myspokenheart

musings on life, love and laughter from my spoken heart to yours

How can there only be 3 weeks till Christmas?

8 Comments

I want to know where the year went? How is it that there are just over 3 weeks left till Christmas? HOW I ask?!?!?

I am not a huge fan of Christmas. Don’t get me wrong I don’t actually hate it, I just don’t love it. I think the whole ideology behind it is quite beautiful. But Christmas is a grossly commercialized holiday that promotes greed and is permeated with a deep rooted sense of entitlement. It seems that at Christmas time nothing feels good enough, we must prove our love for others and prove our own self worth through the giving and receiving of material things. (So many people go deep into debt every Christmas only to spend the following year digging out of debt, just to repeat it all over again).

All the seasonal Christmas movies promote unrealistic ideals of Christmas parties, family joy, and Christmas “miracles” that real life most often cannot compete with. I wish it was all about love, family time, and wonderful home cooked meals that everyone enjoys and then happily join in to help clean up. But I find that this is not how it goes down no matter how much we plan for it.

Again don’t get me wrong I am not trying to be a downer, to be all “Bah Humbug” on joy and gifts and turkey dinner. But I truly feel it has become so overwhelming, so overdone. There is something to be said for small and intimate.

Perhaps some background is needed here? Growing up I was pretty poor… not dirt poor, we had food, clothes, shelter, we celebrated the holidays with gifts and a tree and all that jazz. But some of my best memories are baking and sewing and crafting with my mom making homemade goodie baskets for family and friends. Giant gingerbread cookies, bags of nuts and bolts, cookies, crafts, hand stitched dolls, etc.

My grandparents always went big at Christmas, they held a big dinner at their house, the whole extended family and any other relatives in town were there. The gifts were piled high under the tree. The only thing higher was the expectations. Which is the problem I have with it. Getting together was wonderful. Playing games was generally OK. Dinner was delicious. But even back then the expectations that were held by all and placed upon all, was killer.

As an adult and a parent I have been again pretty poor. Poor enough that I could in no way buy my kids the things their friends were getting and I know that my kids, although grateful for what they do get, have experienced the pangs of jealousy and even shame at Christmas time (Wow writing that hurts). My Ex would pretty much have a meltdown every holiday, especially Christmas. So I would need to keep things ‘happy’ and keep the wheels of life turning. It’s been hard. Now that we are separated I have to fight every year for him to commit to plans so I know who has kids when. And even then he changes things at the last minute, goes behind my back and makes plans with the kids, who don’t understand the manipulation going on, without consulting me.

Anyways Christmas for many, many reasons Christmas is not my favourite. Even though a part of me wants it to be. I long for the movie ideals, the carol sing-alongs, the games – with no fighting, the perfect dinner and the perfect family who all join in to help clean up after the fact. But I have resigned myself to the fact that those are pipe dreams. Real people, living real lives do not behave like that and it is cruel to place those expectations on the day, on myself, on those around me. By doing so I am just setting everyone up for the fall and great disappointments.

Christmas is messy, it’s overwhelming, it’s chaos. And yet I suppose there is some kind of magic to be found, if we can drop our expectations and just be, I think we may just find it.

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Author: myspokenheart

Blogger, life lover, silly-hearted daydreamer...

8 thoughts on “How can there only be 3 weeks till Christmas?

  1. eeeek…less than two weeks now….where did all that time go?!! Hope you’re doin ok

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  2. I am simply looking forward to the cosy family time on Christmas eve. The magic of the holidays. An excuse to simply relax, feet up and smile 🙂

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  3. It’s not my favourite time of year and used to always represent tension and bickering. The money people spend and the stress they are under while spending it is pretty ridiculous. However, I do enjoy putting up the Christmas decorations and lights and generally have a quiet day with nice food and lots of naughty sweet things.

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  4. Your last paragraph pretty much sums it up for me too.

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  5. Every year I look at what I’ve chosen for my mother and sister and think, “damn, not enough!” The Christmas guilt gets me.
    We grew up in a similar Christmas situation – not dirt poor but not well off either. Don’t worry, as a child not toooo long ago to a mother who wasn’t able to buy us flashy gifts or 20 presents each, I was still deeply happy with my new pajamas and some kind of toy. Because you kind of get it, that your mum is trying her best and you love her so you enjoy the day. Jealousy for expensive gifts doesn’t last long 🙂

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  6. I completely understand. It started going downhill for me when a) everyone started moving away b) my kids grew older. Now, we have no family to visit with that are local. No family comes to visit us (we are to far away, although at least once or twice a year “we” visit them….no one reciprocates).
    Christmas was so magical when my kids were younger. When I was younger. Seeing their eyes light up with not only the lights, but with their gifts. Loving everything and anything. Their stockings being hung, cookies being left on a plate with milk, believing in Santa Claus, belief in Rudolf, belief in God & knowing and understanding the reason for the season.
    Now, it seems like I really have to push or beg for the kids to come, or “schedule” an appropriate time to fit their busy schedules…..and that is IF they are off from work. It angers me, that companies and businesses demand the doors open on holidays….especially Christmas and make my kids work (how dare they)!
    Money always seems tight at this time of year, and with aging kids, and high cost of the things they are interested in, it makes it nearly impossible to put something under the tree for them. I know that once they have kids of their own, the Spirit of Christmas will come back…for them (my kids) and for the Grandparents (me and hubby). I just hope that happens sooner than later.

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  7. I understand. The holidays definitely meant more to me when I was a kid, because there was family present. Now there isn’t, so it’s heartbreaking.

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  8. Yes, yes, yes. We always had meager Christmases (and birthdays) not because my parents had any financial difficulties, but because they were insistent that I work just as hard for things as they did, so that I would be independent and grateful. I’m pretty sure it worked, so I do my kids the same. (Which is convenient when you’re sometimes poor, heh.)
    There is no one right way, but at our house, we do focus on family time and activities. I am fortunate not to battle with visitation and broken promises anymore, but I’ve been there. I think we all have a few Christmas memories about that time we got our first Cabbage Doll or a bicycle or whatever, but when I look back at Christmas, I think about how relaxed my parents were, how everyone was happy to be together, with the food and music and games and so much laughter. I want to give my kids that. You know, with the occasional paint set or soccer net 😉
    I think most people can relate to this post, when they’re reading it with a long list of stuff people want, places they must shop, activities they must participate in…it’s overwhelming. I always cherish the few days after Christmas, when it’s quiet and everyone is lazy and loving.
    Wow I typed a lot. Hope you don’t mind. It was a great post.

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