Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Holiday Stress.......

Ahhh, yes---the holidays.  "The best time of the year", as the song goes.......

Maybe not....... 

For many folks, it is the absolute worst time of the year.  I speak with a modicum of authority. 

In a previous life, when the holiday season approached, the  dysfunction that epitomized my extended family kicked into action.  This occurred for decades, in one form or another, turning the last three months of each year into a sea of chaos and frustration.

Have a holly-jolly Christmas!

PAST EXAMPLES:   My wife wants to have Christmas dinner at our house this year.  We went to my mom's house last year.  My mom says that is OK, but she wants to bring the pumpkin pie because my wife always makes the dessert and my mom thinks her pie is best.  My wife gets PO'd at the suggestion that her pie is somehow inferior, gets her back bowed and takes a stand that she WILL be making the dessert and my mom and dad are to show up, be nice and leave.  It is, of course, up to me to mediate both sides.  This is not easy, even over over a petty matter like this, because everyone in my family has an ego.

Then there is the matter of uncle Joe insisting on giving our youngest child a gift that my wife has already bought.  I explain this to uncle Joe, but uncle Joe is firm in his stance that the gift should come from him.  I am again caught in the middle, and I ain't happy about it.

Then, wife decides that the children should be showered with gifts (that they don't need or even appreciate) that have to be constructed with screws, washers, bolts, nuts and widgets that are supposedly included with the purchase.  And yet, amazingly, after all these years, I have never seen a package with the correct tools to construct the gift.

OH, Ho the mistletoe!---Kiss 'er once for me!

Grandpa has decided that no one is to buy a gift for him this year because "there isn't anything I need and it would just be a waste of money."

Problem with that is twofold:  his d**n gifts are already purchased, and it is going to be awkward for everyone else to be opening gifts while he just sits there.

Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh!

My wife wants to have Christmas dinner at 4:00.  I want to eat at 6:00. My mom says 2:00 is when they expect to be served.

At Thanksgiving, there is always big trouble over when we eat because dad is going to watch the football game and is not budging from his recliner until the game is over.  Then, with everyone starving and ready for food, he says after he has his two vodka and sodas, we can eat.  Behind the scenes, the bickering is of biblical proportions.

The kids got so much "stuff" for Christmas that they appreciate very little of it.  In fact, they gripe about what they didn't get. 

Gotta return about five gifts (returns are sooo much fun!) because they were the wrong size or wrong model or wrong color or defective or whatever.

Frosty the snowman was a jolly, happy soul.......

I can't wait for January 2nd.


  1. One year, there was a huge blow-up in my family on Christmas Eve. I actually heard these words coming out of my mouth, "You are ruining Christmas!" Somewhere in the middle of my sleepless night before Christmas, I swear I heard God say to me, "Nobody can ruin Christmas. I sent Christmas because you're already ruined."

  2. Seems like your home is as normal as everybody eles's. Have fun.


  3. Gee sounds a lot like home except someone at our gathering always has too much eggnog and thinks it is the perfect time to solve old grieviences.
    I personally like Jan 1st. No hangover for the past 35 years and all day bowl games. Ahhh.
    Arkansas Patti

  4. But then, what would the holidays be without a little stress to manage?

  5. As an only child-grandchild on both sides (!) I got so much loot as a kid, it seriously overwhelmed me and Christmas became a time I dreaded. Everyone wanted their present to me, to be my favorite. Oy.
    This year, my family is giving a donation to the Alzheimer's foundation. That is it. No gift exchange-nothing!
    Bring it on!
    xo, misha

  6. Oh my! May I remind your loyal readers again that all the above took place in your PREVIOUS life! ;~D This will be my first Christmas being near my family in eight years! May we have a peaceful time. They are laid back and I feel not into controlling others.

    Many years back in my life, I had some similar drama that you wrote about, Clint.

  7. Gee Clint, I have all sorts of replys running around in my head for this post but since I would not run the risk of offending any of your readers all I can safely say is "bless you." :)

  8. hahaha...oh my! Holly Jolly indeed! Sounds like everyone has similar things a'goin on.
    Tis the Season:))

  9. Merry Christmas...sometimes we lose the true meaning of it!

  10. Okay - just be thankful for all the stress! sandie

  11. I was never one to drink in front of my children, until there was just no way to get through the holidays without it. I know, I know, I KNOW.

  12. It's easy at my place...till know I don't know how the holidays will go. I will see when they are there.

    But for sure...no stress

    Greetings my friend

  13. Sounds like a good time to me, mind you I love chaos every now and again, it normalizes my quiet life. The thing is I'm the Mom, I run my house and my children are all adults, I have to go out to a family get together to normalize my life these days. Hi ho hi ho hi ho

    Cindy I was watching for your response, awesome retort! You're so cool. ;-)

  14. Oh my, sounds like fun times..what you have described reads like a movie script :)

  15. Clint,
    Yep - the whole country (more or less) shares your "enthusiasm" for the holidays.

    Of course, the alternative is skipping them altogether. Didn't John Grisham write a book about what happens we someone tries that? :)

  16. I used to love Christmas as a kid my Mom and Dad struggled to give us one little toy. I see children today wanting everything and I am sad they have no idea how this will effect their expectations later on they are setting themselves up for a fall, parents should not over indulge.
    I do love the time with my family that is what it is all about. B

  17. it is so nice to read and see you again Clint, really missed you

    have you posted the recipe if christmas pudding?? if no please do it for us...

  18. ops sorry I wanted to say "pumpkin pie"

    I'd like to do it