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Despising the holidays

And now I realize I can’t even say such a thing out loud because I’m a teacher of kids and I can’t be a sour grump, I have to be positive inspiration at all times. Oh boy, I’ve really tied these knots tight.
I can see how working with and having kids would complicate matters.
I only had little old me really to think about, and everyone else around me are adults.

I’d just up and out tell people that asked that I was a f*cking grinch. I even used to make a joke out of it when everyone would come in in jumpers I’d wear either a hilariously not-Christmas jumper or a Scrooge one with something funny on it. I have been known to stick a piece of paper with ‘I identify as a Christmas jumper’ on a plain one - we were all to busy laughing at it to bother about the whole I don’t like Xmas thing. I’d joke that I was taking one for the team by working xmas, and that I was not working new year in exchange bc I was going out partying 🤣

Does it have to be black and white in that you can’t be positive about not liking Christmas? Could there maybe be a way to keep the positive attitude and still respect that it isn’t something you want to get involved in? Can you be positive and say I did absolutely nothing and it was *great*, it was quiet out, I did exactly what I wanted all day, I ate whenever I pleased and I didn’t have to clear up after 20 people etc etc
 
Yes it's easy to just say it was quiet or I was exhausted, or nice to be off (all good things, as we are often paid less to work it- 1 1/2x on real time but cancellations/ holes all day, and usually stuck til midnight accomodating).

I know I am happy when people are happy, at Christmas or otherwise, if they are. I can make most of them laugh given a little material to work with. And they me. One snuck me a poopy sack full of dog cookies. One snuck a tomato in my purse I found all masked up reaching for hand sanitizer. And she was considered a grinch (no she wasn't, at all).

I don't think the losses are so much the end of the year for me. I only have 2 living relatives, one is estranged, except for some cousins/ 2nd cousins I don't see or know, and a few good friends. But I'd be mortified if they thought in pity they had to invite me to their family dinner. Even though one used to invite a fella like that every year. So no family or no one is probably my issue. (And I always hated receiving gifts, so that's my problem). Plus it is Christmas/ Bday/ New Years all within a week.

Also, so I really love turkey. Like realllly love it. I could make a turkey, as I make a turkey even turkey-haters ask for 2nds and 3rds 😊. It's actually the same work for a small as a big one though, and for my self I don't bother. I also do enjoy not having to cook as I've cooked all my life. There are restaurants; nowadays I could order. But I get a tv dinner, which isn't great or pitiable as much as zero work, keeps a tradition I like, and actually tastes ok because of those things, not because they are a culinary delight lol.

Really liked @No More 's descriptor and making fun of how you feel (the grinch) if you like. Giggles are good year round. Much as I always hid my feelings you can be legitimate while still making jokes or being kind. And agree with giving to who you want. I am not a scrooge, I like to give, but I hate having to buy crap for people who aren't who I want to give to. This year the Secret Santa party is January with a 50$ plus bill for the restaurant/ per person with a group of people who act like jerks . And I like the restaurant but even my sister who goes often thinks they use so much sauce because they use cat meat, as something is unidentifiable in their dishes. What fun. 😛🤣 And nevermind, the other restaurants they listed are a minimum 200$/ plate (I know them well, top in the city), which in today's day is talking like a flake, IMHO. My alternative is learning how to be assertive and honest, but still diplomatic. Would rather be a grinch, except for his nails. Greens ok I'm half Irish. 😂
 
ETA @OliveJewel I forgot, in all seriousness what are things you can do without (others consider you 'lucky not to have to engage in')? Avoiding inlaws/ outlaws and family in-fighting; exes; excessives you've had enough of? Same with traditions you never cared for. Long line-ups; rude guests; ill crowds? Battling weather, deadlines, bad drivers? Being able to sleep in? Putting on Christmas music- if you want. Silence- if you want. Heavy metal- if you want. Or lighting a candle, instead of stringing lights. Or turning on lights whenever you like. (My super-great neighbour has added to his inflatable snowman family, and their bums face outward 😄, so they see them from their window). Or sending a text instead of mailing cards, or buying a toy (even one) for a hamper, or saying one for someone, or starting a project. Or asking your daughter what she wants to do? Being kind, having some laughs. ordering pizza for Christmas. Doing a New Year's Polar Bear swim. working out. Going dancing. Sleeping in. Drawing the blinds and hunkering down. Or opening every one of them. Painting a room a new color. Throwing out negative things. Doing a movie marathon. Entering a contest. Writing a poem. Walking the dog somewhere new. Getting lost in your own city. Going to a Christmas market or a flower nursery. Buying a plant to nurture. Making a care package for someone. Etc.
 
