"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

Hark the herald tribune sings,
Advertising wondrous things.
God rest ye merry, merchants,
May you make the yuletide pay.
Angels we have heard on high
Tell us to go out and buy!

Tom Lehrer – A Christmas Carol

I think I am coming around to another understanding of myself. I don’t like most holidays. Yes, today, I am thinking about Christmas and it is time for yet another Monday rant. Pulling out my decorations, decorating the tree, shopping for presents – I am just not into it. I would rather jump on a cruise ship or explore some beautiful city in Europe or some other faraway place. Bah humbug. Maybe this is a phase in my life, but I am not motivated to do this. If I go through the motions of setting up the tree, will anyone see it or care about it? Personally, I care very little. I did it all last year and it came out beautifully, but other than my kids, it was for naught.  I have told myself that this is my last traditional Christmas and next year it will be Christmas on my own terms.

As in most families, being the wife, I was the person responsible for setting up the tree and all the decorations in our home from the very beginning. We made a nice evening out of it. My mother-in-law would come over for a nice dinner and then we would decorate the tree. Me, the kids and my MIL. My ex put the lights on the tree and then would sit on the sofa and critique our decorating efforts. The last year of our marriage, I put up all the decorations both inside and out by myself. I put up the tree, the outside wreaths, and the other knickknacks around the house. The tree was in a family room that we rarely use, and we didn’t have any parties that year that would have justified all the décor. Afterwards I got to put it away all by myself. It just felt like we were going through the obligatory motions.

This weekend I made an appearance at my boss’ annual Christmas party. He and his amazing wife throw a huge party for about 125 people and collect toys for a charity. His wife, B, has boundless energy and channels Martha Stewart seemingly effortlessly. She makes the rest of us look like slackers. She made all of the food, was up until 2 AM every night the preceding week, did all the décor in their huge waterfront house (as in 3 Christmas trees plus lights inside and out – you get the picture). As she stood there looking her usual glamorous self, I realized that I have no envy of her or her lifestyle.  Fortunately I know that after Christmas, she won’t get around to putting it all away until sometime in February, so she is human after all.

So what do I like about Christmas? I like the hymns during Christmas Eve service, which is the only time of year I will step foot into a church. I like the Christmas movies and music. I like the decorations and most of the parties (although the majority of my parties are work-related). Presents? Sometimes I like the exchange, but I have been moving away from wanting things and prefer experiences. The best gifts I have gotten recently were from work – vendors and business colleagues. Isn’t that a shame?

Maybe I am just glum because I have spent the weekend stuck at home feeling miserable from a nasty cold. I am a bit of wuss when I don’t feel well and tend to hibernate in isolation until I feel better. It took all my energy to get dressed and head over to my boss’ party. Then it was too cold, alcohol was a stomach-turning thought and there were NO single men. After 2-1/2 hours, I tapped out and went home. I did make two good work-related connections  <<sigh >>  not what I had in mind. Yep, Bah Humbug. Just call me Ms. Scrooge.

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Comments on: "Bah Humbug – It’s Another Monday Rant" (10)

  1. Get over the cold. I’m sure you’ll feel a whole lot better about everything

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Will Carrier said:

    I have one foot on each side of the fence. I love the time watching my kids enjoying themselves. I love sharing this time with my wife. We do tend to get caught up in the activities and are left wondering “for what purpose are we doing this to ourselves?”

    I have my share of Christmas nightmares and downright horrors. I remember a few occasions violence at the hand of my former stepfather. I remember sneaking into his room in search of his .38 with plans to end him and the drunken violence. I remember holding that loaded pistol and thinking about shooting him as he slept. Ah, Christmas!

    I have a lifetime of far better memories since then surrounding the holidays. Like the time I was taken in by a family in Perth as they invited us displaced servicemen who had to spend Christmas far away from loved ones.

    Like

    • My childhood Christmas memories are mixed, but not nearly as tempestuous as yours. The holidays when the kids were little were exhausting because we usually had 2-3 places to visit over 2 days.

      I think my best memories are the simplest celebrations, like when I insisted that the kids give their aunts & uncles homemade gifts. Those are sweet memories.

      Thank you for sharing, Will, and may you and your family have a peaceful, loving holiday.

      XXOO to you and Savannah.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Will Carrier said:

        Thank you Maggie!

        The past is firmly in the past. I only recall the bad memories as a means to remind me of how good things are for my family today.

        Yes, keeping things simple and focusing on the time spent with loved ones is what I prefer. Having suffered through some significant losses and the empty chairs that remain, we will further emphasize the time shared over the materialism, commercialism, etc.

        XXOO right back to you.

        And have a Merry Christmas!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My family and I are going to my aunts house for a christmas holiday/reunion this year so that means no tree, no stress, not much planning etc. We do it every year, a different family members house or rent a house in a holiday destination for a week. So I totally agree with holidays at xmas time 😀 Its a nice reward at the end of an exhausting year.

    As for the presents, we have $100 limit per person and we write a list of things we’d like. Yes, it cuts out the ‘surprise’, but it means we don’t accumulate things that we don’t exactly want/need (candles, bathroom packs, alcohol we don’t like etc).

    My bfs family is pretty big so they do a secret santa with a $20 limit. Just a token gift, xmas isn’t such a big deal to them.

    Just figure out the exact components you don’t like and change it to suit you 🙂 we all celebrate differently but I think keeping happy and being with family are the two important aspects (at least to me). Have a lovely christmas sunshine 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think with my new chapter (aka post-divorce life), it is time to start some new traditions. I know once my kids start their own families, it will all change again. I like the idea of rotating it around — the change is a great idea.

      Liked by 1 person

    • In my ex’s family, we used to do a $20 cap for gifts for kids (parents took care of the purchase, knowing best what their children wanted, and others just gave them the money). For the adult, it was the same idea, with a drawing: one adult gave to one adult and received from one adult. It meant it was easier to coordonate what the person you were gifting wanted exactly and tell the person gifting you what you wanted. This way, it also made for less ‘junk’ around the house, and one bigger gift than we would normally have gotten. I liked it, though it also took away the joy of finding something for that special someone… As rambling goat said, the most important being that you find the tradition that fits you 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Last year, I didn’t do any decorating in my house. Well, I’d moved just a few days before Christmas, the kids were with their dad, so I was away from them for the first time ever since I had become a mother. I had had no time to take care of presents, having been working more than full time, still taking care of most of the household (trying to keep the kids’ life as steady as possible while so much change was looming), running around trying to find and sign for the house where I was hoping to move as soon as possible… I really wasn’t in any Christmas spirit. I still enjoyed myself with my family, I received lots of presents from everybody and didn’t get to sleep in as I had hoped as my kids called me early on Christmas morning to wish me a merry Christmas 🙂
    This year, the kids are going to be with me. But I have been so busy lately that the house is still bare, I have no idea what my kids want for presents and I realised yesterday that there are only 9 days left until Xmas! Arghh! Where did the time go?
    So I guess we’ll decorate the tree and the house sometime next weekend, and I’ll just try to enjoy having my kids around while I can 🙂
    No work parties for me. That was in a different lifetime.
    But I don’t mind that much. I’ll gladly give away the work parties to have the peace of mind 😉

    I believe that you should do what you feel like for Christmas. It’s your life, and it’s too short to live it on someone else’s terms. Isn’t that why we left our exes?

    Hope you do enjoy Christmas still!
    XO

    Liked by 1 person

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