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Posted 11/22/2012 by ladyinblack1964 in General Scrappin'
 

ladyinblack1964
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Posted: 11/22/2012 7:26:32 PM
OK, the first thing I want to say is I TRY. I try every YEAR.
For the past 20 years, Christmas has more or less stunk for me. I could go into the list of weird bad things that have happened (a few are: my dog died on New Year's, my Pay Pal/iTunes acct. was hacked, my father was diagnosed with cancer). But the main thing is, my husband and I dont' get along well at this time of year. He's never liked Christmas or winter. I used to try and convince him it was a fun time of year but we'd end up fighting on Christmas Eve for whatever reason. The last two years were disastrous. I mean AWFUL.
BTW, we have no kids--maybe if we did the holiday would mean more.

So today, we get into an argument about "why do I want a Christmas tree" and "exactly what are my expectations". I would not call myself a Christian (tho I was raised Catholic). I'm more agnostic or even pantheistic now. So he's kind of telling me I should convince him as to why we should even celebrate the holiday. And I feel pressured, lectured to, picked on...Now we're not even speaking.

I thought doing DD/JYC would help me rekindle my Christmas spirit. Now I'm thinking "why bother? It always ends up the same way."

Should I bother with my DD? Should I even bother celebrating at all? I'm angry and disappointed and hurt.

I look at other people's LOs and I think I'm the only one with this unhappy sort of life. Believe me, things are far from great here. I just started working again in Aug. after THREE YRS. of unemployment. And he doesn't have a job at all.

Anyone else go through this? Anybody's life not picture-perfect? I'm sure you are out there...

Thanks for listening.

readsomething
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Posted: 11/22/2012 7:51:06 PM
Does he have bad memories of his own that are associated with the holidays? Does he hate the commercialism, the money you "have" to spend (if you do), or does he feel pressured because he WANTS to spend money but can't because of your finances?

Whenever people really are cranky EVERY year on the same holiday, I figure that there's GOT to be some underlying reason.

For me, Christmas and the other holidays are the ONLY things that salvage winter for me. I HATE cold weather of any kind. We don't normally get much snow, but when we do, I find it a total PITA. And I much, much prefer warmer weather in general.

Maybe he's depressed. Longterm unemployment issues for you both probably have taken a toll, for starters. You could just explain it that, for you, Christmas is something you look forward to and enjoy, and you NEED the emotional break that comes with the holidays for YOU. He can go along, or not, but YOU need to celebrate.


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e_doe
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Posted: 11/22/2012 8:10:49 PM
I can offer my perspective on it as a former Christmas hater (AKA Grinch, which I whole-heartedly embraced).

I hate the commercialism.
I hate the obligation of gift-giving to other adults. I think it should be a fun time for kids, but I could do without all the shopping for crap for each other and ending up buying crap I don't want to give and getting crap I don't want.
I hate the forced busyness and having to either go to or turn down so many parties.
I hate the expectation to always be cheery.
I hate the hassle of holiday travel.
I tend to get overwhelmed in a group setting, and it seems like the holidays are filled with group activities.
I hate that stores are more crowded for an entire month.
I hate that you "have" to drag all that crap out of the attic, waste all that time (usually in the cold) hanging it all around the house, just to take it down again and lug it back upstairs.
I think overall, I don't like how disruptive Christmas is to my everyday life. I enjoy my life and routine from Jan-Nov, and when Thanksgiving rolls around, it feels like that all goes right out the window.

Ok, now that my rant is over , my current boyfriend LOVES Christmas, so I have learned to enjoy it with him. Last year, we decorated together, we went out looking at lights together, and we went to the zoo holiday thing together. I even made him some peanut butter boobs as his present, and made holiday cookies at the same time!

I think two things might help: 1) get a little tree, small enough that you can set it up and decorate on your own.
2) ask DH if there's anything he DOES like about the holidays and try to enjoy that together. Like maybe he wouldn't mind going to look at lights, or maybe he would enjoy having cocoa and watching Rudolph. But there might not be anything, and if not, I'd say try to do things that make YOU happy, on your own, or with other people, and don't try to force him to enjoy the holidays. Some of us are just born Grinchy, but we're still good people.

Oh, and. I never tell people that I hate the holidays, because it makes people think I'm some kind of monster. So I'm trusting the peas to not get too freaked about it.
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susank12
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Posted: 11/22/2012 8:25:07 PM
As a former Christmas Hater I had to celebrate because we have kids. When I was 8 my grandfather died on Christmas Day, when I was 12 my dad walked out on Christmas Day.....not so fun and then the Christmas's after spent going from one parent to another and in the middle of their bull was more than I could take. It wasn't until I decided that I made the holidays what I wanted and picked how I chose to celebrate that my attitude changed. Just politely state that you don't have to justify your feelings to anyone and that you will decorate for the season without his help. Don't allow someone elses passive aggressive behavior ruin it for you. We are changing the way we celebrate from this year onward. No more little kids or grandkids living here so the tree (if I put one up) is going to be small, table top I think. I will be doing a wreath and placing my ornaments that I love in lanterns dotted around the living room and dining room. Simple, tasteful, and quieter. I don't allow anyone to rain on my parade anymore and steal my joy!


