My Love/Hate Relationship With the Holidays
Oh, the holidays.
OK, I need to pause now (yes, already) for a moment of lyrical drama from Whitney Houston that encapsulates my sentiments at this sentimental time:
It’s almost over. After all the planning, the shopping, the cooking, the hustle and bustle, more planning, more shopping, eating, passing out in a carb coma, waking up again in a pool of your own sweat (is that sweat?), wondering who the people are on the floor next to you and where their clothes are…
Wait — wrong story.
(Blame my mom; she brought the Magic Mike DVD over to watch this week.)
Some people dread the holidays, and for many totally valid reasons. Me, I guess I kind of view them as a time of power-multitasking — which, naturally, someone like myself would be into. I don’t so much mind all the shopping, nor do I mind the preparations involved in anticipation of guests — which this year for me included my mom and sister. My mom and I even cooked our first turkey together (well, my first turkey, her ten-millionth).
No, I actually love the holidays. To me, it’s time off to do out-of-the-ordinary things with people I don’t get to see that much anymore. They say variety is the spice of life, and few things bring more variety to my actually quite regimented life than the holidays, even if I demand to be the elf that gets to pass out the gifts every year (and you best believe I do, yo).
It seems like no matter what I do, though, there’s always a point where I get majorly bummed out. As a kid, it was after the presents were opened. Downer! Now that I’m older, it’s become when my company leaves. It’s a good thing Jesus is here to talk me off the frickin’ ledge.
I will return to “normal life” soon, head back to the office and begin the new year, complete with a new assignment list, a new round of trade shows to attend, even a new publication to help launch. I will begin attacking my new list of personal goals for 2013; I finally got smart this year and kept it short at four. Yes, there will be much to keep me busy since, happily and sadly, the world did not in fact come to an end.
But right now, I am looking at my Christmas tree (which will come down New Year’s Day), listening to the washer and dryer churn and burn, and I’m reflecting on holidays past.
I’ve had many a crappy holiday in my life — not gonna lie. It wasn’t that we were struggling financially or I got stranded in an airport or anything like that, either…so perhaps I really don’t know what it is to have a truly crappy holiday. But relatively speaking, in Raegenland, my crappy holidays generally occurred because of the people I spent them with (or sometimes, conversely, the people I didn’t spend them with). Sometimes there was drama; who could forget the Christmas my a**f*** ex-stepbrother told my sister and I Santa wasn’t real? Sometimes there was tragedy; who could forget the Christmas — or more specifically, the day after — when Aunt Mary passed? Sometimes there was just a plain lack of caring; insert the overwhelming majority of ex-boyfriend-related Christmases here.
But I’ve had some great holidays, too. I remember one year we took our now Heaven-dwelling Izzy with us to Winterhaven in Tucson — one of the happiest times of her life. I remember my New Year’s with Jess in Sedona. I remember my only New Year’s (thus far) spent on the Strip; that’s about as crazy as things get. Now I have this year’s Christmas to add to the list.
And these are the ones that are always the hardest to get over, as with any heartache, I suppose.
My mom and sister both left today after a whole week warp-speeded by, thanks to Father Time or Mr. Sulu — one or the other. So it is with bittersweet emotions that I have reached the point where I must say, “Eff you, holiday, for doing this to me! Goodbye forever, and good riddance!”
Seriously, though…will you come back again already?