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Rudolph, The Red-Nosed….Wait, Didn’t We Just Do This?


My apologies to anyone reading today in a reader. I’m importing some old posts from my other blog before it’s shut down and sent to wherever blogs go to die. A blog graveyard? I don’t know. THIS is the post from today, the rest will be dated according to their original air date. Sorry for overloading you in advance.

During years past, I looked forward to the holidays nearly peeing myself with the childish excitement of it all (or, perhaps I am just a Simple Simone). Decorating cookies, Christmas music blaring from all radios, wrapping gifts in elaborate patterns, and throwing festive tinsel and garland around the house merrily, for months ahead of time.

I’d roll my eyes at the Scrooges out there who would complain about the Christmas stuff coming onto the store shelves mid-October, mocking their discontent. I just couldn’t understand how anyone would mind that stations played Christmas music in November. I sure didn’t. Hell, I’d play it in July while tooling around in my car (with the windows rolled up, for sure, so I didn’t look like an escapee from the local funny farm).

I’m not sure if it’s a combination of being completely overwhelmed by the things that have happened this year, or that I’ve sort of retreated back into my shell. Or maybe it’s just pregnancy brain fog sneaking it’s tendrils around my grey matter, I’m just not sure.

But I can tell you that I am not excited for the holidays this year.

I mean, I’m not NOT excited (if that makes any sense) but I’m certainly having a hard time getting as pumped about it all as I normally do. It all just seems like so much extra WORK for me to do. And I already have a pretty full plate. Of bon-bons! ZING!

I guess that part of it is that I’m feeling pretty discouraged about the whole situation. Now, I’ve written in years past about all of the mucking around that we used to do to appease our families, and how we were going to stop fucking doing that, because it made the holidays miserable. For us.

So, once we bought our house, and got settled in, we volunteered to start hosting some of the holidays. We’d take Thanksgiving proper with my parents, Dave’s parents and Dave’s brother (my brother and sister-in-law celebrate with her family on that day), and Christmas Eve with the same people. Then the following day(s) we’d have the bash at my parents house.

While it wasn’t actually ending the repetition of the holidays, it was certainly a far cry from shlepping our children around the states. And I figured that the more Dave’s family and my family got together, the happier we’d all be.

(hey, if it worked for the song, right?)

Well, yeah. That didn’t work so well.

And I got tired of being the person who did all of the work only to sit uncomfortably around The Day Of, staring at my hands and wishing like hell that Alex would get up from his nap already.

So this year, we’re trying a break from even this arrangement: we’re breaking the holidays back up into individual family occasions, and those of whom we cannot visit–Dave’s parents–will go out to eat with us. I’m not hosting this Us vs Them showdown again any time soon, and quite frankly, I’m not certain I’ll ever do it again. Some people, I’m guessing, will just never get along.

(My parents are hippies, Dave’s are uber-conservative Christians).

It makes me sad, but it’s true. And in the name of laziness, I’m giving the hell up on it all.

I mean, shit, there are bigger issues out there right now. Like the Motrin Mom’s thing.

*smirks away*

How do YOU do holidays with more than one family? Enlighten me, o wise Internet.

18 Comments to

“Rudolph, The Red-Nosed….Wait, Didn’t We Just Do This?”

  1. On November 20th, 2008 at 12:42 pm baseballmom Says:

    First! Yeah, I hear ya-I hate that crap too. It honestly is the only reason that I’m glad my inlaws are no longer living. I do have an aunt and uncle who are major ‘i’m better than you’ kind of people, and always want to host holidays. When I saw them giving Alex the hairy eyeball one time, I decided that it wasn’t worth the shit, and just bowed out from then on. I don’t regret it, and we have much more fun spending time with people we like to hang with!

  2. On November 20th, 2008 at 1:37 pm Emily R Says:

    You can do whatever you like as long as you promise NOT to weigh in on the Motrin ad.

  3. On November 20th, 2008 at 1:48 pm Kyddryn Says:

    I finally got tired of the cigarette smoke, the drinking, the constant sniping, and schlepping of the child to a house full of dog hair, birds that NEVER SHUT UP!! and piles and puddles of various canine goodies, so I told T he could go have Thanksgiving with his family if he wanted to (and bring Bird with him, too, if he was willing to take care of the aftermath of sugar buzz and asthma – why do people think it’s OK to feed a child candy, cookies, and pie all day when it’s not their kid??), but I was sleeping in and cooking what I actually wanted for dinner.

    He opted for an at-home day. Mum comes down, our roommate joins us, and our nephew was relieved to have a place to come for the holidays where he didn’t have to deal with family drama. He comes for Xmas, too.