I'm an old pea with a forgetful memory (can't remember old login info)....please cut me some slack LOL!!!

Delaniemw
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Posted: 11/22/2012 8:35:37 PM
I absolutely believe you should still do a December Daily.

But, you could treat it more like a daily gratitude journal. Find and record something you notice and enjoy each day, whether Christmas related or not.

If there are days you do some Christmas events that you enjoy, then wonderful, perfect to include.

But I think it's important for you to find some joy in simple moments. Working on my December Daily helps me with that, because I'm on the lookout for something to record each day.

Some things I've included in my DD in the past:
- cards I've received
- decorations at the mall
- decorating my office
- walking home and singing Christmas carols to myself

December Daily doesn't need to be about grand plans. I hope you can find some wonderful December moments for yourself.



nikomoon14
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Posted: 11/22/2012 10:44:38 PM
Before my son mu DH was just like that. It was so bad that The only reason he would let me decorate and celebrate was because my family would come from PR. the years they didn't I would always invite my military younger coworkers who did not travel to spend Christmas at my house just so I could decorate and cook.
Since DS he actually likes me putting a tree and decorating. But now I don't like to do it cuz. I spent most of my evening decorating the tree. one hour later it looks like a sticker sneeze thanks to the wondering hands of DS.
15 min after I place the stalkings in the mantle he pull them all and threw them in the air like confetti...why do I bother.


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lylacfey
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Posted: 11/23/2012 2:20:32 AM
I think you should do the December Daily.

My DH doesn't like Christmas either. He lost his Father on X-mas Day. He tries to make it nice for me because I am come from a culture where the Winter Holidays are very celebrated. Then it is my family thing too that just depresses him. My immediate family expects my DH to take on the traditions of my Father. I am not joking about this but X-mas in my home is expected to spend thousands on the holidays when it's all said and done. That is what my Father did. My wonderful dear husband does not deserve to be treated that way. I have become a grump about it too. A couple years back I spent all our Christmas money on a huge gaming set-up for my DH. You should have seen the look on my families face. It was priceless. They are still PO'd. I said no more X-mas for you greedies. I forgot to add my DH & I are expected to spend this amount but we never receive anything back. I am not a person that expects gifts but I do expect class and manners in others.

DH & I said no more and are making our own traditions. No more buying presents for family. We are giving money to animal organizations like the no kill shelters. I am doing a huge donation for horse rescue this year.

My heart goes out to you because X-mas does suck. I hope December is beautiful month for you.


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Posted: 11/23/2012 2:25:17 AM
I'm sorry you are going through this.

1) All the bad things that have happened are just coincidence. Really. None that you mentioned are really associated with the holiday season. Those things could have happened any time of the year.

2)Men usually do not express themselves openly like women, and I agree with another poster about possible underlying reasons for not liking Xmas/Winter.

3)Or he just plain could be like e-doe (pea who posted above). Nothing wrong with that. If that is the case, you should not force it on him, and he should not expect you not to celebrate if you want to, *without* having to explain yourself.

4) Prolonged unemployment can be very stressful in a household. Give yourself a break. You deserve it! Do your DD for you, if not for anyone else.

Don't be fooled. NOBODY's life is picture perfect.

And sometimes when it rains it pours, in EVERY household.





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aerynkelly13
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Posted: 11/23/2012 3:32:35 AM

I hate the commercialism.
I hate the obligation of gift-giving to other adults. I think it should be a fun time for kids, but I could do without all the shopping for crap for each other and ending up buying crap I don't want to give and getting crap I don't want.
I hate the forced busyness.
I hate the expectation to always be cheery.
I hate the hassle of holiday travel.
I tend to get overwhelmed in a group setting, and it seems like the holidays are filled with group activities.
I hate that stores are more crowded for an entire month. Go to get some every day item and it's insanity everywhere.
I think overall, I don't like how disruptive Christmas is to my everyday life. I enjoy my life and routine from Jan-Nov, and when Thanksgiving rolls around, it feels like that all goes right out the window.


That was edited a bit, but that's me exactly. I'm disabled, I feel alternately "okay" and "I want to die" at random intervals through the week. I can't guarantee I'll be "okay" at a certain time and holidays expect one to be places and be up for things. That's just too much for me.

Add in that my grandmother died this November 8th and this year's holidays are going to suck. My Christmas sucked last year because we went to visit BIL instead of going to my family, he didn't celebrate AT ALL, and now it turns out that was the last Christmas I could have had with my grandmother. So now I'm even more bitter.

All in all, I'd like to just skip the holiday. We don't have kids either. I'm not going to decorate, I've no one to make cards for, I'm not going to buy presents (unless I can figure out how to pay into my parents' World of Warcraft subscriptions), nothing. I think the most Christmas I'll get is colouring images because I like to colour and I get in the mood for the paper at this time of year.

