Monday, November 16, 2009

Damned If I Do/Don't (this may get deleted)

So Matt wants to have Christmas with his family in Reno. And my family wants me to come down and have Christmas with them in Los Gatos. And if I spend Christmas with my family I will spend the whole time being Cinderella and helping my parents cook and clean because everyone else thinks they are suddenly a guest now that they have kids and I have nothing better to do than do all the work since I have no kids to watch. And we will spend at least one day on a miserable, pain-in-the-ass trip to somewhere large and crowded that will also involve crappy traffic and no parking (Academy of Science, I'm looking at you) where we will have no fun because everyone will spend the whole time chasing kids around. Trips like that are not meant for groups of 15 when there are at least 5 kids under 8 years old and no schoolbus involved. And Matt has no sympathy. And I am kind of sick of the whole thing. It makes me not want to go at all.

We are going to go down the day after and spend 3-4 days hanging out if the weather is not too crappy to drive down. That way Matt can have Christmas morning with his nieces and nobody will really notice I am not there when there are 5 little kids running around and fighting over presents Christmas morning. I will still get to see my sister who I only see twice a year and my grandmother who I should see more. But maybe I will be less miserable. Because right now I am tired of being guilt tripped and miserable when it's starting to look like I won't have any fun no matter what I do.

And now I am crying on my data sheets. I hate family sometimes. I miss having Christmas with my parents but hell if I am not sick of my sisters. And I haven't even see the one in question since her wedding in September. And Matt is no help at all.


mamacita said...

I never used to understand why people thought the holidays were stressful until the last few years. Once I got used to living on my own, regulating my own sleep/wake/eat/do stuff cycles, it got harder and harder to go back to my family's home and be forced to do things their way.

And I know it really sucks for you, but do spare a thought for your sisters. Chasing over-sugared, under-rested kids through the two weeks of Christmas break is, to say the least, draining.

If it's at all possible, I think your idea of going down AFTER Christmas morning is a great idea. Usually everyone is ready to chill a little after Christmas. If you can stand to spend New Year's Eve with them, it can be a fun holiday where people tend to look at each other with kinder eyes than Christmas.

The Management said...

I can fully appreciate your situation. But you may want to just sit your as down and enjoy yourself. As you said you don't have any kids to watch, ergo you're not their mama either.

Luckily, neither my wife nor I are all that concerned about where we do Christmas so we tend to alternate.

However my family has been driving me nuts and my mother is acting like a petulant eight year old.

Next year I think we'll just stay home.

Marianne said...

Preach it, sister. Holidays are great - if you're a kid. But at the back of those family photos lurk some seriously unhappy adults.

There's no good solution here...but know you're not alone.

Alana in Canada said...

Well, Christmas is Christmas and nobody said it would be fun! I am so lucky I married a man with family too far away to have anything to do with--but that means we're stuck with mine all the time.

More seriously, though, what about this sister you mention not seeing? Why can't you see her at other times of the year? It sounds like you need a plan to get together with her. I hope that can work out for you.

And Anne, I'm totally with you on the kid thing, really.

LOJO said...

my family used to get together for Thanksgiving. There was like 30 of us altogether. When I was 16 my Mom gave me a choice to go or not. I decided not. My Mom was SO mad. A few years ago she looked at me and said she didn't get it then, but she got it now. Those people were nuts- and not very nice. I made the right choice.

Now, I love my immediate family. But we don't spend Christmas together even though we all live within 20 minutes. (my parents and the MR's mom)The Grandparents can come over Christmas eve day- but have to be gone by 7pm. Christmas is just for my family- the three of us. I put my foot down when Max was born.

I will not have a stressed out holiday.

Anne (in Reno) said...

Aww, thanks guys.

Mamacita, I have trouble sparing a thought for my sisters when all they really do is sit around and watch their kids terrorize the grandparents. It's vacation time for them.

The thing is, we go home and suddenly they are all guests. If I acted like that nobody would do anything except my parents. And we, being the smallest group, would probably end up staying in the basement.

It is kid-fest. And when you are a doting parent/grandparent that is great. But I am less excited about spending my day at the park watching kids run around when it's cold and gray and I could be somewhere cozy with my hubby and a hot beverage.

Maybe when they're older it'll be more fun. Right now they are all so little and maybe if I'm not around my sisters (and their husbands) will realize they should pitch in.

And I am having 20 people here for T-Day. It's not like I don't like 'em. Just maybe it needs to be on my terms for a while.

Alana in Canada said...

Yes, I think setting your terms and sticking to them is best. Perhaps this should be a year they do without you--and miss you a little, perhaps. And you never know, you might miss them enough to be able to cope with it better another year. I don't know. I do know that the year I decided to spend Christmas "alone" was one of the best experiences I ever gave myself--if only because it gave me the desire to see all those crazy, nutty, exasperating people the next year!

Anonymous said...

Aww...Annie! It makes me so sad to think of you crying over Christmas :( I understand the dilemma, and have a somewhat lazy sister myself. I really hope it works out, and honey - focus on YOU and enjoy yourself!