    Xmas (<—too lazy to type it out) is much the same – T’s family gets Xmas eve. Xmas day is a sleep in, hang out in PJs, eat cinnamon rolls and chill kind of morning. Later that day, I leave the lads to play with their new toys, gadgets, and gizmoes and head out to a friend’s house where we play board games, laugh until we have to pee (they really do need to cover their couches in plastic…) and everyone brings a desert to share. I usually get home around two AM.

    The holidays are supposed to be about celebrating family, friends, the people you love. They aren’t supposed to be stressful to the point of making one ill, or a venue for trotting out old family drama, angst, resentment, or anything else that should be dealt with by a therapist and some really good drugs.

    I hope you have a nice, restful holiday – and honestly, unless these people are more pregnant than thou, or so disabled that they cannot leave home, it’s their turn to come to you, worship at your feet, and make your life easier. If they can’t well…(like the turkey) stuff ’em.

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K (yeah, I went long again – this is a surprise??)

  4. On November 20th, 2008 at 2:27 pm Kristine Says:

    We schlep all over the state of Texas. Luckily both our parent sets are still married and only one on each side has their parents still alive, so it makes for only 2 other places to visit. Then we have more casual crap with friends. It gets very tiring anyway. But I’d rather go to them and get to leave than have them come to me and leave me hyperventalating in the bathroom about how they’re never going to leave.

  5. On November 20th, 2008 at 1:36 pm The Mommy Says:

    I can understand. Really. My parents are OK, and even though my dad really grates on my husband’s nerves, he tolerates them fairly well during the holiday season. Because my MIL lived with us for five years, travelling was only necessary to my folks place – and that’s not far. Now that she lives with my SIL (about an hour and 15min away), we’re back to splitting time, only this time we’re doing it with our kids in tow.

    And get this! THIS year, not only do I have to go to my SIL’s place on Thanksgiving Day, I have to do all of the cooking BY MYSELF! My SIL is a nurse and has to work (which totally sucks, especially since it happens all of the time), but my OTHER SIL totally bailed on us because it would be “too hard” for her to take my MIL. WTF?!?! Her kids are ADULTS (think same age as ME) and I have to shlep three small kids plus all of their shit along, too! If you’re really interested in this story I posted about it a couple of weeks ago. I’ll spare you the rest of the whining…

    Anywho, good luck with making this an affair for only you and yours. And if it works? PLEASE HELP ME!

  6. On November 20th, 2008 at 1:49 pm Rachel Says:

    Before I had kids, I would develop ebola or the bird flu or some other highly contagious illness on the holidays so that I could avoid them altogther.

    But now, no such luck. At least my evil mother and most of her side of the family live in other states, and I refuse to take precious time off work to visit. My dad’s side is more down to earth…we eat, we watch some tv, and go home.

  7. On November 20th, 2008 at 3:03 pm Megan Says:

    I am one of the lucky few who just happens to have it all work out. We do Thanksgiving with my husband’s family, since my family never does anything. And for Christmas, we visit my mom’s side on the Saturday before, and my husband’s family on Christmas Eve. Then we do Christmas morning with my mom (I’m the oldest, and my brother and sister still live at home) and then we go to my dad’s that afternoon. It all works out perfectly! Not trying to rub it in, but my husband and I actually get along with (and like) each other’s families too. But we will see how things go next year when our world doesn’t revolve around just the 2 of us anymore….

  8. On November 20th, 2008 at 3:11 pm birdpress Says:

    We also shlep all over the place. Our parents are so far away from each other that we have to visit them separately, but we make one huge trip, like a big circle from KY to northeast PA to Erie and back. My family is bigger and more into holidays, so we usually stay there a little longer. Sometimes I wish we could skip it too, but I figure I can handle anything once a year, and it is good to see everyone at least that often. I’m lucky that there isn’t anyone I really can’t stand; both of our families are pretty cool.

  9. On November 20th, 2008 at 3:39 pm El Says:

    With a set of in-laws, a set of “adopted” family,Bio-family, step-family, and other random families, I gave up, nobody is ever happy with any arrangement we tried, so now The Hubster and I eat Chinese at our favorite joint on Christmas day, this tradition is 6 years or so strong (started before we got married) it is a nice break from the lunacy of the days before.

  10. On November 20th, 2008 at 4:47 pm Gail Says:

    Mom told me to marry an orphan. It was good advice.

    Now, mostly everyone is dead so we just have to have the annual conversation about whether or not we are going to SC for Christmas. I voted no this year, in light of no vacation time and 3 kids to schlep on a plane. 3 different car seats to bring, too. NFW.

  11. On November 20th, 2008 at 3:58 pm heather Says:

    I go to the beach. No, wait, that’s Mother’s Day. Cause those two? No way.

    Anyway, E has three other siblings with a billion children among them so getting everyone at the same place at the same time is a long shot, yet his mother expects it To Be So come hell or high water (usually hell, at least for me). Every year, she “tsks, tsks” me for single handedly pissing all over her turkey because we do dinner with my family like we have for ten years. His family used to do lunch, changed it up for his sister, and his mother shoots the evil eye because we don’t bend to her commandment. Happy holidays!

