How to feel the holidays?
November 15, 2014 1:31 PM   Subscribe

How does a happily married couple with no children and tenuous family ties enjoy the holidays? My husband and I have been married for 10 years, and we are happy with each other. It's everyone else we struggle with.

I'm a semi-only child (with a half brother I have met only once, who is in jail on the opposite coast), raised by a single mom who is a dramatic hoarding handful. She lives close by, but being around her is a major stressor for dear husband and me. My only living grandparent is suffering from severe dementia in a nursing home. I have three uncles: one is reclusive, another is a pervy pothead, and the third, the "normal" one, I just found out is a retired sexual predator who once abused his own stepdaughter. So stress-inducing mom is pretty much it. I love her and appreciate that I have her in my life, but the strain is very real.

My husband's family is somewhat more "standard". He has one brother who he is not close with at all (didn't come to our wedding, they speak once a year). His parents are married and in our lives, but pretty chilly. They live a few hours away, and we see them a few times a year, but time together consists of idle chitchat and awkward silence. Dear husband's grandparents live far far away. My husband himself is a wonderful man, but he's not into the holidays. He thinks they are phony, wasteful, commercialized, etc. Bah humbug.

Right around this time of year I fall into a deep depression, fueled by Christmas music and an odd nostalgia: I miss the magic of the holiday season, some of which I have experienced, and most of which I have imagined or observed. My mom and I used to celebrate with my grandparents and my uncles. Now that everyone has splintered off, she and I struggle each year with the dance. I pretty much don't want to fake it. She puts pressure on me to enjoy the season, and I just can't. She even once "borrowed" and elderly man, the year after my grandfather died. He was an old widower with no place to go, and she invited him to Christmas dinner, where he asked to eat in front of the TV so he could watch "Mash". While I understand my mom's efforts to make the holidays feel fulfilling, her methods are questionable.

I had a crazy thought yesterday... maybe a baby would help! This is, of course, ridiculous. But maybe not? I'm in my mid 30's and mildly curious about motherhood. Sometimes I wonder if starting a family of our own would bring us more meaning. Of course not just as an answer to the holiday doldrums... I mean on a much larger scale.

And I have some great friends who I consider to be chosen family, and we do have some holiday traditions... but it just doesn't feel the same as the real thing.

I guess my questions come down to these: how do adults without kids and big loving families make meaning in this time of year? What do you do when you are deeply sad about your family? When you desperately want to enjoy this time of year, to sing along with the campy music, to decorate your house, to partake in traditions... but you just can't because there seems to be no purpose? Is everyone in this situation who looks like they are enjoying themselves faking it?
posted by hippychick to Human Relations (24 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
My godparents are like you, and they make a point to give their time to different philanthropies each Christmas. It's something I hope to do, too, even if I do have kids eventually. Maybe that would provide you with the connection you're looking for?
posted by Hermione Granger at 1:35 PM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Volunteering is an excellent choice, as Hermione Granger points out.

I will also say that one of the best Christmases ever was the year we spent in Belize, just the two of us. The hotel had a tree up, there were iguanas in the jungle around us, we got to Skype our families for half an hour, and I played silly Christmas music throughout the day (I am by far the bigger Christmas fan.) It wasn't possible to get to a mass, though I think that would have been less of a problem elsewhere. I have been away from home for a couple of Christmases on trips and it's been great: low stress, someone else cooks, you get to explore and have adventures.
posted by jetlagaddict at 1:42 PM on November 15, 2014 [4 favorites]

Having a kid because you are blue during the holidays is... like swatting a mosquito by launching a nuke. Please discard any idea of children as a problem-solving device.

Can you have a talk with your husband about crafting some traditions of your own, that he can support and cheer on, instead of bah humbug? I think having a plan to celebrate with your husband in whatever form you two choose would go a long way in creating traditions that feel meaningful to you both.
posted by canine epigram at 1:43 PM on November 15, 2014 [32 favorites]

My husband himself is a wonderful man, but he's not into the holidays. He thinks they are phony, wasteful, commercialized, etc. Bah humbug. 

