All in all, our holiday problems have been relatively small. My husband and I get along well and we love each other very much, so as long we have one another, we can survive the holidays. We’ve had people drink too much, visiting relatives who allow their kids to touch things and run around our house. One year we came home to every light on in the house, the heater going full blast set at 90 degrees with no one home. My husband flinched when he saw that. We had one of our highest utility bills ever after the holidays.
On one occasion, my heart about stopped when I saw one of the visiting relatives’ children running with one of our guitars. I grabbed it and firmly said “no one touches these without asking.” Aside from the guitar incident, my shoes and various items were scattered about the house. I was more annoyed at the parents than the kids for not respecting our home and our stuff.
On a brighter side, we have some friends that have delightful well behaved children that are a joy to have around during the holidays. They do not touch things without asking, they are polite and kind. One asked for a cookie at breakfast and I said, “No, I will make you something healthier and then you may have a cookie.” She didn’t even flinch and said, “Okay.” I told our friends we do not have a “kid friendly home” and she said they didn’t either because they watched their children and their children had boundaries.
Growing up, my family and I could almost predict an argument or incident coming on around the holidays. Someone was always upset because a family member was spending time with someone else around the holidays. There were times when someone would promise to bring an important part of the meal such as the potatoes, the pie, the whipped cream for the pie, which we later handled by not asking that person to bring a crucial item for the meal. We could almost always predict one particular family member being late, not a few minutes late, but hours late. We often laughed when a “re-gifted” item would find its way back to the giver who had given it to the recipient the year before. It was about that time we decided not to give gifts anymore and concentrate on the little ones of the family or other little ones in need of Christmas gifts.
Also, standing in line at a store to pay for items, I am surprised at the stories I hear. People seem to experience some of the same issues we do. The players may be different, but the situations are certainly the same. We all feel pressure and experience the hustle and bustle of the holidays, along with family conflicts and issues.
All in all, despite the somewhat tense moments of the holidays, I still love them. I found myself singing along with the piped in Christmas music at a local store. I feel warm and bubbly inside when I watch Christmas movies and shows. I smile looking at the ornaments on our Christmas tree, some recently obtained, some old, but all special in their own way.
As I write this, a Christmas carol is playing and I’m feeling the spirit of the season.