Author Topic: Holidays  (Read 1357 times)

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Offline bdwell1904

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Holidays
« on: October 13, 2011, 04:02:04 PM »
6 weeks till thanksgiving, 10 till Christmas, 11 weeks till my b-day
Just wondering how ya'll have dealt with this issue. My family can be extremely close, loving and fun. They are also very dysfunctional in alot of ways....hence me being here ;D I don't want to sound harsh or nasty but I really don't care about trying to come up with gifts and/or money for ppl who have basically disowned me and DH. I used to take great joy in finding the perfect gift, wrapping it beautifully, etc. I feel like I need to acknowledge the celebration. I know I'm my own worst enemy sometimes. I'm sure as the time gets closer my own DM will get sentimental and try to make amends. DH is my life and anything that would exclude him I want no part of.
So thoughts, ideas etc

Offline Pen

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Re: Holidays
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2011, 11:18:20 PM »
Bdwell, I don't think I've got it covered yet; I'm still waffling around trying to please everyone. If I could, I'd book a cruise or arrange some other getaway with DH and get out of town! Spending Thanksgiving and/or Christmas tucked away in a magical little mountain town or on a warm beach somewhere sounds like heaven. I'd even take a cold beach, I love the beach in fall & winter too.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Pooh

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Re: Holidays
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2011, 06:08:25 AM »
We started 2 years ago playing "Dirty Santa" at DH's family get-together.   His family is fun too albeit I would also call them dysfunctional.  Some of them are waaayyy out there, but everyone enjoys it and it is so nice to be able to only have to pick out gift each, with a limit of $20.  It really is tons of fun.  His Mom cooks the meats and we all bring side dishes and desserts.

My family, all the adults got together via FB messages this time last year and decided to stop buying for each other.  We have 2 great-grandbabies now, and we all agreed that Christmas is about children and no one needs anything at this time of our lives.  They had a big get-together and Mom cooked "real" food while everyone else brought desserts, goodies and all the stuff that's not good for you (pigs in a blanket anyone).  I didn't get to go as they did it on Christmas morning down in another state that was central to everyone.  I didn't get to go because my YS had arrived on leave the day before and we had other commitments to get him to.  I sent the babies presents with my Mother and they had a great time.  I think they have decided to move it back to Mom's house this year, so we will get to go.

I buy for DH, he buys for me.  I bought my YS several things because he was going to be there with us Christmas morning and he's still a big kid when it comes to Christmas and I hadn't seen him in 9 months.  I bought SD, OS and DIL a decent gift, just in case and because I wanted to.  None of them were speaking to us, so they are in my closet.

My gift list went down to 2 babies, a DH, a YS, 3 presents for no-shows and 2 dirty Santa gifts.  I can't tell you how nice it was to not have to buy and worry about all those gifts and I truly enjoyed the holidays for the first time in a long time.

Now, not to hijack your thread but it kind of falls in here with this.  We met SD for dinner again last night, and she was so much more relaxed and fun.  We spent 2 hours with her laughing and talking about what was going on her life.  She told us that her High School Band had been invited to play at DisneyWorld at Christmas this year.  DH kind of cocked his head at me and said, "Hmmm...Christmas in DisneyWorld..."   sooooo......who knows this year!
« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 06:19:24 AM by Pooh »
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Pen

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Re: Holidays
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2011, 07:17:47 AM »
Pooh, I'm glad to hear that things are going positively w/SD. Have a Very Mickey Christmas, lol.

It's nice when families can agree on scaling down the holiday extravaganzas, demands and expectations. Your family Christmas sounds fun and relaxed. It'll just be DH, DD & me this year - I'm trying to look at it as an opportunity to relax and enjoy the time off rather than feeling rejected and lonely. I'll be fine until the mulled wine and obnoxious Christmas commercials kick in @ the same time...pass the Kleenex.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Pooh

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Re: Holidays
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2011, 07:45:33 AM »
When we couldn't go to my Mom's thing last year, it was just me, DH and YS Christmas morning.  I made YS some of his requests for breakfast (ok, kind of demands cause he used the "Ahhh Mom...I was so looking forward to your sausage balls, chex mix, etc...the rat) and we really had a good time Pen.  I bought them both an RC car and a little dinky RC helicopter and sat back and laughed my hiney off watching them race them around the house like 4 year olds.  I think they enjoyed their "toys" more than anything!  We had to drive YS over to his Dad's house around early afternoon so he could stay with them and do their Christmas stuff.  Me and DH came back, made hot chocolate and turned on Christmas movies.  It was peaceful and quiet and we just enjoyed each other's company.  We played with the cars and had a really good time.

