Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I am learning to hate holidays

Alright, I'm going to violate the second biggest taboo in America.  And I am going to be direct and up front about it.

Holidays suck.  Royally and completely.

Supposedly, Holidays are supposed to be fun and relaxing.  A time to recharge from the pressures of day to day survival.  The reality though is that in middle class america, they are nothing of the kind.

Instead, Holidays are a mess of additional expectations, all of which are more stress, not less.

Relatives expect you to make a pointless phone call and/or send a meaningless Hallmark card.  (Good marketing on Hallmark's part, I'll grant them that), just to prove you care about them.  And heaven help you if you don't.  Its like somehow every other day of the year, they can accept on faith you love them but on a Holiday,all of a sudden you need to prove it.  Over and over again.  Are we all really that insecure in our relationships?  If so, there are deeper problems then missing a holiday call.

Then there's the "holiday guest".  Well, that should be fun right? Except that it comes will all these expectations that somehow, the way you live is unfit for your guests to see and you have to turn your home into a hotel and/or banquet hall.  More work, more expectations, more stress.

Like so many of us right now, I am working on a contract.  That means a holiday doesn't even mean time off.  Either I work when everyone around me isn't, or I suffer a big hit in my budget.  Tell me THAT doesn't add stress.

I know I am not alone in this situation.  Any psychologist will tell you that stress-induced symptomology peaks during holidays.  This has been known for a long time.

If you want to truly give me or someone else a holiday gift this year, then just send a note that says, "Its okay.  I know you love me and you don't need to prove it with calls and cards.  I know you are a busy person and its okay, you don't have to spend days rearranging your lifestyle if I come for a visit. I want to see YOU, not your house."

We work too hard during the rest of the year in this country to turn Holidays into a sleeves rolled up race to impress each other.

What I really want a holiday from, is stress.

1 comment:

Justin Wick said...

Sounds like the problem here isn't the holidays, but the lack of control over your own life that they bring.

Instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, perhaps you can find ways to bring more control back so that you can enjoy and recharge. Work on other's expectations, only invite guests that are OK with how your house normally is, etc...