You don't need to have a big traditional TV family and lots of activity to enjoy the holidays together. But you do need to be on the same page about what it means to enjoy the holidays.
posted by headnsouth at 1:45 PM on November 15, 2014 [6 favorites]

I definitely think you should start your own traditions so you have something to look forward to each holiday season. The nice thing is that you don't have to worry about pleasing 10+ people you can just pick things you both like to do. It doesn't have to be wasteful or commercial. Cook a fancy meal together or get dressed up and watch horror movies all night or whatever it is you enjoy. And it can involve other people if you want- Do a homemade secret santa among your friends sometime between Thanksgiving and Xmas.
posted by the twistinside at 1:57 PM on November 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

I think what you need is to create a tradition -- something that is uniquely yours and your husband's, and can redefine for you both what the Christmas holidays mean, while bringing you together as a couple in a way that affirms your happiness together as a family of two.

For instance... do your jobs allow you to take off for a week? If so, why not consider taking a trip somewhere warm each Christmas? Flights are often super cheap on Christmas Day. You could make a new tradition of flying out on December 25th to some place where you and he will spend the next few days [insert an appealing activity that would bring you together as a couple: hiking tropical mountains; lying on the beach, sipping cocktails and getting massages; taking yoga classes and subsisting on spinach and juice; volunteering at a charity or mission or orphanage; touring historical sites and museums; etc.], and then ring in the New Year together.
posted by mylittlepoppet at 2:01 PM on November 15, 2014 [6 favorites]

Back in the day before we had kids, my husband and I hosted "homeless holidays", inviting the people we knew who didn't have families close by. We thought of things to do, and mixed guests so there were old and young, rich and poor. Those were great parties, and sometimes I wish I could return to the simplicity and joy of those evenings.
Since then, many, many years have gone, and I have children and tons of family. However, when my parents died, my children asked me to think of something new for Christmas. They didn't feel like having Christmas without the Grans. So we started traveling (to Rome, which is near and cheap) every holiday. We've done that for 6 years. We had no gifts and no rituals.
This year, we are going to have Christmas at home, and starting our own tradition with our own rituals. We needed the break, and now we are ready.
In other words: do what is good for you. There is no law forcing you to be conventional.
posted by mumimor at 2:08 PM on November 15, 2014 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I feel like this isn't a question about the holidays as much as it is a question about family. It doesn't seem ridiculous or overwrought to me that you bring children into the equation, because essentially what you're saying is: "the holidays make me sad about this deeper problem, which is my grief over not having the kind of family I'd like to have. Will starting my own family solve or help mitigate this problem?" And it seems to me that the answer to this question is a very, very tentative yes. It might.

I feel a little bit like you sometimes - I'm in my early thirties, none of my siblings have kids yet, and sometimes the holidays feel very dwindled-down in a way that feels sad...and then when my cousins who *do* have kids come to visit, there's a re-infusion of liveliness and energy that makes the holidays feel like the holidays again. That feeling of joy, regeneration, and growth is a small sign for me that I might want kids of my own. It's not the *only* sign, obviously - and if the only time you feel a twinge of desire to start a family is over the holidays, that's a sign pointing in a different direction - but it's something I pay attention to; it's meaningful to me and there's no reason it shouldn't be to you.

In the meantime, I think you should be a little more charitable towards your mom's idea. Inviting that man may not have worked out in the way you'd expected, but opening your home to people who might not have other places to go is an absolutely legitimate way of making the holidays feel more meaningful. A few times we've celebrated Thanksgiving by inviting foreign students who were unfamiliar with the holidays and would have spent the time alone in their dorm rooms, and I always really enjoyed that. You might consider something similar.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 2:11 PM on November 15, 2014 [29 favorites]

I have no family and my SO doesn't really celebrate the holidays either. In fact sometimes he has to go away for the holidays and I'm left on my own. I spend the holidays with friends some years, but that's not always possible. When it's not, I just volunteer somewhere or raise funds for a charity best I can. Then I go home exhausted, but happy I've been able to make the world a little better and curl up with a hot cocoa and good book. Sweet. :) I'm ok with this, but I'm not sure if you are. There are a lot of people out there who spend the holidays completely alone and sad so you can volunteer somewhere to give them some company. You can even try setting up a thing for people who aren't doing anything for the holidays. I remember seeing a documentary on People who dress up as Santa for X-mas every year and there was this one Santa who was almost in tears because he didn't have any family and the little bit of family he did have like his kids were always off busy living their own young, fabulous lives during the holidays, so he was often left on his own. Being Santa for little kids and spreading joy was his way of not being alone that time of year. There are a lot of people who don't have family for the holidays.
posted by rancher at 2:24 PM on November 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

If you and your husband want to have a family that's a completely different question than what's up with these holidays?

