I love holiday time. And let’s face it, as soon as Halloween is over, it’s holiday time. Everywhere you turn, it’s all about Thanksgiving and Christmas. You go from thinking about digging out your old hoodies and sweatpants to figuring out when it is socially acceptable to put up your Christmas tree. It’s a fun time right? Wrong.
I’m not trying to be all Scrooge here, but lately, I’ve come to dread the holidays. It’s not that I don’t enjoy Christmas carols and bottomless mugs of hot tea by a warm fire. I do. I actually love those things. I also love Christmas movies and family time and gift buying. I love all those things. So if I love holiday time so much, why am I a Scrooge?
Simple. Holidays also suck.
First, who in their right mind would put the two biggest holidays of the year Thanksgiving & Christmas back to back? Seriously. Who did that? Tell me. I want to murder them. Everyone has this expectation that you should spend both holidays with your entire family and that expectation just looms over you. So, come November 1st, of course, everyone wants to coordinate schedules and travel plans.
Second, holidays suck because it is impossible to make everyone happy. What would make me happy is being able to stay home, sleep late, and spend each holiday surrounded by those I love. But you know what will actually happen? Not that.
Third, holidays suck because we all have this overwhelming need for perfection. If it doesn’t measure up to the holidays of past we have in our heads or the unattainable picture we’re sold via Home & Gardens then it is a complete failure.
I’ve just reread up to this point and realize I sound a lot more “Scroogie” then I intended. Maybe it is because last year for Thanksgiving alone, Adam and I spent about 26 hours in the car traveling to see relatives. We then turned around and pretty much repeated the same trip a month later for Christmas By the end of it all, I hated the holidays.
This year, Adam and I are making a few changes.
We’re only visiting each side of the family once. We’ll drive to Springdale to see Adam’s family once. We’ll drive to Texas to see my family once. And we’ll drive to Louisiana to see my Grandmother once. That isn’t enough time with any of the three but it will just have to do. We also plan to again be home for Christmas Day and open our doors to any family that would like to be there. We plan on skipping large dinners and focus instead on quality time together — and quality time with our families.
But even with these modifications, holidays are still stressful. We have to board the dogs. We have to drive. We have to somehow politely divulge that we’re forgoing the whole “gift-giving” traditions this year. We have to drive. Did I mention that we have to drive?
I really wish this post could have a cheerful ending. I wish I could be positive and say something inspirational about how regardless of the stress, it is all worth it in the end. I mean, I do hope those things but I also know that life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. We could plan schedules down to the minute and things could still go wrong. People could still bicker and fight. Weather could prevent travel. Moods can sour.
But I guess I will say this — I will do everything in my power to plan for a happy, joyful holidays season. I will remember that I cannot control others and that I cannot make everyone happy. I will seek happiness in each moment spent with family and friends and I will do my best to not carry my worries with me when I travel.
I will do my best. I will. And honestly, that’s the most that this Scrooge can offer.