Yup, I said it. I hate the holidays. I hate this time of year. It always causes more stress than anything.
I guess it’s because I grew up with divorced parents. The holidays were spent dividing the time between my father’s family and my mother’s. When both my parents re-married, I was pulled into so many directions because I now had more grandparents, aunts and uncle and cousins to see. There was no way to bring everyone together, either, as my parents hated each other with a passion. There were a lot of hurt feelings and nothing was ever worked out to make things easier for me or my sister.
It got even worse once I got married. Now, I had to divide my time even more. My husband and I lived 5 hours away from home, so time was even more valuable when we went back to Buffalo for the holidays. We always stayed at my mom’s house, because it had the most room and we could come and go without disturbing anyone. In this way, though, my mom got most of our attention and time. If I spent too much time at my father’s, she would call there, asking when I’d be back. She wasn’t as bad when we were at my in-laws’ house, but it still annoyed her. I’m the oldest and the closest to her and I guess it was just hard for her to see me spend time with others.
Since moving to Phoenix, it hasn’t gotten any better. The first few years, I only made it back home a few times. My parents now live in Payson, which is about 90 miles from Phoenix. If all holidays were spent there, it wouldn’t be so bad. We do Thanksgiving at her house and everyone is expected to go to my sister’s in Orange County, California, for Xmas. It’s never a happy time for me. I have to make sure I have enough time off work. I have to get there, whether by car or flying. If I fly, I have to find someone to take Dexter.
I’m not a religious person, so that aspect of Xmas is lost on me. This year, with my new job, I won’t have any extra time to take off work to go to my sister’s. Traveling there and back would just be too stressful and, quite frankly, I just plain old don’t want to go. I want to have my weekend to relax, not be cramped in her house with absolutely no quiet time or privacy, only to come back home with only hours to recharge before going back to work.
Maybe it’s selfish of me, but I just can’t do it this year. I am somewhat thankful for the new job and no extra days to take off. So, I’ve decided to have a dinner party, “Xmas Misfits,” on Xmas night for my friends who may not have family in the area or can’t afford to go elsewhere to visit them.