  12. On November 20th, 2008 at 7:17 pm A Soldier's Girl Says:

    Well, I have to commend you for even trying to get the two families together!!!! I am lucky in that my family and Q’s (his mom and sister- that’s all there is) get along pretty good. I’m even luckier that we live all the way across the country & have mastered the excuse of “it is way to expensive to travel” or “we will be way too tired” or just “we ain’t comin'”….

    Really though, sometimes I do miss spending the holidays with everyone…other times I am soooo relieved that we are far removed!!!!!

    Also, I, like you, play Christmas music year round. It doesn’t make us crazy, just a little wierd. 🙂

  13. On November 20th, 2008 at 9:45 pm mumma boo Says:

    Excuse me while I twitch at the not-so-distant memories of holiday schleppings past. Schlep to upstate NY the weekend before Tgiving. Schlep to north bumble NH on Tgiving. Schlep to upstate NY the weekend before Christmas. Schlep to north bumble MA for Christmas. We finally said no more after Cheeks was born. Now it’s Tgiving in north bumble MA, Christmas at home, and the rest come to us the weekend after Christmas or not at all. And I’m still tired thinking about it. 🙂

  14. On November 21st, 2008 at 12:55 am Sarah Says:

    We only ever tried to get them together during my daughter’s first birthday. What I love is that, while you can’t see us, you can just see this adorable child staring at a cake like “wtf, seriously?!”, you can HEAR my husband and I hissing back and forth at each other, and my M-i-L and I making over-happy, sing-songy, contradictory comments (“Oh my! She’s going to get FROSTING on her darling cloOTHES” – these people had not only never done the baby-with-cake-thing-on-a-first-birthday, they’d never heard of it – and then me, “YES she IS going to frosting aaALL oooOVER those cloOTHES! Because she’s supPOSED TOO!” beaming smiles all along) to each other on the video.

    Our parents are all way too well behaved to make asses of themselves *in front of each other* for the most part. Sadly, that did not translate to either my hubby or I. There were some extenuating circumstances (our finances) going on, but we were inexcusably pissy to one and all, except our daughter.

    How do we deal with it now? We move a good day’s drive from everyone, and talk about how sad it is that we can’t all get together anymore.

  15. On November 21st, 2008 at 7:36 am Badass Geek Says:

    I saw three posts from you in my Reader, and was confused. At first I was thinking, I know Becky better than that, what IS she up to?

    And then I found out why. It makes sense.

  16. On November 21st, 2008 at 9:08 pm Lola Says:

    Ahh, you’re way knocked up, so you get a total pass on everything but the bare minimum. I’m kind of ScroogyMcButtFuck this year, too. I end up hosting all the holidays, because my lame brother and sister would never do it, and my poor mother will get stuck with it.

    I loathe doing Thanksgiving, but I’m usually Mrs. Claus the day after turkey day, and I go all out. Not so sure that’s gonna happen this year. I did start thinking about going and picking out a tree today, which made me smile. Then I remembered the nasty-ass allergies I get once the tree is in the house a few days. I could end up being Mrs. Crank this year. It’s 50/50 at this point.

  17. On November 21st, 2008 at 10:51 pm Jenn Says:

    We don’t do Thanksgiving anywhere at all (usually… this year we are going to my grandparents’ house) and just stay home and have pizza. Yeah, real fancy. 😉

    Then at Christmastime we do “Mini Christmas” with my in-laws the weekend before Christmas. Christmas with my family is on Christmas Day.

    The main reason it works out that way is because my in-laws have a pedophile living there and it just happens to be the perfect excuse to never go visit.

  18. On November 22nd, 2008 at 7:16 pm chibi Says:

    Ugh. I come from a “blended” (read: BROKEN! lol) family, and Christmas has been a bitch since we were kids. First it was grandparents fighting over where we were on Christmas day.

    When my parents split, it became an argument over who had us which day LAST year. Sadly, it hasn’t gotten any easier as we’ve gotten older, as my dad *still* insists on making it a BFD. Mom is a little more easy going and tries to arrange things in a way that makes Christmas less stressful for us kids (hey, Dad? PAY ATTENTION!). And now that there are significant others and THEIR families to take into consideration, Christmas is a freaking production.

    I believe this year we will be doing Christmas Eve at Dad’s (he doesn’t know this yet), Christmas Day with Chebbar’s family, and we’ll be doing “Christmas” (complete with Christmas Eve/Christmas morning activities) on Boxing Day at Mom’s. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

    Almost makes me wish we had kids because I’ve always sworn that if that happened, the “adults” come to us/the grandkids.

    I think I need a nap.

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