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MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 13,734
11/14/13 4:28 P

That is so sweet of you to help your GF out with stuff like that.

I cannot fathom worrying that everything will go right.

KJFITNESSDUDE Posts: 15,787
11/14/13 4:18 P

Yeah, just for clarification, I was teasing my gf because she's worried about things going RIGHT and not going wrong, also, I help, I help in kitchen, I help entertaining the kids, and much to the shagrin of "the men" in the den, I also help clean-up when "The BIG Game" is on.

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BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (101,558)
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11/14/13 3:23 P

KJ -- Really there is an option not to help at all? I am taking that route and then walking away.

MMK113 SparkPoints: (11,202)
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11/14/13 3:13 P

As soon as I stopped worrying about perfection it happened all by itself.

TACDGB Posts: 6,132
11/14/13 2:32 P

I don't care if it is perfect or not...........It's not worth the stress....It is what it is........No such thing as a perfect world.......only a perfect God.........I'd rather enjoy the day than be stressed.

BLUEHERON2C Posts: 2,403
11/14/13 7:04 A

I use to want everything perfect but as I've gotten older (59) I simply don't care much about it anymore. The gift giving, name drawing and racking my brain trying to come up with gifts for those people who have everything already was so unpleasant. Finally hubby and I opted out of the whole gift exchange thing.

Last year I had surgery several days before Christmas and we were unable to attend the family gathering/meal that day. It was the best Christmas we have had in years. I have already let my family know we won't be in attendance this year either preferring a quiet day to ourselves. The importance I use to put on Christmas get togethers seems so insignificant now. We are very content to enjoy Christmas music, our decorations and the reason for the season together without the stress, drinking, noise and the frenzied activities that bring us no happiness.

PLINTHESS SparkPoints: (35,487)
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11/14/13 4:08 A

no such thing as perfect - read "Addiction to Perfection - the Still Unravished Bride" by Marion Woodman

PATTIJOHNSON Posts: 2,075
11/14/13 12:16 A

@StrongerLeaner -- after years, I have also come to that conclusion. emoticon

STRONGERLEANER SparkPoints: (119,457)
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11/13/13 11:57 P

The holidays have become more stressful for me as I get older. I think I try to fit too much into a short period of time. This year I'm trying to plan early and commit to less.
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PATTIJOHNSON Posts: 2,075
11/13/13 11:54 P

KJ -- One reason others don't help: The holidays are an occasion where some people take advantage of their obsessions. They won't let anyone help them (because no one else's skills live up to theirs, so they think), so they do everything themselves, and then have the audacity to complain about it by showing how exhausted they are to everyone on the big day. My mom used to do it every holiday. Nobody looked forward to the scenario, but we all knew it was coming. To alleviate the drama, we all had to make multiple compliments throughout the whole day's ordeal so she felt better in the end, but we all grew so tired of trying to help and getting thwarted that we just wouldn't offer our help at all. I think it was all an attempt to make the whole holiday affair about herself. I think it's called martyrdom. She's since cooled down and now realizes that the holidays involve others, too.

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (238,946)
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11/13/13 10:18 P

The holidays don't have to be perfect; all they have to be is fun and full of the love of family!!!! Enjoy yourself and stop stressing!!!!

KJFITNESSDUDE Posts: 15,787
11/13/13 7:29 P

Huh? I was unaware that there was an option of NOT HELPING with dinner and decorating....thanks!
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AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (65,099)
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11/13/13 6:28 P

I think that there is a difference between "OMG, this holiday does not look like the shiny-happy picture post-card fantasy" and "OMG this is my first holiday with my new partner, everybody is watching and I have to pass this test." There is also "OMG I am not used to hosting large parties and I am completely out of my depth."

The first one is just annoying. Any combination of the last two is completely understandable. If either of those were happening to me and my boyfriend had the gall to make FUN of me for trying to do something well for him and his family...I might want to kick him. Hard.

Edited by: AZULVIOLETA6 at: 11/14/2013 (00:59)
LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,306
11/13/13 6:10 P

I have known a few people who get pretty upset if things don't match their holiday vision or script.

I'm not really like that. I have chosen not to host large holiday gatherings, try to impress people, overspend, travel like crazy or spend a lot of time doing things I don't particularly want to do during the holidays. I do spend the holidays with my family relaxing.

MLEHTO SparkPoints: (51,071)
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11/13/13 5:32 P

The perfect holiday for me is having everyone over for dinner. I love cooking a group and have come to accept that everything won't be perfect and that is just part of the fun.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (65,099)
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11/13/13 4:44 P

Oh yes, I didn't think of that. It is your first year living together and she needs to make it perfect for you and in order to measure up in front of your family and friends. It really is a lot of stress.

I think that if one partner is doing most of the cooking, the other should be making sure that the house is absolutely spotless and up to company standards. Helping with the shopping and things like making sure that all of the dinnerware is in good shape (shine all glasses, polish silver, etc.) and that you have all the right things ready (right # of plates, utensils, etc.) would all be great ways to offer support.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 13,734
11/13/13 4:10 P

I am the one that does all the cooking and I think that imperfections in the day are what make memories.

