy New Year!

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  4. Happy new year. Only slightly less than 12 months to yet another Xmas. 😉

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  5. Not much cheer this side of the pond either, having a disfunctional family. I like MB’s metaphor of watching from the outside of a snow globe too, except my globe is filled with the dry earth and heat we experience in South Africa. A wonderful new year to you and Candace. Take care!

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    • Hmmm…a sand globe then? Well, it’s all over now and we can get back to our regularly scheduled program again and forget all this nonsense of good will towards others, pregnant virgins, wise men and other crap like that too. Time to get back to reality and put our noses to the grindstone of life and get our goals accomplished. Or sleep. I like the idea of getting some extra sleep. I’m still pretty exhausted from all the driving and spending time with people. So, Happy New Year to you too. I hope it’s better than last year for you.

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