It is a tradition in my family to move a fully decorated Christmas tree. Most every woman in my family has done it once (I think my aunt Wanda did it twice but that is because she has moved over 50 times.)
I’m sure if you spend a few minutes thinking about it, you too will come up with some similarly deranged holiday tradition your family engages in.
My parents liked to fight on Christmas Eve.
I remember one Christmas Eve they got into a screaming fight over the lid to a 2 liter of Sprite. My sister and I sat quietly behind our tv trays and waited for the marital fireworks to play out. Then we demanded permission to open two presents that Christmas Eve rather than the traditional one. We were granted three. It had been an epic battle.
Why do the holidays make adults insane?
I used to be one of the holiday harridans terrorizing her local Target in December. By the time I was 35 I hated Christmas.
And then in the winter of my 40th year, I did not send out one single Christmas card. Not one.
And no one cared.
Now, in your life Christmas cards might be compulsory. I am not saying you should stop sending them out. But what I am saying is maybe, just maybe, it is time to examine why some of us drive ourselves out of our minds for two months out of the year. And yes, some women manage to pull off their holidays with grace and aplomb. I say, “Good for you, now go help your neighbor because she’s fucking losing her shit and could use some support.”
Having the time to think through why we do what we do is a rare and precious thing, I would go so far as to say the unicorn of things. But it might be the unicorn some of us need. Now, if part of the fun of the holidays is high drama and pushing yourself to the limit then do that! Because if you and yours think it’s fun then that is what matters.
Yes, I said it and I will say it again. The ‘f’ word. Fun. FUN.
I understand that for many people there is a central religious reason behind these winter celebrations. But at some point in the vast majority of holiday traditions someone hands a little kid something sweet or silly and everyone smiles and laughs as the kid shrieks and giggles and runs in circles.
And that is just plain fun.
Christmas cards are not my idea of fun. Neither is buying gifts for adults who can afford their own stuff, stuff they actually want and not weird crap from me. I like weird crap. A few years ago I gave everyone (not the kids) pocket copies of the Constitution and ACLU stickers.
No one wants that crap except Felicia and me.
But I love draping everything in my house with Christmas decorations and running up my light bill with way too many outdoor decorations. I love making a huge cookie mess with my son. I don’t understand the meaning of the words ‘too’ or ‘much’ or ‘tacky’ when it comes to tree decorating.
If you can manage to give yourself one gift this holiday season, maybe try to take some time and think, “Am I doing this because it brings me joy?” And if the answer is a resounding no, then maybe think, “Is there any way I can stop doing this?”
And if the answer is a resounding yes, maybe think about not doing it. And if you find that you miss it, there is always next year.
No pressure. I know you don’t need anymore of that. Just think about it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, my cousin is moving on December 20th and I am sure she has a fully decorated Christmas tree she’ll need some help with.