You could tell her that her presence is what makes the day perfect. And all the other stuff is just gravy. Honestly stuff storms happen.

Although she may feel particularly stressed because this is the first holiday that you all are living together

PTREE15 SparkPoints: (7,392)
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11/13/13 3:08 P

My mom, whom I love to pieces, is the typical Holidayzilla! She is an awesome cook/decorator and all that goes with the holidays, but she stresses about it big-time. She finally relinquished Thanksgiving to my brother (also an awesome cook and someone with enough room to host) about five years ago, but this year, he is getting some remodeling done and it can only be done during Thanksgiving week, so Mom is hosting this year. I'm not looking forward to her wigging out days before the meal. She is the queen of preparation, but she's much older now and still working (albeit, part time, but still), and still will be a basket case. She claims to enjoy entertaining, but I can't imagine being gleeful about so much stress.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (65,099)
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11/13/13 3:06 P

Well, women generally do most of the work, and if things go badly, it ends up reflecting poorly on them. For a certain kind of insecure woman who is very concerned about her image and social status, this is a big deal.

It's very easy to judge when all you have to do is sit back and enjoy. How about finding some ways that you can help ease her burden?

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 13,734
11/13/13 2:12 P

No they can't be perfect. That's no fun. Imperfection makes for memories.

Like the Thanksgiving I was going to serve chicken. It was frozen and I got it out to thaw in what I thought was enough time. So I wake up on T Day and the chicken is frozen solid. So I rush to Safeway in my pajamas and a serious case of bedhead. To get a fresh Turkey.

To this day my family jokes about how we were about to have pizza on a tear stained crust for dinner.

SUEACCT SparkPoints: (35,309)
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11/13/13 12:16 P

When the importance is the people, the lack of perfection is less glaring.

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (101,558)
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11/13/13 12:12 P

Hellloooo have you met my Sister In Law.....the worst control freak when it comes to having people over. We try to make her relax but then she ends up drinking too much and it goes down hill very quickly after that.....We offer to help several times and then she says she is fine but two minutes later she is playing the martyr.....Cannot win for trying.

RIET69 SparkPoints: (47,087)
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11/13/13 10:53 A

"The holidays HAVE TO BE PERFECT...or else..." is a perfect set up for disaster. What is ever perfect? I have wonder filled memories of the holidays from childhood on. My parents made them that way. As an adult, they were still wonderful, but not as magical as during childhood. There is no way to recapture those moments. Life changes. Mom and dad died and now it's me and my brothers and their wives. We have a nice time, are grateful to the host and hostess. We have even had great times at my brother and sister in law's who are vegans and cook that way.

SHERYLDS Posts: 12,167
11/13/13 10:50 A

I would rather go to party get togethers where it's potluck, or wine and cheese and see the hosts enjoying themselves, than watch a holidayzilla have a meltdown. A friend of mine always tries to do a fabulous buffet, complete with items for guests who have special needs, only to get upset when they don't eat the special needs stuff (or don't show up). Sometimes it's the guests who are obnoxious (expecting all the food to cater to their needs). If someone isn't coming, they should tell the host before time, don't make them go thru all that work. And if someone has special needs, they should mention it, but bring their own as well. Don't stress the host and then not eat what was made special...they should be clear, ahead of time. It's a lot of work.

Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 11/13/2013 (10:51)
LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 1,929
11/13/13 10:29 A

I think my sister may be a Holidayzilla. She doesn't seem worried if the food or decorations are perfect, but, at every holiday she seems to get upset/stressed. She usually ends up upset with her husband and/or one of her kids. Mostly, it seems related to feelings that her family ignores her, doesn't spend enough time with her, doesn't listen to her, isn't considerate of her...

PATTIJOHNSON Posts: 2,075
11/13/13 10:02 A

I've gotten into a routine so don't have much stress anymore (after many years). I cook and serve the meals at the same time every year. The kids sometimes have to work on those holidays, so they come when they can, and we just put out leftovers for them. I don't let much bother me on holidays anymore. I used to get upset when people were late or didn't show up, but now I don't set myself up for disappointment -- It's JUST food, and we can visit with family and friends any time of the year -- not only on holidays. With that attitude, I've found that it puts less stress on everyone, and everyone seems to have more fun when they do show up. We've never lacked for company for holiday celebrations. It just that our company may not all be there together at the same time.

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ZANYGIRL1 SparkPoints: (69,483)
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11/13/13 9:23 A

I have to admit, I am a nutcase getting ready for Christmas!! It's my favorite time of year and my favorite holiday. I go to great lengths putting lights everywhere.....I outline my house, outline the driveway and around the sidewalk, outline all the windows and around my garage door. It does take a long time to get it all done, but when it's done, I love looking at it. I too didn't use to let my kids bring anything for Christmas dinner, but I let them now, even though I really enjoy the cooking. It just makes life alittle easier when I have help.