If your families aren't really filling that function for you in your life, it's perfectly okay to choose a new family.

Husbunny and I don't really love Christmas. And while there are family obligations, they're obligations, not really fun. So we'll schlep up to Appalachia for Christmas eve with his Mom and we'll do what we always do. Have lunch. Hang out watching weird crap on TV for the afternoon, eat dinner (for years it's been pizza and chili, I forced some KFC in there the past few years.) Then we go to a hotel for the night. When we wake up, we drive home, and his Mom does her Christmas Day stuff. We invited her down to go to movies, eat Chinese Food and play board games this year. Cross your fingers!

I think when you're a kid, Christmas is filled with possibilities. Also, kids are selfish, greedy little bastards and Christmas is a holiday that feeds that. As you get older, it's less fun as the onus shifts to grown-ups to do, and be and spend. It's stressful and rather unappreciated.

So here are my suggestions for you to have a joyous and merry holiday:

1. Make a BFD out of getting your tree. Go to the mountains to your nearest tree farm and cut one down. Or buy a live one that you can re-plant in your garden. If there's sledding, do that. Drink cocoa, wear Christmassy sweaters.

2. Have a tree decorating party. Pick up some dessert items, mull some cider and put Christmas music on. Invite your friends over to help you decorate your tree.

3. Plan caroling. Again, get some desserts in, invite your friends over and go door-to-door caroling. If you have older neighbors, they'll be enchanted. When you get back home, make some cocoa and hang out.

4. Go to a Christmas pageant. A church may have one, as will a parochial school. Watch how cute it is while the kids do their thing.

5. Note when Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph, Frosty, the Grinch and Olive, the Other Reindeer will be on. Be sure to watch them, enjoying them just like you did when you were a kid. Better yet, order pizzas and invite your friends over to watch with you all at one time (DVR, DVD, Netflix, whatever.)

6. Go to holiday parties. Get a couple of festive outfits.

7. See the Nutcracker. Take a friend who enjoys ballet with you, or make it a Mother-Daughter evening. Dress up, have dinner at The Melting Pot, make it a point to be neutral and not dealing with any crazy if you can help it.

8. Bundle up and drive around neighborhoods to see the lights with your husband. Sing carols in the car. Stop at Starbucks on the way home for cocoa.

You see where I'm going with this? It's about coming together with those you love and doing simple things with them.

Also, a movie and Chinese food for Christmas is a FINE tradition to start.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 3:18 PM on November 15, 2014 [14 favorites]

Best answer: I miss the magic of the holiday season, some of which I have experienced, and most of which I have imagined or observed.

For the part you experienced, is there a way to help someone else experience it? Maybe by volunteering or inviting someone over or other good ideas in the thread. In my experience, it's tough when someone else is really invested in seeing you have a happy holiday; it just makes me even more grumpy and cynical to be on the receiving end of that. Your mom might be doing this to you, and maybe you to your DH, a little? I would suggest volunteering someplace with kids, where you can bring them a fun experience that will excite them for sure. Or volunteer someplace that is straight-up festive--a local crafts market, a festival of lights, something like that, because people go to those things looking to be wowed, and you may be able to wow them.

For the imagined part, I think questioning that ideal and bringing it down to earth a bit would be a good exercise. You know how romantic movies will close on a scene of a kiss, or of the happy couple outside the church, and it's all "happily ever after - the end" but you're married. You know from experience there is stuff that comes after, lots of good things, but honestly a mixed bag. And holiday movies will close on a scene of family gathered around the feasting table, or opening presents around the tree, and it's like "ah, Christmas - the end." Don't let your mental tape stop there; think through the stuff that comes after. Somebody has to wash dishes and throw out the wrapping paper, and everyone has that one family member or neighbor or whoever who just won't stop.

