The year I "outgrew" Christmas. Pity party time.

posted 1 year ago in Emotional
Member
1806 posts
Buzzing bee

((((Hugs))))

I’m 43 and although I do have kids, I still would be celebrating Christmas with my family whether they were here or not. My parents are in their late 70s and still do all the decorations and all.

I can’t see not wanting to celebrate with your family…maybe no presents But at least spending time together. Can you still go to your FI’s home or is that too far?

Plan ahead next year and spend the time with people that also appreciate the season. In the meantime, celebrate how you can…text/talk to friends,etc. I’m kind of bummed right now too because I’m off to my parents sans FI because he is in bed sick.

Member
1782 posts
Buzzing bee

Yikes! I’m sorry your mom is being such a party pooper.

 

Time to get married, create a *new* family that is all your own, and make your own magical Christmas memories for the rest of your life!

I think next year, you should definitely think about spending the holidays with your SO’s family. It’s not fair for your mom to complain that Christmas wouldn’t be the same without you, if she’s not going to even participate in the traditions. You can visit her in July or some other time!

In the years to come, you should let mom know that if she wants to see you during the holidays, she will need to come to your home and not the other way around. That way, you can do Christmas traditions to the hilt and she can see how much fun she’s been missing.

 

(((Hugs))) to you in the meantime. I can see how this must be so disappointing to you.

 

 

 

 

Member
375 posts
Helper bee

@BelliniChic:  You took the words right out of my mouth. Time to create your own family and do things the way you want to. 

I’m Jewish and we stopped doing the gift giving thing a while ago, when my brother and I grew out of it, but we still did the family get-together. My fi’s fam is still all for gift giving for the holidays and my family was sucked into gift giving again because we’ve been doing a gift exchange with them for the past 3 or so years. 

I think next holiday when we are married and living away from the family the giving will die down and when we have kiddos it’ll start right back up. 

Member
1782 posts
Buzzing bee

@Dizbee:  

 

Good for her!

In the meantime, maybe there is something Christmasy that you can do *just for yourself* to cheer yourself up. Rent “The Grinch” (or something similar) on Amazon instant video and watch it on your computer, pour a glass of champagne, light a candle, turn on the radio to a station that is playing nonstop Christmas carols, make sugar cookies and decorate them… if your mom wants to be a Grinch then that is her problem. I’m not sure but I think there are some restaurants that stay open for dinner on Christmas. Maybe you could go out for a fancy meal somewhere? I would go nuts if I didn’t do something Christmasy on today of all days! Hang in there!

Member
1782 posts
Buzzing bee

@MizzStark1026:  

Good for you! I am a teacher and one day last week, we studied Hannukah customs and traditions. It sounds like a lot of fun for you and your future kiddos!

: )

Member
9375 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I’m so sorry that you are feeling so sad.  I also enjoy Christmas, and I understand that change — especially when it involves happy traditions and memories during the holidays –  can indeed bring some disappointment. 

When I was single and living in another state, I always used to travel alone to spend Christmas Eve with my parents and my extended family at my aunt and uncle’s home and Christmas Day at my parents’ home.  As long as I could arrange my work schedule accordingly (and I usually could), I generally was able to spend a good chunk of time with my family between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.

However, now that I am married to someone who must work every single Christmas Eve, and I have minor stepchildren who have a very rigid holiday-custody schedule and adult stepchildren who have their own spouses/families, it’s just a fact of life that I can no longer keep many of my treasured former Christmas traditions. Instead of having a big meal on Christmas day, DH and I either are alone and recovering from a hectic Christmas Eve and Christmas morning after the children go to be with their mom at noon, or, depening on the year, we’re the ones picking up the kids at noon on Christmas and hitting the highway for a road trip to see family many hours away. Even when we go “home” to our parents’ homes for Christmas, there are now two, separate extended families with whom we must split those few, precious days.  Like this year, I sometimes do not get to see my brother and his family either.

For you, this disappointment is very fresh and very painful. And, because you’re not leaving your family traditions behind in favor of a big Christmas with your SO or his family this year, you’re experiencing the pains of withdrawl from the big, happy, Christmases you’ve been used to experiencing with your parents, without having the excitement of new activites and traditions to replace them.

Because I’ve been married for more than three years now, I am now starting to enjoy new traditions with my own immediate family as well as some new traditions with my own extended family and DH’s family once we are able to travel to see them.  It’s certainly not the same, but it’s still good, and, because I have so many more people to love and to love me and with whom I am able to celebrate, these changes, though still difficult at times, have actually been a great blessing to me as well as an opportunity for personal growth.

