A Short Message to Friends and Family for the Holidays

Christmas evening.

I’ve been wrestling with myself on whether or not to write this post.  I love the winter holiday season; whether you celebrate Christmas, the pagan solstice, or just the “season of giving” in a very general way, the holidays can be an exciting, happy time to eat, drink, and be merry with friends and family.

They can also be hectic, busy, and very stressful… emotionally and definitely economically.  The season of giving has become very commercialized.  It’s not supposed to be about “getting stuff,” and I think most people understand that.  People keep asking me what my daughter needs for Christmas.  I love that they are thinking of her.

But I also feel guilty.  I don’t want anyone to feel obligated to get me or my family anything. (But I don’t want to insult anyone when I tell them that either; I’m not trying to discourage the people that love to give, but rather let them know we understand if they can’t.)  Also, I feel terrible because I know this year we can not afford to get anything for anyone else either.  (I know everyone is suffering in this economy to some extent right now, but we are basically just struggling to keep our heads above water right now until tax time.)  I actually worry that family members or friends will get their feelings hurt if we do not at least buy for their children.  I know the holiday is not about giving gifts, but I also understand being very “protective” of a child and I know how I feel if I think my daughter has been slighted or forgotten.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people felt this same sort of guilt and pressure around Christmastime.

So what I really want to tell all of you is: please, don’t overextend yourself.  Don’t do more than you are able.  We will understand and the baby is not suffering from lack of books and toys. 

The second thing I want to say is: Please do not feel like we are purposely slighting you or your children, friends and family.  That is not our intention at all.  Know that we love you all and are thinking of you, even though we will probably not see many of you this year, because of how far away from “home” we live now.  

I hope you don’t find this message tacky or inappropriate.  It’s just something that’s been on my mind.  Anyway, this is the first year J* is really, really aware of Christmas (or, “crystal,” as she calls it) and I hope she will find it all magical and happy regardless of where we are and what she gets.  I think she will.

christmas-tree-xmas-balls-decoration-photo

I love you all.  Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas…

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My Christmas “Wish In One Hand” List

I’m still kind of like a little kid at Christmastime.  Now that I’m older, I can get excited about giving presents as well as getting.  I’m not gonna lie; I like getting presents. For the past couple of years, hubby and I haven’t been in a financial position to exchange gifts for Christmas, birthdays, or anniversaries.  But that doesn’t stop me from “window shopping.”  So here’s my “Wish in one hand” list.  

BADSanta

First, I’ve been wanting a new pair of boots for a while now.  Although my knee-high hooker boots have seen better days, they’re still wearable.  But I still want a new pair, with a lower heel.

Doc Martens, my old favorite.  I still have three or four pairs around here...but, they don't have buckles.

Doc Martens, my old-school favorite. I still have three or four pairs around here…but, they don’t have buckles.

Cobb Hill Bridget Dress boots; functional and fashionable

Cobb Hill Bridget Dress boots; functional and fashionable

Martino "Logan" Boots...a nice cross between the above two...and still with the buckles.

Martino “Logan” Boots…a nice cross between the above two…and still with the buckles.

Next on the list, money for some more ink.  I can’t be wearing these bad-ass boots without some new bad-ass ink to go with it.  I wanna work on a half sleeve, adding to what I already have on this tattoo:

tatme

And I also want to get a new tattoo:

A Perfect Circle...cuz Maynard's the man.

A Perfect Circle…cuz Maynard‘s the man…  I think I’ll have his love child.

Well, there are a crap-ton of things I would love to have, and a crap-ton more me and my family could use, but at present, these are the top things I want, that I am unlikely to be able to afford on my own anytime soon…hence the name of the list.  Oh well…

Guess I’ll have to settle for family and fellowship and all that shit… I mean, all that great stuff!

 But seriously…I am looking forward to Christmas this year because I get to go back to my home state and see my family… with my husband this time.   Last year I flew back, just me and the baby because hubby couldn’t get off work.   Managing airport security with a one year old and all of her accouterments is pure hell!  This year, hubby is coming and my baby gets to see her extended family, which is all I can really ask for.

Bah! Humbug! Homesick for the Holidays

Ah, the smell of BBQ, like a campfire in the fall.  My Peppermint Patty coffee creamer.  The joys of experiencing the holiday through my toddler’s eyes…

The ridiculous crowds at Walmart, the rude drivers, the stress of not having enough money to buy groceries, let alone presents…

Oh, and it’s currently 69 degrees outside.  Bah! Humbug!

But all of this I could handle if I didn’t feel so down and out.  The holidays are drawing inexorably nigh and it’s looking less and less like I’m going to make it home to see my family.  I was going to hitch a ride with my uncle in his motor home (he generously offered last year,) but he told me they had planned on taking the car this year.  This was a few weeks ago, and he said if they changed their minds, of course we could ride with them…  But it’s hard enough for my husband to get time off for the holidays ahead of time, so the closer the holidays approach before we ask, the less likely he is to be allowed off of work.  Last year, as we were the only one’s whose family is almost exclusively (with the exception of my uncle) out of state, he was the only one of his coworkers who did not get to spend Christmas with his family…any of them, because the baby and I flew home by ourselves (oh, holy night…mare that I will never repeat!)  He had off Christmas of course, but as we live 800 miles away from family, one day just isn’t sufficient travel time.

If my uncle were able to take the motor home to MD this year, I’d tell Hubby to tell his boss that he was takin’ off, and tough titty said the kitty if they didn’t like it.  It’s not right.  Seems to me they could spare him for a few days, as everyone else at his job generally stays instate.

“Tough Titty…” (Tough Kitty)

It’s bad enough I only see my parents like 3 times a year now (and consequently, they only see their granddaughter 3 times a year.)  It’s killing me, and I know it’s killing my mom.

I miss my family and I want to move back home… but I also don’t want to.  Simply put, I’d only move back to MD because most of the family is there.  Frankly, I don’t like what the place has become.  I feel safer out here with the good ol’ redneck, racist, ignorant, fat hillbillies than I would back home where I’d fear getting mugged going to the freakin’ Wawa.  I realize part of this is perception, and that there is crime everywhere…  but according to my perception, it seems like the people out here are more ignorant than actually malicious.  Prime example; last year, in my home state, a guy I went to school with was stabbed to death in his own apartment when a seventeen year old hood broke in to steal the gun my classmate had for home protection.  Did I mention he knew the kid from around the neighborhood?  Did I also mention this guy was legally blind?  Who the fuck stabs a blind guy?

But back to the point, suffice it to say this conflict of feeling is causing me some distress…

Were we to magically discover hubby had the time off of work, thus allowing us the opportunity to drive ourselves home, then there’s the question of the $300 dollars in gas we’d likely need to get there– one way.  Would our POS Explorer even make it that far?

Assuming we’re grounded and we just have to accept it, how now am I going to afford to get everyone I want to gifts?  Our parents usually understand if we can’t afford to get them anything, but I like to buy for my sisters, and then their are my nieces and nephews, and my best friend’s kids, and my cousin’s kid…

Obviously I am not the first person to observe with no small trace of irony that this holiday is not supposed to be this stressful.

Yet I feel blue, and despite what I intellectually know and what I would tell others in my position, I feel like I deserve a big lump of coal in my stocking for not being able to give my family, and most importantly, my child, the things I want to be able to give them this holiday season.

Yeah, yeah, I know.  That’s not what the holiday is about, if they really care about us, they’ll understand, and all the baby needs is love…

So why do I still feel like a giant, disappointing piece of crap?

Bah! Humbug!