All I Want for Christmas

How to Celebrate Christmas Like an Australian | YHA Australia

As I was preparing to write this I read through some of my old posts about Christmas. I was interested to read this one and to compare my thoughts about Christmas in 2021 with my thoughts about Christmas in 2022. I was actually really surprised about how different they were. Somewhere, somehow I have had a complete change of thinking. 

For many years I allowed my mother to dictate the location and the way that Christmas would play out. She called the shots by guilting her children into attending a family gathering that most people didn’t really enjoy. Since my children were very small travelling ridiculous distances and spending Christmas sleeping in a strange bed, in a strange house feeling awkward and not at home has been a big part of the landscape. They tolerated it but since leaving school and becoming more adult they have become more vocal about out it. 

My niece and nephews were a little ahead of the field informing their parents that they were not up for travelling anywhere this Christmas and they just wanted to stay home. And so for the first time in a long time we are Christmassing like a lot of people. Visiting for lunch and then leaving to go home to our own house where we will host a small evening meal. For the first time we will see most of both sides of our family on Christmas Day and there will be no sleeping in weird beds or having unwelcome and demanding house guests! 

I am excited! Yes it isn’t what my parents want but honestly they can go jump off a cliff. Last year I posted about them being elderly and isolated and I had a feeling of responsibility to them. Last year I did the journey and survived the three or so days of Christmas Hell. And after Christmas Day there was an altercation with my mother that drove home to me that I had given her far too much power in our relationship. It doesn’t matter that she is older and living in a place where she has limited support from able bodied people and very limited health care. She chose that life. She is an adult and she still has all of her mental capacity. She can make changes if she chooses. Throughout the year I have quietly pointed this out to her. 

From now on Christmas is about me, Mr Jones, #1Son and The Unicorn; along with their partners. Where and how we celebrate Christmas is dictated by their work commitments. In line with most things in our family it is fairly low key. We have a tree in the corner and have been busily making things as gifts for family members. There are not a lot of other decorations around the house but that is OK. There is ham in the fridge and prawns in the freezer. Things that are essential for Christmas in our house. We are all happy.  

I am surprised by the number of parcels under our tree but it is a good thing. I am looking forward to opening them and watching others open theirs. For the first time in a long time I am excited by Christmas. I am hoping that this is a sign of things to come. Low key, relaxed Christmas with people I actually want to see. 

Wicked Wednesday

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gemmi72

Wife, swinger, blogger. An ordinary woman living life one day at a time dealing with the complications of moonlighting as a sex goddess.

10 thoughts on “All I Want for Christmas”

  1. Liked this post but I have one word for you to consider: Tradition. I know what you mean; me and my family leaving the comfy confines of our home and gathering with other family members at my mom’s house. Used to be fun when we we were all younger and all that but some of us felt that keeping to this tradition prevented us from establishing our own traditions… and me more than the others once I had a extended family and while they were always welcomed, I felt it was unnecessary to make them feel stressed being around a bunch of people who knew each other so well but they didn’t all that much and being cornered and asked questions they didn’t really want to answer. Better to stay at home but tradition was at the foundation of our entire family… and it couldn’t be abandoned. What harm did it really do to hold true to a long-held family tradition when we could still have our own traditions? No harm at all. After all, part of my family’s tradition was for all us to spend time at Christmas with each other’s family – and that included the additions to our family.

    Tradition means something. It’s not really parents being “assholes” about it; it should be established and maintained until that’s no longer possible. We kept it up until mom decided that as long as she knew we were all okay, if we didn’t show up or couldn’t stay long, fine. A phone call on Christmas Day became the new tradition and one I never failed to stick with… because it was still the foundation of our family’s bond with each other. It’s important to have your own family tradition… but never forget that you have this tradition because your parents has this tradition and it still carries through the family over every generation. Even if your part of the “main tradition” is a phone call.

    The tradition ended when my mother died last year. The first Christmas I couldn’t call her and let her know that all is well. This will be my second Christmas without that tradition but it continues because my children have been calling me from where they live across the country… because tradition must continue to bind the family; otherwise, what do we have?

    But, yeah, I do get it. With all this COVID shit still going on, no one feels like going anywhere. Too much of a hassle. Sometimes a pain in the ass you’re better off not having.

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    1. So here is the thing. Everywhere, in social media and amongst friends, there is always the story of a beloved parent departed and children and grandchildren left behind who wish they could have more time. This is accompanied by a cautionary tale to those who still have living parents to appreciate them and spend the time they have with them because they will be gone some day. For those of us who have suffered manipulation and emotional battering from parents throughout our adult life it is another source of guilt that we are broken because we don’t love our parents as much as other people. So we throw ourselves back into the veritable fire because we feel that we have missed something. Call it tradition, call it duty, call it the structure of society. I call it bullshit. If you had a friend in your life who constantly criticised and manipulated you. Who is never content and throws tantrums when they don’t get their own way even if they don’t actually know what they want? Your other friends would tell you to get a new friend. But if it is a parent doing this we are supposed to allow it? Because of tradition? How does this tradition help us to raise children who know their own value and are free from this merry go round of parent induced hell? It doesn’t.

      I appreciate your family is different from mine. And I am happy that you have found the way that works for you. But know that not everyone has the same narrative. Sometimes the best family is not blood relatives.

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  2. No one should feel forced to do or be or have anything just because a parent said so. I am all for tradition, but we outgrow them and make new ones that fit better or find ways to bend the old ones to adapt to changing times and needs.

    This year, my son came down with a mild case of covid. It means we are having a very small Christmas at home, just the 3 of us. And honestly, it is so much less hectic and stressful.

    It won’t become a tradition, but it’ll do for this year.

    I wish you a Merry Christmas! Enjoy the laid back version you have planned for this year.

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  3. Your Christmas sounds absolutely wonderful. This was going to be the first year my husband and I would go out on Christmas day, for dinner, just the two of us. But, then the lockdown came, so now it will be the two of us at home, enjoying good food and each other’s company. The next day the children will be here for coffee and cake, as I am just not up to make any fuzz with Christmas anymore.
    Happy Christmas too you!
    ~ Marie xox

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