From what you’ve said about your parents — and I could be totally and completely off base here — it almost sounds as if they are unhappy people who may have been hiding some unhappiness in their own lives and marriage behind those years of happy Christmas traditions – but who finally are feeling the freedom to be done with the pretense of a big, happy, family Christmas now that their child is at an age when they think Christmas should no longer be important to her.  Perhaps it’s never been all that important to them, but they may have just forced themselves to put on a happy, holiday ”show” for you because they thought that they should.

This certainly has to sting this year, and you must feel a great void in your heart.  However, as you get older and continue to move forward with your life, you likely will be able to create some wonderful NEW traditions with other people who are important and special to you (such as your SO and his family), and the pain of not having a big Christmas celebration with your parents likely will begin to lessen over time.

For now, HUGS!! And, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas despite the situation you have experienced today.

Member
3132 posts
Sugar bee

Aw :( yeah dissapointing. I kind of understand where your mom is coming from. I get burnt out and stressed over Christmas. It’s a lot of money, time and effort. Maybe there’s too much pressure on her. Maybe next year you can host something and invite her instead. 

Member
519 posts
Busy bee

I just want to echo what everyone here is saying.

But I always want to say I completely understand how sad this is making you.  When I was  younger, my mom was so into the holidays.  Everything was a celebration.  And I loved it and also took it for granted, now that I look back on it.  She made every holiday special and kept traditions.  When my parents divorced when I was ten and she remarried, something changed in my mom.  There was a lot of negative stuff going on at that time and I remember those next few years being very dark. I think she was severely depressed, but something changed.  She would start acting like we were going to start celebrating when December rolled around, but then she would get angry and declare Christmas ruined and cancelled.  Those were some lonely holidays.  The last few holidays haven’t been very good because my mom died in April, but was terminally ill for about a year before that.  I mentioned it on another thread, but we had a pretty big falling out a few years ago and never really made up before she died.  But now that I’m getting married in April and FI and I will be having out first child in August, I’m determined to make every day special and celebrate every holiday like it may be the last.  I want to make those days special again.  FI and I weren’t able to do much this year, he’s not employed and I don’t make much, but we had a small get together at his mom’s house and then curled up with hot chocolate and watched every Charlie Brown special on Netflix.  We didn’t exchange gifts, but the love is there.  When you’re in a home with conflict, like I was and, it seems, you may be, it’s really tough.  But there will be better times and I’m sure you’re going to have wonderful holidays in the future.  But, for now, like someone said before me, celebrate on your own – make this day special for you and don’t let your mother ruin it.

Member
73 posts
Worker bee

I’m sorry you are having a terrible christmas. You could surround yourself with different people next year. It’s not your fault that your parents don’t want christmas anymore. And it’s not your fault if you don’t want to spend time with family during the holidays. Just because you’re blood related doesn’t mean you have to tolerate them hurting you like this every year. 

When I was 8 my parents told me santa wasn’t real and then they pretty much stopped celebrating christmas. For the next few years my brother and I would put up the fake tree by ourselves without the help of our parents and save lunch money to get each other and our parents gifts. My parents never gave us kids gifts. My brother and I never really realized how sad and depressing it all was until we were a bit older. 

Also, I think the ‘surprise’ christmas gifts of oatmeal and cider from your mother is in bad taste. I’d be pissed off too. The only thing worse than that is wrapping up a half eaten banana under the tree and writing ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS! To: my parents’ and ‘from: your daughter’.

Member
4592 posts
Honey bee

Geez, I can understand why you’re upset about this. I love Christmas and even though my parents don’t go all out like they did when we were younger, they still put up a tree and there are decorations and gifts. It’s one thing not to go all out but it’s another just to “cancel” Christmas. You can’t cancel Christmas! 

I want to agree with the other Bees who say that next year, just spend the holidays with your SO and his family. Your mom can’t get upset with you since she doesn’t want to participate at all. 

Member
3909 posts
Honey bee

Doing the full-on throw-down for Christmas is expensive and it takes a lot of work. It’s draining.  Perhaps what your mother believes you’ve outgrown is having someone else do all of that for you. Maybe instead of boycotting your parents and allowing your SO’s parents to step in with the hosting and cooking, this is your mom’s not-so-elegant way of saying “it’s time for you to step up as hostess.”  

Folks often do less and less for the holidays as they get older; the kids are adults on their own now, so you don’t get the fun of watching little kids open gifts, you have all the “stuff” you need and so do your adult kids, and really you’ve been-there-done-that for decades. Time to pass the torch to the next generation.

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