And even though I’m Wiccan, not Christian, I still end up doing something on the Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Most of my family is Christian, and the kids have been raised in a mixed-religion household, so we end up doing a LOT of holidays, from both the Pagan and Christian faiths.
I actually love getting things ready for holidays. Planning the purchase of gifts for Christmas, and making the gifts for Yule; decorating the house for the purpose and season for each one, I get a big kick out of contemplating the children’s reactions to whatever they are getting, or are going to be doing, for each holiday.
For the Pagan holidays, I try to keep things a little more low-key, a little more “nature based”, as in making the gifts and decorations, rather than purchasing them. And the kids, of course, love the fact that they get twice as many holidays to celebrate. What kid wouldn’t?
There are also so many expectations associated with the holidays, the preparation of the “perfect” meals, having just the right gifts for everyone, trying to make sure that everything gets done in time, and that everyone has a good time?
Exhausting. Both physically and emotionally.
Yesterday was Easter. My girls were at their dad’s, so just OnlySon, my nephew, and I went to my parents’ house for dinner. Not just for the holiday, but also to spend time with my grandmother, who has been staying with my parents for most of the winter, before she heads off to one of my uncle’s house in Oklahoma for a while to visit.
I love my family, don’t get me wrong. But there are tensions that exist, for various reasons, that often make spending time together very strenuous and anxiety-ridden. I sometimes dread the holidays simply because of the strain that hangs in the air, waiting for someone to say the “wrong thing” that just sits there, making everyone uncomfortable and on edge.
Yesterday, actually wasn’t too bad. My family gathered at Mom & Dad’s, had a nice dinner; Mom handed the kids each some small “Easter goodies”, and we hung out and talked for a while.
Yeah, there was still tension, but we all attempted to avoid the more difficult subjects and to be civil and social.
And, after we left my folks’ house, we headed back home, where my nephew helped me to move some furniture, and we just chilled out for a while, catching up with each other. Both of us have had such a busy time for the last few weeks, that we really haven’t been able to talk much lately, so it was wonderful. We shared some leftover pizza and got some DQ, and laughed ourselves rather silly.
Holidays are a tough thing for many people.
Some, because they end up spending them alone, which is terribly hard.
Some, because they end up spending them with people that they don’t necessarily get along with, which is also terribly hard.
But, in the end, holidays are about making connections with the people in your life. Remembering, by sharing a meal, or opening presents, or just some quality time, that you and they are important to one another. And yeah, there will be tensions, when you, or they, put too many expectations on that time. When the holiday doesn’t live up to the ideal, or the dreams that are portrayed in movies and store commercials… then there is disappointment, and sometimes, even resentment.
I love holidays. They allow me to spend time with those that I love.
I hate holidays. They force me to spend time with people that make me tense.
Will this love/hate relationship ever change? Probably not. But, I think that’s ok. Keeps me from being bored with the whole thing, at least.