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The holiday build up

Old 10-21-2014, 11:28 AM
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The holiday build up

So, its that time of year again. I have three family birthdays in the next week. Than a break. Than Thanksgiving, another birthday and than Christmas. This time of year always drives me nuts. I stress out so bad worrying about making sure everything is perfect for everybody I wind up depressed and miserable. I am completely incapable of enjoying the holidays.

You know I also realized recently that one of my problems is my memories of Christmas were wrong. I always thought my mom went out of her way to make Christmas spec i al no matter how rough things were during the year. Now while that is true up to a point I just realized my Christmas was never special. I never got what I wanted. I got what she thought I would want and it never had anything to do with me or my interests at all. My sisters on the other hand always got what they wanted. So, for some reason I can only be happy when people are thrilled with my thoughtful gifts. And no matter how awesome my husband is to me with gifts, even giving me everything I ask for I am always oddly unhappy.


I dont want to feel this way anymore!!!
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:07 PM
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I get that. My parents did up holidays and birthdays because of course they were parties. Now I do the same thing and I always laugh because truthfully I hate parties. I would rather be me and a few close people on a couch any day.
Were getting close to the holidays making plans to go to parties I don't really want to be at with people I barely like and again I'm ramping up to get used to it. And I do the same thing I could get everything I want and be around everyone I want to be and still I'm grumbly about something. I don't really have anything helpful for you just that I understand.
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:20 PM
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Knowing I am not alone is help enough. I have dialed back the obligations and such a lot but it still doesnt feel quite right. I think I am getting to a point where I am just going to stop all the nonsense and focus on my husband and sons.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:49 PM
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Yeah, I get all tangled up over the holidays too. In fact, so many new people show up at meetings over the holidays we call it "recruiting season"

What I did was "toss out" all the traditions I was so slavingly obeying and started _new_ ones. I have a _small_ tree, and the only ornaments are in the shape of butterflies, because they are the Al-Anon symbol of re-birth. No gifts. None. Insted we spend the time exploring where we are going to go on vacation, and _after_ New Years, when the prices come down, our holiday "gift" is a vacation.

I do have a big dinner around turkey-day, but not _on_ turkey day. Invite all the peeps I know from recovery meetings who do _not_ have family in town, or who are going thru hardship. No toxic family. None. Hard boundary.

I love _my_ holidays, so much more than the "commercial", or "family" version.

Mike
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:00 PM
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Yeah, hard time of year. After both of my parents passed it was a bit easier. But it's still a bit of a struggle. As much as I tried to overcome the cycle of expectations, letdown, and reality I realized I failed when my daughter said I always did something to ruin Christmas. I guess I was stuffing things and letting come out sideways looking for the least little thing to set me off. I have worked hard on this but it's not easy.
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Old 10-22-2014, 01:33 AM
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I've decided this year that I will not turn my house upside down for two months just so that I can make cookies and toffee and spend an exorbitant amount of money on things to give to hubs' co-workers or my son's teachers. I'm not offering to feed the masses because I don't have the resources and I'm tired. I'm always the perfect holiday hostess and I hate every damn minute of it. So this year? No cookies, no homemade marshmallows that take two weeks to chip off of my mixer, less toffee (and only for us here at home). No stupid craft ideas that will leave glitter all over the house (and irritate Mr. Grits to no end). We will put up the tree and that's it. Martha Stewart can keep being Martha Stewart. I'm definitely not her.
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:31 AM
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Now the cookies I must do. Because I love doing them. I just need to figure out how to tell my family I just dont want to get together. Its not fun. I see my baby sisters kids maybe two other times during the year and I always get her youngest something she already has. I hate that. Plus she doesnt call me aunt. That to me is disrespectful. Ugh. Now I am getting cranky
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Old 10-22-2014, 05:18 AM
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Last year i was clinically depressed and did almost nothing.

Just like the Grinch story, Christmas still came. Even though there were no cards sent, no cookies baked, no ornaments on the tree. Gifts were exceedingly barebones as my RAH had not yet gotten a job. I online shopped Black Friday deals to stretch my money and conserve my energy. Our biggest push was adopted family gifts for our church.

Do what you want. Take the time to think through starting new traditions, simpler traditions.

Maybe consider family gifts of Kiva where they can micro loan as a family and learn about how simply much of the world lives? Or do an activity like walking a Xmas light display as a family as a new tradition. Ours has a night where a can drive knocks off a couple of dollars admission! Go rollover skating, start a tag football tradition, a snowman contest. Take spoiled kids shopping and they pick out for Toys for Tots and drop that chosen stuff right into the bin. Or over to come over and clean out toys with spoiled nieces and nephews to donate pre-holidays. Make it about time and memories rather than things.