For the observed part, remember that the usual efforts people make to appear normal and happy and together get amped up for the holidays. Not to say they are faking it. I'm sure the happiness is real, but the "let's be jolly!" edict means covering up and editing out even more of the unhappy parts. Don't compare your inside to other people's outside.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 4:54 PM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Christmas has been a wash-out for me for many years. When I went to college, I came home for the holidays to discover that my parents had decided to ignore Christmas. They were over it and had decided not to do anything. I was the one who decorated the house and made things festive. It all seemed very weird as we'd previously had amazing Christmas traditions and it always felt very special.

Then I moved to Australia and Christmas has been pretty much wrong ever since. It's summer. My family is on the other side of the world. I've tried various things with partners and friends, making up new traditions, etc. Frequently I've wound up feeling like a third wheel, even though people are being really sweet and lovely and trying their best to make me feel welcome.

Because yeah, it's about lack of family. It's about feeling like everyone else has a family, whether they love them or hate them, and I don't. (I mean, I do; but on the other side of the world it's hard to feel like it.) It's about feeling like you belong with people who love you, that sense of home and acceptance. And it's the kind of feeling that doesn't really respond well to logic, in my experience. I know that there are plenty of people out there with no families, or families they don't get on with. I know I'm not alone, but it doesn't feel like it. Especially in the years when I haven't had a partner.

So far my best Christmas was last year, when I went to visit some friends in Tasmania. Being away from my normal home was great. We were too late to get a Christmas tree so we brought in their potted lemon tree and decorated that. We played Christmas music, and had a very relaxed Christmas brunch with some of their friends and then a relaxed Christmas dinner. It was divine. I think the combination of being away and the company (they're among my closest friends) was what did it.

So yeah, my advice is to create your own family. Part of it will be your partner - if he's really not into the spirit of it, it will be that much harder. If you can persuade him that this is something which is really important to you, and that you'd really appreciate his help and involvement. If the traditional things don't appeal to him, see if you can make up some new traditions that do work better for him. If you know other orphans, invite them along. And if you do wind up having children, this will all be good practice for creating family traditions for them as well, so their childhood holidays can be as magical as you remember yours being.

Good luck. You're not alone.
posted by Athanassiel at 5:27 PM on November 15, 2014 [4 favorites]

My husband and I have no children and live on a different continent than our families of origin. For the first five years we lived here, this was Christmas:

We get up on Christmas morning, we eat bagels and lox under the tree and open presents with A Swingin' Christmas plays in the background. Then we bundle up, pack some water bottles, and take the dog on a long walk we only do once a year. We cross paths with loads of people also dog walking and with everyone a happy Christmas. Then we come home, eat lush nibbles while we get dinner on, and eat roasted duck for dinner while watching The West Wing. All of it. For the next three days.

Our circumstances have changed and our Christmases are now different and filled with huge family dinners (because of adoption reunification) and while I genuinely love all of these people, this year I have been asking my husband if we could maybe skip this year and go back to the above. It's lovely.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:37 PM on November 15, 2014 [5 favorites]

how do adults without kids and big loving families make meaning in this time of year? What do you do when ... you just can't because there seems to be no purpose?

Hang on hang on. You've painted yourself into a corner here. Partly because you're presupposing that: all meaning (of Xmas) = family.

Christmas has meant many enjoyable and purposeful things to many people, like "superfabulous prolonged church services glorifying our Lord while anticipating breaking fast", or "ox-slaughtering to ensure good relations with our neighbors", or "opportunity to rove in hooligan gangs menacing the mansions of the rich".

So please get rid of the idea that your celebrations will be to some degree intrinsically inauthentic.
posted by feral_goldfish at 6:04 PM on November 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

This seems central: "My husband himself is a wonderful man, but he's not into the holidays. He thinks they are phony, wasteful, commercialized, etc. Bah humbug. " So - many posters above have suggested lovely activities for you to do, but if you're husband isn't interested, to say the least, then, screw the past, this is your current bummer.

Unless you want to do things alone for the holidays, you should have a serious talk with your husband, where you tell him that you understand his feelings about the holidays, but, nonetheless, they really mean something to you and you would like to do some activities that make you feel less alone and more connected to the rest of the human race and to your family -- and he is, right now, the central person in your family. You don't have to suggest specifically holiday-related activities. Just some nice special time spent together -- going to restaurants, movies, for some nice walks -- to make you feel that the holidays are a nice, close time to reinforce your togetherness with the person you love.