Make the most of it, make it fun.  Remember what it was like to be a kid on Christmas day and buy each other some toys.  It was somber not being with my OS and family, but at the same time...it was very nice to not have to run all over creation in a hectic rush.  My best advice:  Play.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Doe

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Re: Holidays
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2011, 07:47:55 AM »
Christmas hasn't been a big deal in our house since our sons grew up.  I'm more interested in the Solstice and the the coming of longer days.  My favorite adult Christmas was getting up and going up to a nearby ski resort to let so the sons could snowboard on practically empty slopes!

One way to get full up with Christmas is to work for a retailer during the season.  I had a little part time job with Hallmark for a few years.  We set up Christmas the day after T'giving.  Dealing with red everywhere from 11/2 till 12/26, then having to deal with all the returns. At first, listening to 4 hours of Christmas music/day was delightful, then it wasn't.  Then all the Valentine's red for another 7 weeks. (Did you know they are 2 different reds?)  I was happy to be done with it!

Offline Scoop

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Re: Holidays
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2011, 08:06:11 AM »
I agree with Pooh - PLAY!

Pen - how disabled is your DD?  Because there are a bunch of games that don't require too much skill.  There's a little game out there called LRC (Left Right Center), where you start with 3 chips (coins, candy, whatever, but the game comes with chips), then you roll the dice, if you get L, you pass a chip to the person on your left, Right for Right, Center goes to the pot.  Last person with chips wins the pot.  We had a blast with this one with age ranging from 7 to 62!

Easier Games:
Jenga
Yahtzee
Uno
Dominoes (we play the chicken-foot variant)
Pictionary

More complicated games:
Scattergories (requires writing, not good for people who don't bring their bifocals or who can't write when they've had too much wine)
Boggle
Scrabble

You could make a theme out of it and make a marathon of games.  Have a bunch of snacks, some Christmas music and you won't have time to miss anyone else.

Or else a marathon of movies?  Is there a tv show that you like?  You can purchase / rent the boxed sets and watch all the seasons of one show.  Christmas movies are too sappy - pick up True Blood or The Soprano's!

What about a puzzle?  You could buy one of those bigger complicated ones, or else you can just re-make every puzzle in your house.

I've always wanted to go to the movies on Christmas!  And then have Chinese food for supper.  I don't know why, I just think it sounds fun & different.

As for cutting back on the gifts, I think it's a wonderful idea.  Everyone you know already has everything they need / want.  If they need / want something, they can use the money they would have spent on YOU to pick it up for themselves.  I don't think there's any shame in writing (soon!) a letter to everyone saying:

Dear Friends & Family,

Due to the state of the economy, we will be cutting back on our Christmas shopping this year and only purchasing gifts for kids under 18 years old.  From now on, we'd like to focus more on the intangible side of Christmas: Family & Love.  We still want to see everyone and celebrate the holidays, but we request no gifts for us.  That way, there are no hard feelings and our wallets will thank us.

Here's to a very Merry Christmas!


Offline forever spring

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Re: Holidays
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2011, 08:16:24 AM »
 :) We have it so easy this year. YS GF has personal connections to a charity in Kenya which needs nappies for an orphanage. Here we go ... all of us sponsoring nappies. That's what Christmas is about.

Needless to say the little GC will get their presents, but Father Christmas will get them anyway - easy as!

Even if you don't work in a shop the Christmas carols bleating from the intercom are deadening and they have already started in some places. Ughhh! It's a pity because these wonderful songs get so overused they all lose their meaning.

Offline Pooh

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Re: Holidays
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2011, 08:18:41 AM »
Cutting back on the gifts has been the best stress reliever ever!

One of the girls here at work was asking us for our best cookie recipes.  She said her Mom had started a kind of cookie swap (which I've always thought would be fun to do with my friends) amongst the adult family at Christmas last year, instead of gifts.  They all bake 2 cookies now for each other.  Then they have to wrap them in something and give them to everyone.  She said they ended up with about 40 cookies each, all varieties to take home with them and eat over the holidays.  I thought that was an inexpensive and cute idea too if the adults just feel they need to do something.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Pooh

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Re: Holidays
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2011, 08:25:50 AM »
Oh and I forgot.  She's asking now, because they all have to submit to her Mom by Thanksgiving the type of cookie they are making everyone.  Mom then puts a card together with a list of all the type of cookies everyone is making and sends it out like a Christmas card.  She said that made it fun too because some of the names of the cookies were intriguing and made you wonder what in the world you were getting.

She said the downside is she had to do 2 cookie recipes and make 8 dozen because of DH needing them too.  She told him he had to help, which he did and she said added to the fun and actually gave them a hilarious evening together watching him do it, or else if he choose not to help, HE had to go to the store and purchase what cookies he wanted. Which meant beforehand, he had to tell her Mother that his selection was "Oreos"  Lol.  She's a smart cookie!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline bdwell1904

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Re: Holidays
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2011, 10:54:55 AM »
Pooh- DH and I were just saying the other day how lovely Christmas at Disney would be...great minds think alike.

