As a kid, The Holidays rocked. It was a time to kick back and stay home from school. As an adult The Holidays became a stressful time when you find yourself doing things you literally hate doing. All of a sudden you find yourself in stores you never go into, waiting in line to buy something you would never buy yourself, and the routine schedule that you keep to, is totally off track as you try to fit in family parties, shopping, gift wrapping, and through it all you start stressing out over your weight, your relatives getting along, and then it finally hits you: The Holidays suck! About the only real joyful moment I had last holiday season was watching my youngest son gorge himself in presents. He was so excited, I thought he’d pass out from sheer joy. This year, I’m really thinking The Grinch might have the right idea after all. The Holidays really are for kids.
I was looking through some of my old writings, when I stumbled upon this little rant, that I wrote back in 2004:
Relationships Suck During the Holidays
Men often have the luxury of not thinking about lots of stuff. We worry about ourselves most of the time, and that is just great, but around the holidays we lose this luxury. For some unknown reason the holidays bring out this idea that peace and goodwill are a good thing and that we should be polite and forgiving of others. Now this is all nice and dandy, when you are talking about say dueling nations or strangers you don’t really know all that well, but for your significant other to suggest this about your family is just ludicrous. It is prone to failure each and every year. This is why the holidays are so stressful, it is not that there is something magical about this time of year, nope, it’s that your girlfriend or most likely your wife decides for you that you must forgive everything about your relatives and just pretend that everything is civil and that they are perfectly normal people and that you are totally fine with everything. In other words, suppress, suppress, suppress everything and drink your eggnog.
And sure it works, this plan of women to make the world peaceful for just the holidays, that is until you just can’t take it anymore and you curse out your brother, your sister-in-law, your father, or whoever it is you just can’t get along with at the dinner table. Five minutes after you’ve stormed out or made someone cry, or worse spill their eggnog, you realize just what a dumb ass you are and that you didn’t solve anything by screaming your feelings out like that. But it is too late, you’ve ruined another holiday reunion and everyone knew you had to do it too. Suddenly you are the reason why everyone tries to be polite and all peace-loving around the holidays, you just realized that you are the problem, and not your uncle who cheats on his wife, or your crazy mother-in-law who is secretly plotting to take revenge since you married her daughter. That’s right, it’s all YOU!
But wait, you can still blame your girlfriend/wife. If she had not screamed at you to be all civil and happy-smiling during the holidays, maybe, just maybe you would not have exploded. Maybe she was plotting against you all along, to make you be the fallguy this year, so she would not be the one to be the problem one! But all of this is too late you have ruined the holidays and the eggnog is now smelling kind of funny.
There is always next year, when you’ll try to remember to be yourself for the holidays instead of trying to be all merry and polite. Maybe just maybe next year you won’t ruin the holidays and you won’t have to drink this bad eggnog.