As for having a baby, it's interesting that you're "mildly curious." Do you think there's a possibility that you're suppressing thinking about having a child because of your family background? How does your husband feel about the possibility of having a child? Maybe you don't want children, but please don't deprive yourself of making your very own family because it's too painful to think about all of the issues surrounding your feelings about creating a family. Maybe even some therapy would be in order at this point to help you work on what seems to be some very deep deprivation that lives inside of you.
posted by DMelanogaster at 6:38 PM on November 15, 2014 [6 favorites]

Just something to think about: even with kids, the "magic of the holidays" has left my life, because a good part of the magic was due to adults making magical things happen for me. Now I'm the one doing that for my kids and it's tiring! Some of what you're experiencing may not be due to lack of family, but due to being independent.

As others have said, figuring out some traditions that you and your husband would enjoy would help a lot. Even if he's not into the holidays, I'm sure you can find something that he would not dislike, at least, that would scratch your itch and be something you could both look forward to.
posted by metasarah at 7:17 PM on November 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

My family lives on the other coast. They are kind of cray cray. My husband and I have a baby on the way but we have a good 11 childless years under our belt.

A few years ago, we did a "practice thanksgiving" a couple of weeks before actual thanksgiving. We had a turkey and all the fixings and we had so many people we didn't even fit in our dining room. People were encouraged to bring experimental dishes.

You could have a practice thanksgiving or a friend Christmas a couple of weeks ahead of time. Practice thanksgiving was way more fun than regular thanksgiving for sure.

Ps wait until March to consider having babies -- no holiday duldrum influence then
posted by bananafish at 10:25 PM on November 15, 2014

I think it's easier to enjoy "the holiday season" right up until Christmas itself. I enjoy the season a lot, but come December 24, it's just my mom and me and all of the relatives in California flat out don't want us for Christmas, and all of the friends in the area have their own families or go fly out to see theirs, and the one time we were holiday orphans at some friend of hers's giant bash, it was just...weird. I think it's worse on the actual holiday because most of the time there isn't much else to do EXCEPT sit at home, feeling weird and left out. (Unless you leave to go on a trip, which I think is totally something you should do.) And much as the idea of "make your own family!" sounds nice, that's never panned out and I don't think it ever will--I'm just weird and my mother is stressful and who would take us? Nobody.

If your husband is all "bah humbug" and has no interest in doing anything, then I guess you might just have to try to enjoy things on your own when he's not with you. Or maybe just completely and utterly ignore Christmas altogether on the 25th--just have movie day and try to pretend Christmas isn't happening or something.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:58 PM on November 15, 2014

Also, a movie and Chinese food for Christmas is a FINE tradition to start.

Nthing this. Several years go my family got sick of the whole Christmas hullabaloo and started doing Jewmas instead (even though we're not Jewish) and it's been awesome.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:36 AM on November 16, 2014 [5 favorites]

You know, when I gave you my list of things to do, I assumed that your husband would be on-board because:

A. It's important to you and because it's important to you, he'd be willing to help you get your magic on.

B. None of the stuff I outline is anything a cynic could pooh-pooh, it's all cheap and cheerful.

I think the lynch-pin of this whole thing is getting your husband to help you celebrate the season in a way that you can both enjoy. It had to be a SEROUS drag to want to celebrate, to really immerse yourself in the season, to fill a place in your heart with glad tidings and cheer and to have your Husband shut it down.

Sooooo....if that's the issue, you need to tell him, "Dude, this is super-important to me. I want it. Can you do these things with me gladly solely to make me happy?"

He should jump at that chance because you are his wife and you are precious to him. And if that seems weird to's a bigger issue than Christmas.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:38 AM on November 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

Separate the baby question from Christmas. I love having a son, and now a grandson. I wanted more than one, but life doesn't always work out the way you planned.

Due to divorce and intentional distance from family of origin, I have spent many holidays without family. On some occasions, I have simply ignored it. Minimal participation in decorating, gifting, and all that. On other occasions, I have created a family of friends, waifs and strays and celebrate with them. I cherry pick the parts I like - Christmas carols, turkey and all that, lights, and evergreens. I avoid commercialism by giving small, thoughtful and/or useful gifts, mostly because I like my siblings and like to remind them once a year.

