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!