Wrote This Last Year .. Why I Hate The Holidays.

So why do I hate the holidays...Let me count the ways! Maybe a warning first: this isnt a pity party- I dont want any ones sympathy or invitations to join them, but thanks in advance. It probably will come across as a pity party or as a bitter diatribe about poor me. Bitter- Id say not really, but probably a little. I still believe it bares repeating Im not writing this to get anything out of it or to change anything really. Its an exclamation I feel like making, nothing more nothing less. At this time, as I type I doubt highly I will even ever share this. If you are reading this- I must have been drunk or feeling real trusting to have sent it your way. So be kind, thanks again.

So lets see- my earliest memories of the holidays sucking probably go back to around 1980. We moved in to our new home on Ave L. In BK the summer of 79. I guess that holiday season went ok- maybe even the next few did, not sure, dont remember. I do remember my brother and I "playing Santa" around our electric fire place. Wed hang socks (yes socks, not stocking- didnt have any) and tie ribbons around our old toys and give them to each other. We always knew other ppl played this game in a much more bigger, magical way but we tried to make it work. I have no idea if he just went along with it or actually enjoyed this game my brother, but I remember thinking it was kinda lame and I bet my friends dont think its lame at all, cause when they wake up to Santa its not last years broken hulk figure or fire truck from 1975.

That kinda brings me to the next point. From around Jr high through the end of HS I would listen to and see all other kids got. I guess I just didnt notice other kids that didnt get a lot- there sure were quite a few in my world that got TONS. I remember getting a decent size boom-box around 1984 or so. I was pretty stoked. It was big IMO and had detachable speakers- and omg I also got Prince's Purple Rain on tape to stick in it. I could get blank tapes and make mixes off the radio- this was the best xmas ever!! (yeah, by now my father remarries a Catholic and we "do xmas" like other ppl) ((we dont 'believe" in Santa but we go to bed xmas eve with wonder and excitement and wake up to a load of crap under the tree that my father will always refuse to buy until xmas eve so he can offer any amt and drive away proud it was $10, not $50)) So I have this boom box to take home and I call up my bff at the time and we're both NUTS to share what we got- and without any more lead up- as Im sure you guessed she blew me away by far. She got a whole stereo. Speakers 3 feet high and all. DUEL cassette- not just one. Adjustable everything and a remote. Oh yeah- I got a boom box. And what else? Prince tape. Ok. Then she told me about her clothes, boots, necklace, ring and 100s of bucks too. She got a small stack of records to play on the record player and blank tapes to start fooling around with the radio. Stuffed animals, chocolate and hair stuff rounded out her gigantic haul, while a boom box and a tape was mine. I was fine with what I got- and to this day dont think I needed anything else. But youll have to just believe me that to a 12 year old- that phone call sucked. And it would go on to suck on that level for years. I remember going to HS thrilled to have on new acid wash jeans. I probably only owned 3 pair and had to rotate carefully so as not to wear the same thing constantly as I didnt have that much 'cool' clothes. Id switch up with skirts and other pants that were the rage back then. I always was in to swapping clothes and taking hand me downs- it would be the biggest way to be cool for me as no parent would get down with $40 jeans back then for me. So Im rocking some awesome ripped acid wash and in comes Ms 'Narsh with her long leather coat, high leather boots and new jewelry. Probably a diamond ring with her initial and /or a name plate. For those of you that didnt grow up under the pressure of whats cool in jewlery in the 80s a name plate was your name in gold on a gold chain. The richer your family the better the plate. A diamond would dot the " i" if thats all you could afford, or be a sparkle on one side of the name- but if your family wanted you to have the very best- you had it all encrusted in diamonds. Charm necklaces were popular too in the 80 where I grew up. You had a charm holder on a gold chain and every chance you had you got a new charm that represented something to you. Could be a heart, a little puppy, a book, ballet slipper, etc... I had one and a few charms finally by maybe 8th or 9th grade. I begged my Aunt  who was the only person to ask for something so expensive and she got me the charm holder and 1 charm- I begged for charms for each bday and Hanukkah so I could have 5 or 6 eventually. I think I was satisfied with how many I had by the time they were going out of style. I never had a name plate or the diamonds other girls got for sweet 16s and xmas.

