I enjoy jumping on holiday blogging bandwagons. With that in mind, I can’t help but talk about creating family traditions.
Growing up and becoming an adult always requires some juggling of holiday traditions. Older relatives pass on, family moves closer or further away, and opportunities to either “own” a holiday, or finally duck out of a painful yearly shit-show, present themselves.
Throw significant others, spouses, and kids into the blender, and one yearly tradition is established hard and fast: guilt.
Someone is always upset about being left out. Someone else feels they couldn’t or didn’t provide the right present, or amount of gifts. Someone else feels they can’t leave a certain relative alone.
I spent several holiday seasons on the guilt tradition bandwagon. I’d put 500 miles on my car trying to meet each obligation between Halloween and New Years Eve.
Then, after a particularly disastrous holiday, I woke up and decided I was getting off the guilt train. Holidays are supposed to be fun.
I have a higher than normal threshold for tolerating discord, and I spent a whole year of holidays pissing people off-including people (well, person) I live with by saying “no”- and being surprised by people who were ok with “no.”
The hard work has largely paid off. Guilt is no longer a part of my holiday traditions.
Part two coming soon!