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Maxel

Not looking forward to Christmas.

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Is anyone else dreading the holiday season, for whatever reason?

My older sister is coming to visit for the next two weeks. I don't like it when she comes- she usually acts as a catalyst for my mom's emotional insecurities, and they play off of each other. I usually end up being the bad guy in the games they play, and end up having to choose to be trampled on (emotionally) or fight back and worsen the situation (or walk away, which causes more problems later).

I'm not saying I'm totally blameless. I have my share of problems, and I do my share of immature/mean things. But my older sister admits her (and my mom's) dominant role in the drama- yet it begins anew whenever she comes.

I'm trying to stay positive, but I'm not having high hopes for this Christmas season. Does anyone else have a cloud on the horizon, darkening the Christmas skies?

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Maxel, I can somewhat empathize with your situation, though not currently with your emotions. I'm not traveling anywhere to see family for Christmas this year, and I'm so excited about it. I generally prefer to spend holidays with my husband's family, as they are laid-back, less stressful, focus on the holiday and its meaning instead of the extraneous things, and just more enjoyable overall. My family, however, is very stressful at this time of year. My mom is difficult to please, she gives the silent treatment, she lays down guilt trips, and there's probably been two Christmases in the last 13 years that didn't involved tears (not of joy) streaming down my face on Christmas morning.

Last year was really stressful preparing to travel for Christmas, and I hadn't done my share to effectively prepare. Laundry was left until the last minute, picking things up from the store, packing toys for my daughter, gathering food for the car, etc. When I have a lot to do to prepare for something, I get overwhelmed and leave it all until the afternoon/evening of the day before. My husband is the complete opposite of that, so by the time we left, he was really upset with me. He was stressed out and mad, I was crying because I felt like I was in trouble (he wasn't guilting me, but I knew that I wouldn't feel that way if I had prepared better...I say this because many of you reading this know who my husband is and I don't want you to think that he's emotionally abusive or anything, beacuse he's not), and the first 4-5 hours of our 12 hour drive that day were spent largely in silence. It was not a happy experience. To top it all off, in his stress to get us out the door to beat the ice storm (we didn't beat it, by the way...that was supposed to be a 6 hour day in the car!), he forgot my stocking stuffers and gifts.

Yeah, we're glad to not be traveling this year. We're happy to have a quiet Christmas at home, just the three of us.

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I'm with ya to some extent. Holidays aren't the same without my mom. Dad is older and getting less healthy too. I have some family issues that tend to come on during Christmas. And I absolutely hate being alone on Christmas. My family gets together before Christmas. And I usually just go to Dad's house, but I'm not there all day. It's just usually my woe is me day.

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I also can agree somewhat this year. Having lost my job 3 months ago and still unable to find one, I've had to tell my kids there will be no gifts this year. Luckily they are old enough to understand but it still makes me feel guilty. A guilt trip I place on myself.

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. This year we aren't even putting up a tree. I just don't have the spirit of Christmas like I should have. But we will be joining my sister and her family for Christmas dinner so that will be nice.

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I'm having a hard time getting into the spirit of things as well--probably because the holidays means a slowdown in business, and my family's hurting financially right now. I'm blessed with an awesome wife who is insisting that I quit being doom-and-gloom and make this a special time for our kiddies (or face being slapped upside the head repeatedly). :D

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Thanks guys.

I feel a lot better now. Misery loves company...? Anyway, it's good to know that I'm not the only one dreading the time when we celebrate the birth of our L-rd.

I'm off to read me a few sections of the Doctrine and Covenants...

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Wanna hear something truly pathetic? I was uninvited to a friend's annual family gathering on Christmas Eve last year. She invited me about 5 years ago and asked for me to attend each year. Last year she revealed to me that her SIL always resented my presence there because I wasn't family. Even knowing I didn't do anything on Christmas Eve, she still didn't want me there. So, my friend talked to me about it last year and tried to tactfully uninvite me. Except there's no way to be tactful about that. "I know you've come for the last 5-7 years or so, brought tons of food, bought expensive presents for everyone, but please don't come any more."

So, I decided that I'm doing my own thing on Christmas Eve. Not sure what that is, but it includes reading the scriptures on the birth of Christ and the entire December Ensign and then watching "Elf"--love that movie!

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Not that friend. I escaped last year to my friend in Mexico. It was just a little too hurtful to be at home on Christmas Eve the first year of my banning. So, I spent it in Mexico. This year is not so exciting.