So besides the fact that I obviously grew up with a lot of spoiled kids would not only got a huge haul for xmas- then easter rolls around and its almost worse. I didnt know until I was in around jr HS that easter was even a big deal... until my best friends dresser was COVERED in giant easter bunnies of chocolate, 3 baskets of crap and she also made $100s of bucks again. I got a $15/week allowance- she also got an allowance and then $100s of bucks twice a yr? I NEVER got more than my allowance- ever- for any reason. Bday cash, sure- from the few relatives I had, but thats it, not on holidays and not $100- ever- if we ever broke $50 we were amazed my brother and I.

I want to take a moment to say again - and strongly- that I dont wish we could go back and give me more STUFF. I dont want stuff. At all- dont today and never did. I have always been that way. Even back then I just wanted to know why it was so uneven in so many way. Why was xmas so BEAUTIFUL and Hanukkah so dull? 8 great nights and we put up a candle holder as boring as any candle holder. We were never allowed to blow them out or move the menorah. Wed gather round, light it and get a small gift. I remember one year it was things like yes/no books and crayons one night. Another night silly putty. The next socks and mittens. The next play jewelry for me and race cars for the brother. Very small simple stuff- which was fine with me more or less. I dont remember wishing for bigger stuff. As a teen I wanted better clothes and maybe the jewelry - as a small kid I just wanted more excitement like on tv. A charlie brown xmas even looked more fun than what went on in my house. Xmas plays, xmas trees, xmas shopping, xmas dinner, xmas guests. No one came over to dinner on the first night of Hanukkah. No one came ever for Hanukkah to our house. There wasnt a special dinner any night. My mother did pull off buying 16 small gifts and hiding them but beyond that and buying candles, we did nothing SPECIAL. No decorations and 1 song- to the millions (it seemed ) of xmas songs. In Ny there were signs of Jewish holidays but it always felt like they were doing it cuz they had to, not cuz it was amazing like xmas.

I wont pound the part of this where I have to explain Im not jealous or green with envy I dont have the piles of presents and cool stuff. As the kid of divorced parents I always figured we were screwed for that reason- no one has as much money after a divorce and so we're broke and lucky to have heat sometimes. If you know me at all you know I dont need THINGS - Im more of an EXPERIENCE person. Id rather go on vacation than invest in a home theater. Id rather snorkel than be on the boat. Id rather visit with ppl I dont get to see often enough than get ANY gift at all.

There were maybe half a dozen good xmases - and I may be over shooting. When the husband I had "our first" that was kinda cool and fun. We did the decorating, the tree, the dinner and the gifts. We were just us and I was fine with that. 3 years later we had a baby to buy for. Thats kinda dumb- he was too young to care at all of 5 weeks old. So the next year I kept it simple on purpose knowing he doesnt get it yet so why spend thousands- though by now we are living in PA and near ppl who have grandparents fighting over being the bestest grandparent on earth. One can only achieve that status by buying out all other grandparents, especially, but not limited to the co- grandparents of the family. So now I told other moms I got the baby a new block set and her baby got a new playground and the men are coming monday to install the bouncy layer of playground material so the playground is structurally sound. Wow. Now I get to feel inferior doing xmas as the parent- go figure.