Pen- We really wish we could afford to go somewhere- between starting my business, the GC I haven't even been able to see , the DD wedding I am uninvited too after spending a ton, and then blowing the headgasket on my truck yesterday...well.

Think we have decided to treat MIL & FIL at local dinner for thanksgiving.
Christmas this year I will be off work for the 1st time in three years. It really doesn't matter as far as DH and I, we so love each others company and live in the country where it is so beautiful(walks and such). Of course we are a mile from MIL, so will spend time with her. He and his B are at it again(B refuses to let boys come by) so will leave for them at MIL. I waffle, and waffle. I am getting a stronger constitution, but sometimes the fact that their F my xH hasn't been in their lives since the divorce 10 yrs ago wears on my guilty conscience. Logically I know I am not responsible for xH lack of contact and should get off the guilt train, I continue to beat myself up. I know there are others of you that ride the rights and wrongs train, and I hear how ya'll are stronger at pulling yourselves away from those thoughts. I know I will get there. Even if I am still disowned at Christmas, DH and I will make it wonderful for each other.

I truly love some of these ideas. I know I will use some of them for our holiday. Thank you lovely ladies

Offline Pooh

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Re: Holidays
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2011, 11:05:39 AM »
I think it would be absolutely a blast bd.   It might create a dilemma for me though if DH really wants to do this.  YS gets to come in for 12 days normally at Christmas.  Not a problem for me to invite him and take him along, but would probably create problems for him.  He usually spends most of the time with us, but goes to his Dad's for 4-5 of those days and we share Christmas with them (his choice because his Dad's family does Christmas evening).  He has lots of family on his Dad's side that he goes to see.

So, it could be problematic for me.  I don't want YS to not see the rest of his family but I don't want to miss spending Christmas with him because I only get to see him about twice a year and Christmas has always been special to him.  I also don't want DH to miss seeing SD for Christmas either.  There's no way DH would go without me, and I don't want to be away from him on Christmas either.

Gee sh....OK, I'm not going to worry about his right now! Lil.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Pen

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Re: Holidays
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2011, 10:18:30 AM »
Wow, lots of great ideas. It's good to have options available; I will start planning & collecting stuff now, just in case.

Scoop, DDD's enthusiasm for joining in waxes and wanes for no apparent reason. She isn't too physically disabled but it is hard for her to do some things that the rest of us enjoy. If she refuses to join in or to communicate there's not a lot we can do as she requires constant supervision. We don't have local extended family other than DS/DIL. Our friends are usually busy with their FOOs. It does feel kind of sad and lonely at times...I feel like I'm trying to build a fire with one stick and no match. It's hard for me not to think about the fun DIL's FOO is having with DS :(  I really need to work on that.

A dear friend used to ship her children off to her mother's for Christmas so she could go to the movies and out to dinner alone while GM spoiled the kids. Everyone was happy! So there's another option for those of you w/GPs nearby, lol.

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

sesamejane

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Re: Holidays
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2011, 01:12:00 AM »
Just in case someone without family reads this thread, I thought I would put in my two-cents. 

I used to love Christmas but things started changing after divorce.  My girls got used to having xmas with their father, so I sometimes had xmas with my son and his family until we were estranged in 2006.

I actually have learned to enjoy very much the quiet of Christmas.  I haven't put up a tree or gotten into decorations in years- well I do put up lights - the kind that are in the tube - so easy.  I stopped buying the girls gifts recently; now I pay for them to come visit or buy them something during the course of the year.  For example, this year I took both of them to San FRancisco.  It was agreed at that time that that was our Christmas.  The girls had informed me that they were going to visit their father for Thanksgiving, their father's father/extended family for Christmas, and me for Easter. 

I tend to like to church hop on Christmas Eve to hear the choirs and music. Christmas music is the best.  I enjoy gourd art, and usually by xmas I have made several ornaments that I send to friends.  Pretty low key and folks like them.  That's my plan this year.

I think I will do some volunteer work at Thanksgiving - you know work at the food bank or something.  One thing I am working on is learning songs on my Uke.  I want to use the program 'garage band' to put together a CD for my kids.  I thought I could play/sing, recite some poetry I like, tell tales about their early lives, etc.  I thought they might like it, but it won't be finished in time for this year because I have only been playing the uke for a few months. i want to surprise them.  I do not take myself so seriously, however, that I do not see the humor in all this!   I guess these are presents to myself!! 

 Love to all!  Cheers!