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Oh, I thought it HIGHLY ironic that this Christian family (they have a successful Gospel group) is kicking out their single friend on Christmas. Kinda made me want to have a wooden plaque made that said "Inn" so they could just say, "No room at the Inn for you!" Gotta keep that Christmas spirit and all.

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I know this is such a Mormon thing to say, but I really feel this way. Trying to be a good home teacher really helps me get into the Christmas spirit, especially this year. There are really good opportunities to serve my families this year, and honestly, nothing makes me feel better.

Sincerely

Vanhin

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Wanna hear something truly pathetic? I was uninvited to a friend's annual family gathering on Christmas Eve last year. She invited me about 5 years ago and asked for me to attend each year. Last year she revealed to me that her SIL always resented my presence there because I wasn't family. Even knowing I didn't do anything on Christmas Eve, she still didn't want me there. So, my friend talked to me about it last year and tried to tactfully uninvite me. Except there's no way to be tactful about that. "I know you've come for the last 5-7 years or so, brought tons of food, bought expensive presents for everyone, but please don't come any more."

So, I decided that I'm doing my own thing on Christmas Eve. Not sure what that is, but it includes reading the scriptures on the birth of Christ and the entire December Ensign and then watching "Elf"--love that movie!

You can spend the day at my house. Do you need to know our sizes or do you prefer to give electronics? And Pam will be there sometime during the day too.

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Wanna hear something truly pathetic? I was uninvited to a friend's annual family gathering on Christmas Eve last year. She invited me about 5 years ago and asked for me to attend each year. Last year she revealed to me that her SIL always resented my presence there because I wasn't family. Even knowing I didn't do anything on Christmas Eve, she still didn't want me there. So, my friend talked to me about it last year and tried to tactfully uninvite me. Except there's no way to be tactful about that. "I know you've come for the last 5-7 years or so, brought tons of food, bought expensive presents for everyone, but please don't come any more."

So, I decided that I'm doing my own thing on Christmas Eve. Not sure what that is, but it includes reading the scriptures on the birth of Christ and the entire December Ensign and then watching "Elf"--love that movie!

That's awful. I wish the sister in law would have a little more compassion. :(

My father died on Christmas when I was a child. If I could get away with it, I probably wouldn't celebrate it. Buuut, my family is big on it, so I can't do that. It's always been hard for me. So I can understand how it's not a fun time to get through. :(

/hugs

Edited by SMG
Took a moment to realize my original tone was not so kind.

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I know this is such a Mormon thing to say, but I really feel this way. Trying to be a good home teacher really helps me get into the Christmas spirit, especially this year. There are really good opportunities to serve my families this year, and honestly, nothing makes me feel better.

Sincerely

Vanhin

I think that's an outstanding idea. No better way to forget our problems than service. After all, it's not the "most wonderful time of the year" until we help others.

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I had a similar problem, Maxel, until I did something that has resolved the issue for a decade ongoing.

I was on the phone with a parent, who began by berating me for something. I responded, cutting them off, "I want to be happy. If the next thing out of your mouth is anything that isn't positive, I'm hanging up this phone and not contacting you until you can be positive."

They started with something angry, but I didn't give them the chance to finish. I hung up the phone and unplugged it so that they couldn't call back. Three months later, they contacted me. They were calm, but sad. I calmly explained that I didn't want negativity in my life and that if family couldn't lift each other up and instead only sought to tear each other down, that would be that. This person then got angry again, to which I hung up the phone.

Two months later, they called again and apologized. I haven't had a problem since.

It might make Christmas rough, but to this day I'm still deliriously happy that I don't put up with that sort of thing. You can do the same thing. Don't be angry. Don't be defensive. Simply don't give them the opportunity to go on the attack.

In your shoes, I would say "This is my house and home. I want to be happy at Christmastime. If you - Either of you - Are about to ruin Christmas by being negative, I will tell you to leave and I won't be kidding."

Know that, because you haven't done this before, they will get defensive and angry. You will have to kick them out this holiday season. They will phone each other and nattily put you down. That's fine. They need to get it out of their system. When they do, they'll realize that you neither attacked them nor retreated from them. You simply stated a fact.

Is anyone else dreading the holiday season, for whatever reason?

My older sister is coming to visit for the next two weeks. I don't like it when she comes- she usually acts as a catalyst for my mom's emotional insecurities, and they play off of each other. I usually end up being the bad guy in the games they play, and end up having to choose to be trampled on (emotionally) or fight back and worsen the situation (or walk away, which causes more problems later).