Fast fwd a little more to having a 2, 5 and 7 year old. Xmas could be fun! We'll decorate, theyll get most of what they ask for cuz at these ages they dont know too much and dont want very expensive things. We can afford to do it all- the tree, the lights, make little projects and decorate with home made pine cones that look like xmas trees when you cover them in glitter- and kids love glitter! So we make place mats, hang stockings and even go visit santa! We write lists and can not wait til xmas morning. Theres a feast both xmas eve and xmas day. We eat a wonderful breakfast, munch goodies all day and a huge dinner at night. Coffee and pies both nights. Wine, cordials, hot chocolate and stockings full of sugary goodness. Finally- this is what I always thought xmas could be... kinda...

No one comes over. No one calls. As a matter of fact the phone is eerily quiet this day. I come to decide its as it should be- a quiet phone- this isnt a day for BS so feeling alone on the earth is ok. Its FAMILY day. I do not do xmas, nor did I ever, nor will I ever cuz its some dead guy's bday. I appreciate it and all, respect it totally- but I cant pretend to care. So its family day to me. I take care of it all and enjoy it. The shopping, wrapping- I even sent 40-60 cards a year for a while. cooking, cleaning, set up, break down- I honestly love it all. But something is always missing and Im always reminded when someone else talks about the house being packed, the roads being packed as they drive to the house that is packed. The locals here that have too many family members to see all in one day so they do xmas eve here, and xmas there and they still need to all go out next week cuz so and so couldnt be there but is coming next week.

There is no week or even day on the calender that prompts anyone to visit us. My husband is one of 8- who obviously dont like one another too much. Theres never talk about the whole family getting together. 2 times my in laws came and I got over the shock and awe of it when I asked my father in law to come back soon- his response was he had 28 grandkids- they have to go elsewhere and spread themselves around. Sure, I understand that. My kids have grandparents and 26 cousins theyve never met- why come back to our house soon. My kids might actually get close to you and then you wouldnt come for 7 years and that would be harder than them seeing you once every 5- so we should probably leave it at that.

I have put out blanket invites for the holidays and summer time- rare is it anyone has ever come. I stopped sending xmas cards when I realized it was a dying art. Here anyway it is. I remember a certain household Id visit in BK that had probably 50-75 cards going around an archway and I did wonder- wow they know that many ppl?? I really was amazed. Im not lacking in the friend dept- but the most cards I ever go probably didnt top 20 any given year- thats friends and relatives combined. Id write personal notes hoping for some kind of response that wasnt form-ish. But that never happened. I decided to save my stamps around 3 years ago. I think we got 3 cards last yr and one was the token card from the accountant. I'll probably post something on facebook and call it a day.

My father is MIA, my step mother and I carry on some kind of relationship that Im not sure about. My mother is in a home and ill. My brother married a gal who wont leave town. Its cuz of her heart, the cats, her parents and whatever else she lets stop her. My brother likes it or at least I assume he does cuz he doesnt try real hard to make her come here or to do much of anything else outside of eating at her parents house. He once told me her mother was very clear that ALL holidays are spent with them. And as I said I guess thats just what they want cuz thats just what they do. We used to call and play the what are you making game. Hed call me from my mothers so I could talk to her briefly. His TG has turned into work as he goes around the boroughs while his wife waits for him at his moms. Im sure if my mother wasnt in a home shed spend it alone- my brother wouldnt feel as obligated to visit since hes totally obligated to go to his in laws.

My family of 5 have spent the last 3 TG alone just us. My husbands boys are grown and hate traffic and have to work black friday often so they dont come. In laws rotate or not leave town. My brother I explained- he cant/ doesnt want to ever come here cuz his wife cant oh and he hates anything outside the norm so its too hard for him. Plus he works all week and need 2 days off to face the next work week, and coming here is not the same as being off. If and when hes ever come he takes a day off during the week- not to spend extra time with us- so he can still have his ME time after our visit, which much be a lot like work and if not work, a lot UNlike a vacation cuz he always leaves early the next day after arriving and needs a day off to "recover" from a visit that often has been just shy of 24 hrs.

