I was fine up until yesterday. I love Christmas. I’m not religious, and it’s great if some awesome dude has his birthday coming up, but it’s even more awesome to see family getting together, ugly sweater competitions, and secret santas at work. Christmas, to me anyways, has been the magic of love, peace, forgiveness, and entertaining friends and family until you can’t possibly eat anymore peppermint bark. But sometimes we lose our spirit of Christmas. And although sometimes my “spirit” wanes a bit; when I can’t find a parking spot at the mall, or when someone doesn’t hold the door open for me when I’ve got my hands full with Junior, I tend to have a strong enough spirit to keep quite cheerful through the holidays. I decorate to the nines, send Christmas cards, and love wrapping gifts. This year Hubby and I are hosting our first major family function at our “new” house. We’re looking forward to it like you wouldn’t believe. I even sent out invitations (just an excuse for me to make something with photoshop) and the date and time was approved months ago by the matriarch of the family. But… yup, here comes the “but”. It’s on the same day as a birthday of someone in Hubby’s family. And…instantly we have the guilt trip.
I really feel for anyone with a December birthday. It’s a horrible time and everyone is quite busy, but I’m not rescheduling a dinner with close to 20 people. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you, or that we don’t care, or that one family is more important than the other, it means I planned this dinner first and there are too many people involved to reschedule. There has to be SOME understanding, some common sense. Hubby and I have three Christmas’ not including our own with Junior. Three! And with Hubby only having Sundays and Mondays off and working evenings, well, you can see how December is rough on us. There are also some birthdays, both friends and family, in December, and we’ve been able to accommodate them as much as possible, but the instant I get guilted, or that someone assumes Hubby and I don’t care, well, that just takes my Christmas spirit and stomps on it. I’d like to think we are very much into “family” and we do a lot of hosting and attending, often driving over an hour for dinners and parties without too much of a complaint. In fact, both Hubby and I impressed ourselves by finding and already wrapping the perfect gift for said person, we were so proud of ourselves…until we got scolded for not being able to attend the actual event (and to make matters worse, I notified that person two and a half months ago we had the family dinner to host).
I plea to everyone out there, if someone can’t make it to an event or family function in December, dear lord, it doesn’t make them a horrible person, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you. Instead of stomping on their holiday spirit and trying to ply them with an unfair guilt trip, my advice to you is to continue with your event, but offer an alternative (ie, hey, can you come Wednesday night for dinner and we can celebrate it then with you?) or be a little more understanding (ie, we will miss you at the family dinner, but we understand how busy the season is. Is there a day we can get together for a visit?). Hubby and I already have to check the calendar each year to see who “gets us for Christmas”, leaving one family choosing dates all over December in order to accommodate a gathering. In the end, it’s never good to apply the guilt trip. We’re trying the best we can, we’re attending as much as our schedule allows and we wish we could be in two places at once.
Sigh, I’m going to go wrap some more gifts to see if I can get my holiday spirit back and shake these grumpies I seem to have. Merry Christmas! Happy Birthday! Sigh.