I'm not saying I'm totally blameless. I have my share of problems, and I do my share of immature/mean things. But my older sister admits her (and my mom's) dominant role in the drama- yet it begins anew whenever she comes.

I'm trying to stay positive, but I'm not having high hopes for this Christmas season. Does anyone else have a cloud on the horizon, darkening the Christmas skies?

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Yeah, we're glad to not be traveling this year. We're happy to have a quiet Christmas at home, just the three of us.

Amen. My wife's family lives in one part of the country, mine in another, we live far away so many of our holidays are spent in those long car rides with the kids, cramming all 5 of us into a guest bedroom when we get there, rushing home to get everything done before returning to school,work etc.

But not this year.

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I was on the phone with a parent, who began by berating me for something. I responded, cutting them off, "I want to be happy. If the next thing out of your mouth is anything that isn't positive, I'm hanging up this phone and not contacting you until you can be positive."

They started with something angry, but I didn't give them the chance to finish. I hung up the phone and unplugged it so that they couldn't call back. Three months later, they contacted me. They were calm, but sad. I calmly explained that I didn't want negativity in my life and that if family couldn't lift each other up and instead only sought to tear each other down, that would be that. This person then got angry again, to which I hung up the phone.

Two months later, they called again and apologized. I haven't had a problem since.

I hereby dub Funky my most-favorite-guy-I-like-to-argue-politics-with-but-have-a-lot-of-respect-for-online dude.

This is what taking your fate and destiny into your own hands looks like. Not only that, but this is what real honest helping those you love bust out of their own cycles of toxic crap looks like.

For every one post like Funky's, there are umpteen "I always dread the holidays because we all can't stand each other" posts? All right folks - now you know what it takes to fix stuff - who's strong enough to put it all on the line like he did?

LM

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In your shoes, I would say "This is my house and home. I want to be happy at Christmastime. If you - Either of you - Are about to ruin Christmas by being negative, I will tell you to leave and I won't be kidding."

I'm not sure Max has that option though.

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In your shoes, I would say "This is my house and home. I want to be happy at Christmastime. If you - Either of you - Are about to ruin Christmas by being negative, I will tell you to leave and I won't be kidding."

I'm not sure Max has that option though.

I was going to say the same thing -- Maxel is young enough that he either still lives at home or lives near enough that he's visiting mom and dad's for Christmas. Either way, the family gathering isn't being held at "his" house.

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Wanna hear something truly pathetic? I was uninvited to a friend's annual family gathering on Christmas Eve last year. She invited me about 5 years ago and asked for me to attend each year. Last year she revealed to me that her SIL always resented my presence there because I wasn't family. Even knowing I didn't do anything on Christmas Eve, she still didn't want me there. So, my friend talked to me about it last year and tried to tactfully uninvite me. Except there's no way to be tactful about that. "I know you've come for the last 5-7 years or so, brought tons of food, bought expensive presents for everyone, but please don't come any more."

So, I decided that I'm doing my own thing on Christmas Eve. Not sure what that is, but it includes reading the scriptures on the birth of Christ and the entire December Ensign and then watching "Elf"--love that movie!

Beefche, have you thought of helping out at a food kitchen or shelter at Christmas? Or even visiting a nursing home? You don't have to know someone in a home, but go with an appropriate book and read to someone who doesn't have any visitors.

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That is weird, I can not imagine dreading Christmas? Ever since I can remember, Christmas has always brought out the best in my family (which if you knew my father, would be saying a ton). And ever since I had kids, I can barely wait for them to open their gifts and see the looks of awe and amazement on their faces.

But that's just me...

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That is weird, I can not imagine dreading Christmas? Ever since I can remember, Christmas has always brought out the best in my family (which if you knew my father, would be saying a ton). And ever since I had kids, I can barely wait for them to open their gifts and see the looks of awe and amazement on their faces.

But that's just me...

I hope that as I establish traditions and patterns with my own family that I will come to have that attitude about Christmas every year. For some though, it's just not a reality in the immediate.

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I lost a very dear friend to cancer this last Easter. Before Frank died, an oncolgy nurse came into the room to check on him and stayed to chat with me a few minutes. She said that she had lost her own mother to cancer on Christmas day and was angry about it for quite a few years until she realized what a wonderful time it was for her mother to go be with Christ. To be with him on the very day we celebrate his birth. After that, she said that Christmas had even more meaning and joy for her once she had realized that. I felt better about Frank's death knowing he went at the time of Christ's ressurection. I still think about that. Knowing that, it helps and I have peace as well as joy. I hope this helps.

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