We dont celebrate cuz its Jesus's bday- we just dont since Im Jewish and the kids are deciding what they are. We're not religious so its not that for us. I dont like the gimme gimme attitude that comes out this time of year. Stores are crowded and often not with holiday spirit. Its a huge waste of money in many ways- do I really need more garland? And I dont like being given lists these days just cuz its Dec 25. Gifts should be from the heart and not because of the calender. Xmas trees arent cheap and lights are always broken and we have to go to the stores I hate to get more. No one visits or even calls- and pretty much never did. And then theres still Hanukkah. I can tell my kids think its lame and are just playing along, especially since we do the modern way and give a gift on day 1 and 8 instead of small stuff all week culminating in some big wished for item. ( I got a mini trampoline one year- so see- I DID get cool stuff- I just was always left feeling inferior once someone grabbed my ear and rubbed it in)

My biggest peeve is I dont have family that is excited its the holidays because we all finally get to see each other. I sometimes say- well who wants to travel, I sure dont so I dont blame anyone else if they dont want to. Then I see on FB pics of some kids I grew up with- with kids of their own- all stuffed in a beach house in FL so they can be together. I just read on average ppl sit down to 12 guests- 12?! I had 12 once. ONCE. Usually its just us. Maybe once my mother came before getting sick. And 2 x my in laws. A handful of times my husbands other boys, but in the last few years, nadda.
Im not sure Im gonna get on the phone with my brother this year and play the way we used to. He may call from my mothers and we'll talk then. But whats he really care these days what I cook and I really do NOT care what his mother in law cooks. I havent talked to his wife since the wedding. I find that increasingly uncomfortable so Im sure its just a few more years until we no longer speak at all. I guess thats just natural development in this family. My parents dont really talk to their siblings and my husbands whole family sure can act like they like each other from afar but in real time, they dont show it for real. FB has made ppl communicate more than we once did, but its a facade. Heres the holidays and no ones going to see anyone unless they are within a 20 minute drive.

I will do all the shopping, for both food and gifts. I will wrap for hours unless I get a good jump on it. I will stay up late trying to out do the kids so I can at least create some kind of surprise morning. I will make breakfast and honor the few BS traditions the husband has tried to instill that I really could give a crap about, like stockings first- THEN BREAKFAST - THENN and only then the gifts under the tree. Thats some torturous bs you do to kids for no good reason and I think its as stupid now as I wouldve when I was a kid. But to keep the peace I tell the kids to wait. When they ask me why, I cant lie- I say I have no gd idea- just do it and go eat some breakfast. I'll clean up paper and boxes and trashbags full of anti-climax. Then that night I'll hear as always "im bored" The phone wont ring and other than being cold and damp, I wouldnt even know what date it is except thanks to kids I have to, possibly forever. I squeeze in Hanukkah and pretend its as good as the other holidays. I wouldnt cancel either holiday but if I had a choice Id just be as jewish as I feel and no tree or other xmas junk. Lights look great on the palm anyway.

If we had a real extended family to get excited about maybe I wouldnt hate the holidays. But since my earliest memories theres just been "us". In many ways I feel extremely lucky to have anyone. There are ppl who choose to sleep thru it and ignore it since they dont have anyone. There are ppl so poor they "believe'' in xmas for all the right reasons, yet they wont eat or give the gifts to their kids that they want to. I am very very lucky and blessed in many many ways.
Even tho we have many blood relatives out there- we arent close with any. We have no reason to get excited. We have family dinners all the time and theres 5 ppl here so thats an average of a bday cake and presents every 2-3 months. Then theres mothers day and summer fun. My 5 are great and we enjoy each other. They will watch like I did, other ppl having what I didnt - and I dont mean the STUFF- I never did.

Thats why the holidays suck to me.
Marysimcox Marysimcox
36-40, F
1 Response Nov 27, 2012

i hate holidays family right next door but they wont come here to see us, also we have lots of bills missed work due to illness so we never have cash for real gifts or what people want holidays just remind me of what failure to my whole family i really am