If ever there was a season I loved as much as I loathed, it would have to be Christmas. Is any other holiday as naughty as it is nice? Ho-ho-no.
While some might argue Christmas is what you make of it, for those doing the making, the holidays are hard.
I, alone, am the not-so-merry maker of Christmas magic in my home. It’s not that my husband’s a lazy, scroogy dude, it’s just that Christmas has never really been on his radar. Working hard to provide for his family is on his radar. That weird noise my car is making is on his radar, but secular Christmas and all the jingle jangle that comes with it? Not so much.
“If it were up to me, we’d celebrate Jesus on Christmas and that would be it,” he said.
Yes, and we do that, but that’s not it. That’s never been it. Christmas has and forever will be about So. Much. More.
For us, Christmas is about the birth of Christ. It’s also about Santa. It’s about family near and far (and not nearly far enough). It’s about wondering how many Christmas mornings I have left with my teenager. Christmas is mile-long wish lists, picture-perfect holiday cards, wrapping paper, shopping malls, long lines, tracking packages, holiday parties, and the seamless execution of everyone’s seasonal joy, often at the expense of my own.
Christmas is a production, and I am the director.
Man, I hate to even type that out loud, but without elves or even a partner to share in the holidaze, the entire season tastes a bit like expired eggnog.
Grinchy much? Perhaps. But you ought to know that elements of seasonal spite have been known to brew within the holiday doers among us. Try as we might to battle the bah humbugs, the frustration of festivities, the terror of to-dos, and the stress of schedules, almost always wins.
Take a look at what other holiday directors had to say about this “most wonderful time of the year”:
- “Not only do I need to buy gifts for everyone in my family, I also need to tell everyone in my family what to buy for my kids, and since we live a few thousand miles away, they ship the gifts that I then have to wrap. There are many words to describe how this makes me feel, but it’s best summed up with a single finger.” — Meredith, Special Oddcasions
- “I have always taken it upon myself to be superwoman at Christmas. Baking, decorating, and cooking. I have made six or seven types of cookies, three or four types of bread, candies and nuts, and lavish desserts. This year may be the start of a change.” — Linda
- “I end up doing everything but the scheduling. Everything else I get stuck with. It’s frustrating.” — Cheryl
- “While I LOVE the holidays, it feels like it’s up to me to make Christmas ‘happen.’ I do the majority of gift planning, shopping, decorating the house, and wrapping of the presents. He puts up the tree. I tend to do all the cooking as well and then if we go somewhere it’s also on me to plan outfits for the kids, ensure they’re getting ready and then get myself together as well. It can be a lot sometimes! I’m frazzled a bit trying to get everything done at the last minute. I’m not the least bit interested in being intimate because I’m perpetually running a list of things I need to do.” — Amber, From Carpools to Cocktails
- “It takes the joy right out of it.” — Kerry
- “We’re trying to make our own traditions since we are a new little family, but still I feel I’m the only one thinking of things for us to do … ” — Miranda
But wait a merry minute! It’s not all bad news for holiday bosses:
- “My daughter is getting older (only child), so I find myself pushing to make what could be the last year of ‘magic’ as special as possible. As much stuff as there is to do, I’m actually much more calm than past years. Maybe I’m getting better at it, maybe the crazy hasn’t hit yet, or maybe I’ve learned to live in the moment. I sure will miss playing Santa when the magic stops.” — Beth
- “I am pretty much in charge of doing all.the.things. for the holidays. But it’s not because my husband is an ass. It’s because he’s chronically ill and disabled and therefore either doesn’t have the energy or physical capability of decorating, shopping, or wrapping … I must say — I think because of my husband’s health problems — that I like being in control of this stuff. It’s nice to be able to control something, sometimes.” — Jennifer, I’m Dancing in the Rain
- “I say, as they do in Frozen: ‘Let It Go!'” — Trish
- “I used to get insane during the holidays trying to outdo the year before, but I realized I have nothing to prove to anyone. My family doesn’t care about any of that. All that matters is that we have each other. So if we can’t make your holiday party, sorry. If we don’t get to Christmas cards this year, whatever. People who love you and your family should understand and if they don’t, they’re the ones in need of Christmas spirit.” — Renee
Are you in charge of the holidays? Tell us about it in the comments.