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The Christmas Blues

Thursday, December 26, 2013

I was never a huge fan of Christmas. My family was dysfunctional -- poor, with an alcoholic dad -- which often lent itself to uncomfortable, unhappy holidays. I was a shy a child and felt awkward saying "Merry Christmas" or other holiday greetings. I have distinct memories of feeling like Christmas was never like it "should" be.

The "should" can be troubling. I see it in my mommy-friends today. With social media, the picture-perfect holidays are even more available (even though of course we know it's not all true). My mom gets Christmas Eve to spend with us, and although she doesn't try to make things perfect -- we ate roast beef sandwiches on paper plates -- the expectation that "this holiday is about family" and the incessant talk about Santa makes me feel suffocated. While I understand why we don't acknowledge how our family experienced Christmas 20+ years ago, there's still a similar expectation, or "should."

I really prefer to visit my family at times other than the holidays. It's easier: the weather is better, there's no expectation, and my friends are more available to get together. I can imagine a day when I didn't come to snowy, cold Buffalo for the holidays, instead enjoying a beach somewhere! But I know my mom would be too disappointed, and I wouldn't do that to her.

Did you give or get any healthful gifts? My mom, who now has lost 60 pounds(!) using Weight Watchers, asked my brother for a new scale and a pedometer. I gave her a Leslie Sansone walking DVD. I got 2 gift cards to Wegmans, my favorite grocery store.

If you celebrate, I hope that you had a nice day and didn't let the "shoulds" get you down too much. This time of year can definitely be lonely, even if you have family to come home to!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My youth sounds a lot like yours.. I was telling my husband that no matter how broke we were my mom always had a real tree for us with all the trimmings. No sooner than the words left my mouth did it dawn on me- There is no way she would have been able to buy a real tree (Since I shell out about $50 for ours).. wonder who's woods she chopped it down from for all those years. I grew up in a small town with no stop lights so if she was going to get away with it, that would have been a good place to do it.

    I had a very beautiful Christmas day with just my husband and son mostly because I ran around the weekend before like a basket case at 2 different family parties on 2 different sides of the state.

    I did get an awesome gift for my healthy lifestyle. My little sister bought me a Nutribullet just like hers and I was shocked. Her and I have always had a little bit of sisterly competition when it comes to who's smaller and I was surprised by her generosity..

    PLUS my hubby bought me skinny jeans and I am rocking them today at work! Not an aid for weightloss, but an aid for good body image.. I would never buy them for myself because I thought I didn't "belong" in skinny jeans. So glad he helped me take a step out of my comfort zone.
    910 days ago
  • v JUNEAU2010
    I am sorry to read the sadness in your blog, but the honesty resonates for me. I hope 2014 is a fresh page for both of us!
    911 days ago
    I don't think anyone has had the perfect Christmas memories throughout the years. I remember good Christmas's and bad ones. I just try to make my family happy and not look back on the should. Move forward and enjoy the reason for the season, which I believe is to love one another because to me GOD is Love.
    911 days ago
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