Saturday, December 15, 2012

Just like any other Tuesday, except there's presents

Christmas. It's a hard time of year for me. I generally like to avoid it.

I haven't had a tree in three years. This year, BJ and I had talked about cutting down tree and having the horses help get it out. We never got the permit, so that didn't happen. Then we talked about buying a tree, but neither one of us have any decorations. No lights. No ornaments. Nothing. (I had a box of ornaments from an ornament exchange, but they got ruined.) We went to various stores (both together and separate) to find Christmas decorations that fit him, me, or us.

I had about given up. And then, by accident, I saw this:
Charlie Brown Christmas tree. With presents (Thanks to BJ's sister.)

I loved it. BJ loved it. It was perfect.
And for a moment, I forgot that I get stressed by Christmas. I got excited. I got all my Christmas shopping done in the next twenty minutes. (I love Amazon.)

Christmas could suddenly be what I wanted. There were no shoulds. No have-tos. No, "If you don't do it the way everyone else does it, there's something wrong with you." Just the question, What do YOU want?, and the answer can be anything.

Since that day, I've gone back to feeling anxious. Afraid I'm not doing it right. Pressured to try to make everyone happy. Depressed. Sad. Overwhelmed. Frustrated with myself for not being "normal". Angry at myself for feeling sad and depressed.

So now, besides my funny little satirical tree, I'd like to make some other changes to my Christmas season. No more anxiety. No more expectations. No more guilt. No trying to make everyone happy. No trying to hang on to "normal".
I'd like to let go of all of that.

Maybe it could just be like any other Tuesday. Except there's presents.


  1. That sounds like a fabulous Tuesday. :)

    I like your little tree. I think it suits you just fine.

    The other day I was talking to my coworkers about Christmas. They were saying how they wished they could enjoy Christmas the way they did when they were kids. They were saying how stressful it was because there were so many obligations.

    I thought it was strange. I told them that I love Christmas. I wake up when I want to. I go visit my family because I want to. (And it certainly doesn't hurt that presents are involved.)

    I hope you can enjoy Christmas in whatever way makes you happy. And whatever doesn't make you happy, should not be a part of your Christmas.

    1. I like the way you think. Except... what if doing what makes me happy also stresses me out if it's in conflict with anything anyone else wants? Or if I just think it might be in conflict with what anyone else wants?

      I make things way too complicated inside my head.

    2. Well, I think you have to weigh how much you feel like there's a conflict. For example, singing Christmas carols is really not my favorite thing. But mom really likes it, and my wife really likes it and it really doesn't hurt me, so I participate.

      But, if there's something that really makes you unhappy (more than the mild annoyance I feel when I sing Christmas carols) then I'm sure that everyone involved would prefer that you be happy.

      My first Christmas at Robyn's parents, everybody gathered around the piano and sang carols for several hours. It was more than the 10 minutes I was used to and I really didn't want to. So I just sat on the couch by myself. My 5 year old niece joined me and we had a great time dressing each other up in various items that had been used to act out the nativity. Eventually everyone else joined us and wanted to take our pictures because we were funny. No one was offended that I came up with my own way to amuse myself, and in fact they were happy and thought it was fun.

      So, I say do what you want to do. It doesn't mean you have to take away from what anyone else is doing, but I think you'll find the majority of people would prefer that you enjoy yourself rather than do something that makes you unhappy.

  2. I know exactly how you feel. My husband and I have so many people we "have"to visit in the course of 2 days - and we have and 4yo son and 3mo twin girls to take care of on top of it. We made our Christmas plans but nobody is happy with them. I just want to go and hide until it is all over... blah, I feel like scrooge this year... :-/

    1. Trying to please everyone AND taking care of three little kids? That sounds very stressful - no wonder you want to hide. But you're not scrooge. Scrooge didn't like Christmas because he didn't like giving to others. You don't like Christmas because you feel like you can't give enough (or at least that's what I got from what you said.)

      I hope you find a way to enjoy the day. Even if it means hiding.

  3. I like your tree. While we are out, let's buy an ornament for next year.

  4. You sound a lot like me; I still don't have a tree, still haven't bought presents, still haven't put up any decorations. I am not sure why I'm not a Christmas person but I've always been this way, even when I was religious. Now, I am half-way across the country from my family and married to someone with no sentimental ties to Christmas (Hindu, raised in India). So the effort doesn't seem worth it, although I do miss the excitement I felt as a kid.

    1. I was able to find it (the excitement) for a second. When I found that silly tree, I felt like a kid again. Christmas was just for fun again.

      But I don't know if I would have even been trying if it weren't for BJ. (Not that he cares that much either, but... it's easier to care for him.)

  5. Love your tree. Hope you have a peaceful & happy Tuesday with presents tomorrow. Atta girl!