I don't know what it is about Christmas that turns me in to such a Grinch. Christmas used to be so much fun. It was three days of eating, and playing with my cousins, and visits with Santa, and getting presents and singing carols. As I got older, it all stayed the same, but the addition of alcohol around the 7th or 8th grade, and a new tradition of flaming Sambuca shots every Xmas Eve, just made it all even better than before.
I guess things change. My dad died, and my mom sold the farm and that changed our immediate family's Christmas traditions immensely. My cousins started getting married and having kids and moving away. I worked with mentally challenged people...they don't stop being handicapped just because it's Christmas, and their families don't always invite them home just because they're family. The group home girls and I have spent a few Christmases together, eating and laughing and snuggling on the couch, and eating some more. I will miss that this year, just as much as I will miss seeing my cousins and aunts and uncles on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the same old places they always are.
After I got married, my mom told me that it was time for Smyrish and I to start our own traditions. She knew that we wouldn't always be able to be with her, or his dad, or his mom, all at the same time. She told me that things will keep changing, especially if we decide to have kids. Whenever I feel bad about missing out, I think of what she said. Smyrish and I haven't really had a chance to start our own holiday traditions yet, but we will, and all I can hope is that they are just as much fun as the ones I grew up with. I hope that if I am ever a mother, Santa will come to visit on Xmas Eve, and on Xmas Day, we will still all get a little tipsy and drunk dial relatives to sing them Christmas carols. I hope that I can be the one to make the big meal one day, just to try it out, and see how stressful it really is to feed your entire extended family.
Until then, Christmas will most likely remain the most stressful, guilt-ridden time of year for me. If I'm not rushing around visiting everyone and spending all my money on things people may or may not appreciate or want, I am away from them, and feeling guilty that I didn't put in enough effort to be together. Oy vey.
**BTW, I'm having another Etsy sale, just for the holidays. Check out all the details here http://abigailroaddesigns.blogspot.com