To build a community, you can join a church, join a social group - I have an interest that I have made friends through-, start an interest group. Go to a Messiah sing-along, contact your town to adopt a child or family for the holidays and enjoy providing gifts and/or food, do some random acts of kindness and/or senseless acts of beauty. Make charitable donations. You can get solar string lights - decorate your car. Start some personal, meaningful traditions with your husband - a special breakfast or spending the day with a pile of movies. Take your Mom to Christmas Eve or morning services someplace that has a terrific choir.

You might consider finding a nursing home and volunteering to visit with people who don't have family nearby or at all. You might make some real friends who will feel like the extended family you never had. You would certainly help people feel less lonely, which is a huge gift.
posted by theora55 at 10:58 AM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Please do talk with your husband about it. His negativity about it is a big problem, speaking from experience.

When my husband and I first got together, I had very fond feelings about Christmas. My family always celebrated it in a low-key, non-stressful way that was a big source of happiness for me. His family was apparently the opposite. As a result, he made himself such an insufferable asshole about it for the first half-dozen years of our relationship that it seems to have permanently drained a huge degree of the enjoyment from it for me. It's been more than a decade since he dropped the Scrooge act, and he's actually been increasingly pro-Christmas the past several years, but I find I just can't get enthusiastic about it anymore. I miss that feeling, and he regrets having been such a jerk about it, but that doesn't seem to make it better.
posted by Lexica at 11:55 AM on November 16, 2014

Best answer: mrs_goldfish used to be all bah humbug about Xmas too. (Traumatic childhood, too cool for school, etc.) Then a friend of ours made her sit down and watch The Nightmare Before Christmas. Now she looks forward each year to trimming the tree with rubber albino alligators etc. So much better than having her begrudgingly humor me, even if I do have to make a firm stand against some of her more disturbing decorations. And since then all the other things have seemed to fall into place, like food & drink for tree-trimming time, or sneaking around to fill the stocking she sewed herself out of a lentil flour bag while she fills the one she sewed me out of orange camo-fleece, etc. etc.

If mr hippychick objects to Christmas as "phony, wasteful, commercialized", maybe he'd be more into Christmas as, I dunno, a time to hunker down and do all those authentic crafty things that will save money during the rest of the year, like ... splitting wood, or hand-binding copies of his latest epic poem to give to all those people he fondly imagines will appreciate it, or brewing beer, or cooking vast quantities of pea soup for the chest freezer, or darning socks, or quilting from thrifted rags, or setting up sawhorses in the living room to make that new bookcase, or pickling beets. (Pickled beets are seriously underrated in my opinion, especially when they involve Christmas-type spices.) And then you can both be pottering around your home listening to music and sipping whiskey or munching Special Holiday Brownies, and putting strings of twinkling lights around the windows because it's gloomy around the solstice and baby it's cold outside. After a couple years the annual Christmas Week Trip to the Lumber Yard will become a Thing, because you always play Super Furry Animals in the pick-up truck, and stop at your favorite diner on the way home.

The best thing about finding a Christmas that actually suits you two is that it will solve BOTH your problems: (a) your husband will be into Christmas -- you may even wish he WASN'T so into Christmas, what with the sawdust everywhere and the smell of pot and the friends begging you to stop him from bringing his epic poem to their coffeeshop's open mic night -- and (b) you will no longer feel as if you're trying and failing to imitate something hollow.
posted by feral_goldfish at 3:09 PM on November 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

I am not a fan of Christmas myself, and frankly it makes me a little grumpy, even since having a child of my own. I dislike the commercialism, the extended list of to-dos around gift-giving, the carols, the cold weather imagery, the spicy smells, pointy trees and the combination of the colors red & green. And furthermore, I have yet to hear any real compelling reason why I HAVE to enjoy the holiday traditions. I, too, look around me and think, "What memo have I missed?" because everyone else seems so genuinely moved by the time of year.

That said, there are things I really appreciate about it. I love how everything slows down. Traffic is lighter. Nothing feels urgent at the office. You get time off and can travel if you wanted to. I would just suggest cutting yourself some slack because, from your post, it seems like you feel you absolutely *have* to enjoy the holidays, when frankly there are other things in life that may be more rewarding for you. In the meantime, take advantage of the free time to do something you wouldn't normally have the time to do. Excuse yourself from any traditions that you can, and see about creating new traditions with your DH.
posted by phreckles at 3:20 PM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

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