Dec 01 2017

Enjoy the Holidays Your Way

Enjoy the Holidays Your Way, Nov. 30, 2017

We are now in the “Holiday Season” where so many people are engrossed in the “holiday rituals’ and yet, there are many who really don’t feel a part of this world for many different reasons.

I would have to say that being divorced from the family with whom you spent the holidays is one of the more common reasons that people have difficulties with the holidays. This is particularly true if children are involved. There are some people that don’t like some members of their families, so choose not to engage with them during the holidays. There are some people who don’t have families at all and some that don’t have family close to where they live and cannot afford to travel back to their families.

Years ago, when I was engaged during college, we would alternate between the homes for Thanksgiving and Christmas, the distance between the homes being a couple of hours apart. I found this to be a great bother even then. Sure the food was great in either home, the gifts were fun, but the expectations and travel were a drag to be sure.

Years later when I was married, the holidays meant dealing with the cousins of my spouse. We were expected to go to various homes during the holiday season and share gifts with people we saw mainly at weddings and funerals. It was ridiculous. The one aunt and uncle that I truly enjoyed being with, had a grown child that would always bring their large dog who promptly went for the cheese and crackers that were on the coffee table. I never understood why this was even allowed to occur.

After my divorce, I would find other places to go – sometimes one of my sister’s homes and sometimes a distant relative that invited over 40 relatives to his home every Thanksgiving. I enjoyed being with the older relatives, many of them involved in very interesting careers and advocations.

During my time in California, I ate the best food of my life at a friend who had Thanksgiving for all her “orphan friends,” those being the people who didn’t have family nearby. She always had interesting people there to interact with as well. Christmas was spent with the various roommate’s family, always awkward, but a place to go.

I have to say though, that my favorite times for the holidays were really those when I didn’t have to go anywhere or do anything in particular. It was a day to just “be.” I could do what I wanted and read books or watch old movies. There was no need to go out in the cold, no need to spend a ton of money on gifts (for Christmas) and no need to get dressed up.

So, for those of you who wonder what you are going to do for the holidays, well, you can indeed do what you please, if you are alone or with someone who really doesn’t get very excited about the holidays. Because, sometimes, it is great to just be able to do what you choose without any expectations placed upon you. Really, it can be quite wonderful. It is all in your attitude

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