Christmas Note

Christmas. Family. Spouses. Their family. 12-hour car rides, days full of social events, some of which involve prudes I can’t drink around. A few friends have done the smart thing and reserved a day somewhere in there for themselves. I envy them. Part of me tends to reminisce about my single days, back when I was either solo or just “sort of dating” someone. I used to need vast oceans of selfie time. No joke, I once dumped a guy for suggesting we go apply picking one weekend. I was like, “Are you kidding me? This is what you’re about? Fucking apple picking? Picking fucking apples off trees and piling them up in a basket? I don’t even like apples. Why would I drive two hours to eat something I don’t even buy at the store, unless I need something to soak in alcohol and/or dip in chocolate? I think I’ll stay home and work on my dissertation.” He actually dumped me. But it was definitely over apple picking.

These days, I have more friends and family than I can keep up with. I’m learning to accept my new role. I even bought presents for relatives on the boyfriend’s side this time. The gifts aren’t great. One’s a book I don’t know the title of, a few gift cards, and a DVD I think this other relative might already have. I’m giving my dad-in-law a gourmet cheese sampler because he likes snacks. Hey, we all start somewhere.

It’s nice having people who want me around. Over the years, I’ve met some people who truly had nobody for Christmas.

I’ve had some rough holidays, and some when some single friends and I opted to spend it with each other rather than with family. But I’ve always had the luxury of people to ignore. If I were truly alone, and not just prone to solitude, I’m sure I’d be crying over a bottle of something expensive right now and wishing I had someone to share it with.

This is a shorter post. So I’m throwing in an essay I wrote way back over the summer. The essay mentions Christmas, though, so it counts:

We’ve all dealt with trying to gain our parent’s approval. One writer shares her journey of trying to make her father proud of her & what she learned.

Source: Deferred Approval Can Be the Best – FEMpotential

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2 thoughts on “Christmas Note

  1. Labrug

    Another great post, and one that I can relate to. Being able to share a festive season with people you want to be with, rather than are obligated to be with… Sometimes you just want to keep it quiet and personal.

    This will be the last Christmas I have with my soon to be ex-wife and daughter, as a complete family. Next year, we will officially divorce in a friendly and mutually agreed separation. Tinged with a little sadness, I am proud that we have taken care to maintain our friendship, and put the interests of our daughter first.

    I hope you and yours have enjoyed this xmas season, and that the new years comes with much to promise.

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  2. Seth Berkowitz

    We’re spending the holiday weekend at my girlfriend’s brother’s house. Good times and sumptuous accommodations. Except neither of us can figure out the thermostat. It’s too cold, we turn up the heat and soon it’s too hot. We’ve gone back and forth all night. Kind of the same way with company. Spend the holidays alone and you long for some. Spend it surrounded by family and you wish for a little solitude.

    And maybe the same with parental praise. Some thrive under its warm glow while for others too much praise, especially undeserved, kills ambition. For some, tough love works better. I think love is the key. Your dad loves you and you’ve always more or less felt it. If he neglected to voice his pride, you suspected it was there and had the self-possession to thrive in its absence. Some parents aren’t as loving, and while some show it with neglect, others feel guilt and overcompensate in ways that don’t ring true. There’s no exact right way or wrong way, but we certainly do appreciate more those prizes that are not easily won.

    I enjoy your blog (and your tweets). Merry Christmas.

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