JAMIRBLAZE Posts: 966
11/13/13 9:17 A

My mom usually got stuck with the holidays, for the most part, because we had the house that could hold everyone, and she was the best cook. I remember even when we went somewhere else, a lot of food was made that was taken over. She always fussed over a lot of it, and wanted the decor that was important to her to be out. Now, our family is down to four plus pets, and my mom, dad and sister usually end up having to work some of the holidays, so I end up doing a lot of the cooking. I'm also the youngest at 29, so we don't do a big to-do We still make a lot of dishes, but less of them. I love to cook, so while I don't miss the drama of family (and we had a lot of drama), I do miss the bigger get togethers.

I live in a condo in a small complex, and was very used to moving regularly for about 10 years, so it's only been in the last year or two that I do any holiday decorating. It's not a lot (couple of strings of lights and a tree), but it makes it feel more like I'm actually living there instead of landing for a year or two.

Edited by: JAMIRBLAZE at: 11/13/2013 (09:18)
KKKAREN SparkPoints: (216,741)
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11/13/13 8:59 A

My Mother has always insisted on doing the holidays at her house. No one dare bring a dish and you better show up, no excuses. Then we all sit around the kitchen and watch her become a nervous wreck. Will the potatoes be lumpy, will the gravy have too much salt will the turkey be dry, etc. My Mom is not a good cook and all those disasters usually happen, year after year. We all just eat it and exclaim what a good job she did. Finally 2 years ago she asked me to take over and do the cooking at her house which I gladly did. Now I can cook my recipes and use my cooking methods. No such luck, she hangs over me telling me I'm doing it wrong. Last year I told her no one was allowed in the kitchen and that helped. This year no one is going to be allowed in the kitchen and no comments either. This year I'm going away for Christmas for the first time in my 58 years. I can't wait to spend the time with my Grandkids, Daughter and Son in Law. I'll help with the meal if asked and if not keep my nose out of it.

MATTHEW0498 SparkPoints: (31,961)
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11/13/13 8:51 A

My Mom used to go crazy every year for their New Years Day party, but has gotten a lot better these past 5 years or so. I used to get picky and wanted all my decorations perfect and everything we did on the holidays perfect. I've come to realize that all the worrying did nothing but take away from the holiday, not make it better.

DMJAKES Posts: 1,605
11/13/13 8:32 A

When all the grandkids were small, my mother in law used to host Christmas, and she always made mention of who didn't show up and who left early because they had another party/family celebration to attend. It really got old--and now she wonders why no one wants to drop by and visit her.

I'm not a big decorator either---everyone loves to help put everything up, but no one wants to help take it down and put it away. I can't even get the old man to put up the outdoor lights anymore because he wants to leave them up until spring and that drives me nuts. I think I might go get one of those little pre-done trees this year. emoticon

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (61,851)
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11/13/13 6:57 A

Mom cooks Thanksgiving, but she's not a perfectionist. I do remember one year we ate a Thanksgiving meal at my brother's house. His MIL insisted on doing everything because 'nobody else can do it right'. Then complained all day about how everything was left up to her to do.

I don't decorate my house; mom doesn't do much any more either. Several years ago I gave her a very nice miniature table top tree fully decorated. She uses that, and when Christmas is over, the tree goes in a plastic bag (with the ornaments still on it) and is put away. Simple.

we also don't buy gifts (other than for the kids). None of us really need anything, so we all focus more on Angel Tree gifts. That's a blast! I love to find the things on those lists.

at the office, I always did the decorating on the Friday after Thanksgiving (the boss never comes in that day and the phone hardly rings, but if the stock market is open somebody needs to be there). I'm a 'less is more' kind of decorator. The boss is closer to a Clark Griswold style. After the second year of "we need more..." I suggested he have his wife do the Christmas decorating. I figured that's what he's use to, so that would be fine.

I will confess that when I take all the decor down, some things get 'lost'. There was this horrid creche that lit up and played music. Looked like something from the "we will pay you to take this" table at a garage sale. And a few other things. He never notices. I can only handle so much before it's just TOO tacky, ya know?

Edited by: OBIESMOM2 at: 11/13/2013 (06:58)
KJFITNESSDUDE Posts: 15,787
11/13/13 6:33 A

The holidays are a time of great stress to some folks and I can appreciate that and also to each their own. For me the holiday can be as mixed up, jumbled up, times switched, people not showing up and all the other nightmares some people get all worked up about but in the end, for me, I like the holidays no matter what went right or wrong for others, I'm sure I had lots to eat and had many laughs.
This year my gf and I are hosting thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years at our place (she moved in back in September) and she's starting to fret....why? No reason, everybody is making it to our place and there are no conflicts but she's worried that the holidays may just go by without any problems which hasn't ever been that way for her in the past.
Is she really worried? Idk, but she keeps going over the list of folks invited and then I mention how they are confirmed. I told her maybe to start expanding her list to include people that couldn't possibly show up but then I got that look and realized that I was just pushing her buttons too many times, lol.....sorta.

Do you know anyone who gets all bent out of shape if the holidays are not perfect and/or become Holidayzillas?

Edited by: KJFITNESSDUDE at: 11/13/2013 (06:35)
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