Last year DS and I went and bought enough cans for a food drive to get into a movie for free. I made him pick out all the food and it was a great exercise at learning how fast things add up! Also at the movies time to talk is limited...

Doing something instead of standing around and talking too much...

Expectations. Take the time to ferret out what are yours and honor what you want this time to be. Then honor what you feel is important no matter what anyone else thinks.

It is wise to figure this out now.
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:48 AM
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So, the first round of birthdays is over. I had a nice time at my youngest nephews birthday yesterday but with my mother there I always had to keep my eye on her and figure out how to get out of rooms without her trapping me. Not fun and I left early.

I am no longer sure if I am going to be during the normal participation in the family get together for Christmas. I have to balance others needs and wants with whats best for me.
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:35 AM
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"Knowing I am not alone is help enough. I have dialed back the obligations and such a lot but it still doesnt feel quite right. I think I am getting to a point where I am just going to stop all the nonsense and focus on my husband and sons."

Ding ding ding ding. Happy Holidays happy, that's my gift to you, sorry it's not wrapped. And uhhh, if you don't mind? I would like the same thing....wink wink. I don't mind the re gift, I promise
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:38 AM
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"Yeah, I get all tangled up over the holidays too. In fact, so many new people show up at meetings over the holidays we call it "recruiting season"

What I did was "toss out" all the traditions I was so slavingly obeying and started _new_ ones. I have a _small_ tree, and the only ornaments are in the shape of butterflies, because they are the Al-Anon symbol of re-birth. No gifts. None. Insted we spend the time exploring where we are going to go on vacation, and _after_ New Years, when the prices come down, our holiday "gift" is a vacation.

I do have a big dinner around turkey-day, but not _on_ turkey day. Invite all the peeps I know from recovery meetings who do _not_ have family in town, or who are going thru hardship. No toxic family. None. Hard boundary.

I love _my_ holidays, so much more than the "commercial", or "family" version."

Awesome, absolutely awesome. Thanks for sharing this. My version of my ideal Holiday might look like "Festivous" from Seinfeld? A silver coat rack for a tree and random gifts for all.....
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:06 PM
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Now my dream Christmas would be to spend it in Germany with my husband and sons. I hear its amazing. Sigh, the cost is so prohibitive though
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:10 PM
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These are awesome ideas for the holidays...I have changed many of the traditions over many years...and am still in the mode of changing...so will be thinking of these ideas...I particularly like the one about turkey day but not on the holiday...thanks desert eyes!
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:35 PM
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One year my husband and kids and I went on a tropical vacation for Christmas. Went to church on Christmas eve, went to the beach on Christmas day. All the locals had their presents the beach, inflatables. Had a picnic lunch with our presents. It was wonderful.

Then we came home two weeks later. What was waiting for us? The extended family Christmas with all the trimmings –and all the trauma. So much for that idea.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:43 PM
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I needed this thread as the "hellidays" approach. I hate that it is my least favorite time of the year. I need to start making some changes for myself.
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Old 11-12-2014, 06:22 PM
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Saw a fundraiser called Cranksgiving and it made DS and I laugh tonight as RAH is such a crank most of the time. We've been unable to agree on a menu for Thankdgiving so we have decided to co-opt this name for our family holiday!
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:53 PM
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good to see this and laugh!
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:13 AM
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Well, a big test for me next week. My husband and I always host Thanksgiving for my family. This year though there are a few changes. One I am not inviting my baby sister and her family. For the last few years she has always made other plans so I have decided to stop asking. The second is I am still no contact with my mom. I told my other sister she could bring my mom as long as my mom understands she is not to say a single word to me. I know this wont work because the one thing my mom cant resist its a boundary. She loves destroying them.

So, I have to come up with a consequence which I think will be she has to leave immediately. I know that could ruin everything for everybody but I am not going to stuff my feelings anymore
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by happybeingme View Post
Now the cookies I must do. Because I love doing them. I just need to figure out how to tell my family I just dont want to get together. Its not fun. I see my baby sisters kids maybe two other times during the year and I always get her youngest something she already has. I hate that. Plus she doesnt call me aunt. That to me is disrespectful. Ugh. Now I am getting cranky
I have some aunts (my dad is one of thirteen children) whom I do not know and will never call aunt. They however do not buy me gifts or try to be my "aunt" . Have you ever had a conversation with your niece and see how she feels and maybe tell her (if you truly feel this way) that you would love it if she called you "aunt"? She very well may have no idea that you feel disrespected. Good luck and happy holidays
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