I'd be mortified if they thought in pity they had to invite me to their family dinner. Even though one used to invite a fella like that every year.
I feel this very much!
always hated receiving gifts, so that's my problem
Understand. I’ve had some students who say, “Please don’t sing the birthday song when it’s their birthday.” I feel that too, and it’s similar to the discomfort with gifts. I like giving gifts though so I try to be gracious and perform properly when receiving a gift.
for my self I don't bother.
Me too, but I have a single friend who, on principle, spends holidays alone but always makes a big dinner for himself and his dog. This year his brother is visiting him, which is growth.
Giggles are good year round.
Amen!
My super-great neighbour has added to his inflatable snowman family, and their bums face outward 😄, so they see them from their window
Brilliant!!
asking your daughter what she wants to do
Yes, I tend to go in this direction.
New Year's Polar Bear swim
Always wanted to do this but I’m such a wimp! I believe I will be strong enough some day!
 
Haha I thought I did too, until I realized I hate cold, don't like getting up THAT early (especially on New Year's Day particularly), and can't swim. Asked someone who's cop son did it, he said 'NEVER AGAIN, WHAT WAS I, NUTS???!!!" 🤣 I think now I'd just like to go for a (hot) cup of coffee with friends in a cozy warm restaurant with clothes on lol.

Same with running a marathon, or climbing a mountain (you can't even stay up there if you make it for lack of oxygen. That takes all the fun out to me, because it's the view not the accomplishment I'd want!) The only thing I'd still like is sky diving, but with my body I'd settle for a tandem one. In the summer.

We change. 🙂

ETA though, (just for me), I think it helps to not be self-centered. I know just how hard it can be for some people, and is right this very moment, and others are suffering in ways I can't even imagine. For those I know with needs, and for those globally, maybe I can think about them or send prayers for ones who need it. An invisible, anonymous gift. That I have the ability to do. Maybe it is pointless- and maybe not. For me it's better than getting stuck in a nightmare, damaging train of thought or feeling. But I do have to circle back and refocus often, can be obvious reasons why I'm pulled in to those thoughts. The way I figure though, not avoiding processing but it's just life (because I've learned of the content of so many other's lives, they are not at the start, like children), and one day (at least potentially) I will look back on this time too. It will be influenced by how I think then, but also how I think now and what I do about it or rather with it. I'd rather get to the point of graceful and grateful in my life, rather than beaten down and without hope.
 
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I think a primary source is “family gatherings.”
Oh do I hear that..........already dreading/preparing to deal with that stuff. I would almost rather go to the dentist than go to a family thing.

....and my wife loves that stuff.

I just set a goal of survival for the holidays - and thank god we have our Thanksgiving in October. Apart from that its setting an escape route and taking breaks away from people. Then managing time - long enough not to be rude, short as I can. I love all my relatives but I love spending time with one or two at a time. Crowds and groups freak me out still. Mostly because all it takes is for someone to do the wrong thing and I'm done done done and living in hell for a week.

Hard part is telling everyone why you just have a taste of dinner...... it's hard for people to understand that even with chemical help you can get so stressed you get sick.

So for me it's manage, manage, manage.....
 
.....and my wife is decorating the heck out of everything. I did my part to get ready.

I turned on the libraries for Christmas music and Movies on the media server.
 
My mom invited me to eat at her house on Christmas. I have no partner as an excuse. My kids are invited as well of course, or else they will be with ex.

I don’t want to go! I went last year because I hadn’t gone for two years. I know that she will feel ashamed if her husbands family is all there and I’m not there.

I suspect her horrible gossipy best friend would say something. My mom has always been a huge fan of gossip. It helps her feel important and somehow helps her individuate maybe?

Anyway. I haven’t responded. Part of me thinks I have a duty. As a decent human. To go and make plans to only stay for one hour. That would be the decent thing to do.

That’s really hard for me to do. Last year I showed up at the right time that they invited me. And then her husband’s kids showed up an hour late and her husband’s alcoholic brother kept saying he was going to come but several hours in said he was too tired. So we were all just waiting forever with everyone on their phones except for the gossipy friend and my mom. Eventually I went on my phone too because I didn’t need to prop up the gathering.

And the food was all terribly salty, fatty, and bland, no balance of acid, heat or spices. The gossipy friend got more opinionated as the wine flowed. My mom acted like the timid little sister to her gossipy friend and they teased and mocked my mom’s husband (sister of the best friend) for fun.

Ugh! So I do think it’s ok to say no but it’s polite to say yes because she has been generous to me and my kids throughout the year in whatever way she can.
 
I was hoping to find an article I wanted on family boundaries but I ditched it. What stuck with me though, and my vote if your mom is more an ally, is to have a private convo in advance and tell her you are not trying to give her a hard time, you are having a hard time. And need to not attend, or keep it brief (whether others come on time or not, you can't control that but you can set your time limits, including whether or not it's too late to start dinner for you), +/or have an escape plan in advance. Or have dinner or lunch with her privately. See what she says. it sounds like she might feel like she needs an ally to deal with her 'friend'. But that's her choice to engage with that friend and she is an adult. What I find helps me can be an alternate suggestion: I can't do x but what would you think of y? You are not obligated to tell her 'what' other plans you might have, nor obligated to say yes.

Good luck. Maybe it will go better than you fear?
 
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