NO, you're not alone. But I agree that you and your husband need to stop the "not talking" thing and work out why he's not okay with this holiday. If you have friends who are into it, and you want to be into it, try spending time with them. Go tree shopping with them, that kind of thing. You can try to enjoy it for yourself, but I completely understand the feeling of needing DH to enjoy it with you. DH and I are all we have in this town, if we're not a team, we have nothing. No friends, no family, no nothing. So we feed off of each other's likes and dislikes for better or worse. In general though, marriage should be a partnership, so you should be able to ask why your partner isn't on board with you and what you can do to help him.


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LindaBabe54
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Posted: 11/23/2012 7:24:57 AM
What ARE your expectations? I guess that's the first thing. We've discovered we can never recapture the excitement of Christmas in our childhood homes.

We're older. Our parents are gone. We live many days travel from his sister and our son. Our old friends with whom we celebrated are gonem either passed or moved away. We have a few even older folks who are even more alone than we are come for Christmas dinner, so we try to make the house festive for that.

When we were younger we loved Christmas. Now, December is deadly, lonely and gray. But THIS year, I've solved that problem. DH is going skiing at every opportunity and I am going on a cruise through the Panama Canal!

Nothing like introducing a different pattern to shake things up a bit!

Could you volunteer together? Serve meals at the city mission? Wrap packages for a service organization?

DO only that which brings YOU joy.

e_doe
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Posted: 11/23/2012 7:38:48 AM
LindaBabe, this:

We've discovered we can never recapture the excitement of Christmas in our childhood homes.

Is another reason I get so frustrated about the holidays. I feel like the main thing should be to make it magical FOR the kids. I love THAT aspect of it. It's all the other going crazy that I don't like. I accepted in my 20s that Christmas isn't magical once you're not a kid anymore, and that's OK. I'd rather spend all year enjoying time with friends and family than feel rushed around trying to do that all in one month.

OP, I hope you find ways to enJOY the season, even if they seem small. I believe enjoyment of and gratitude for the small things are key to cultivating a happy life. And I love some of the other peas' suggestions to do the DD... Another thing you could do on some of the days are lists...favorite holiday shows/movies, favorite holiday foods, favorite holiday songs...etc. Also, even if DH is a total Grinch like I was, I bet you could put in some headphones and listen to Xmas music while you bake cookies. I mean, I'll eat a cookie no matter what the occasion.
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Posted: 11/23/2012 8:28:24 AM

But the main thing is, my husband and I dont' get along well at this time of year. He's never liked Christmas or winter.


I think a good part of your problem is trying to force your husband to 'come around'. If he's never liked it, trying to cajole him into it isn't likely going to get you far. He's more likely to drag you down than you pulling him up. I once read a quote that said 'Expectations are premeditated resentments'. I don't think that applies all the time, but I do think it applies sometimes. You expect him to go along for your sake and resent him when he resists.

I'm sure the job situation doesn't help either.

It makes me sad when I think of people who don't celebrate because they are alone. I figured, even if I was by myself I would try and celebrate anyway. I could buy myself presents during the big after holiday clearance and by next Christmas I'd have totally forgotten what I bought.

You have to make your own happiness. It might mean celebrating on your own or with other people who would enjoy your company. You just have to decide "I'm going to be happy and enjoy this holiday season with or without you. You don't have to, but I'm not going to let you drag me down with you." You never know, he may after a few years of you enjoying yourself and doing your own thing without trying to pull him into it at all slowly come around. He might not. But either way, you're responsible for your happiness.

And nope - far from picture perfect.



pcrfn
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Posted: 11/23/2012 8:44:24 AM
Ladyinblack, I'm sorry that you're having a ruff time of it during the holidays, but I think that if you want to do a DD, you should do one. And decorate if you want to - I'm always the one to decorate at my house; I may grumble about it, but I like the pretty lites so I do for me. I don't do a DD, but maybe you could fill yours with what the holidays mean to you (or meant to you as a child), pretty decorations on neighborhood houses, or things that you would like to do during the holidays. My life is SO far from perfect, but sometimes you just have to do things in hopes that it will get better. It's what's in your heart that counts. Hugs to you, Maria

ladyinblack1964
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Posted: 11/23/2012 4:58:59 PM
I want to thank each and every one of you who responded to my thread.
My heart goes out to everyone who has experienced sad events such as deaths, losses, violence, etc.--stuff that just should not happen ever and it's so unfair when it happens at the holiday season.

I am feeling a bit better now and giving some thought as to what *I* want to do. You can't change other people. Lord knows I've been trying for years to get him to be more of a Xmas person and all it's done is bring me down.

My family is also experiencing some bad stuff with a sibling's separation from his family so that's not helping either. I think I need to let go of my expectations and go with the flow.

I like the idea of the DD being a gratitude journal. I plan to take my camera around with me and take photos of stuff I see that I like. And concentrate on some of my favorite past Christmases.

Again, thank you so much. I had tears in my eyes while reading this thread...thanks for sharing your stories w/me.

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Posted: 11/23/2012 7:33:00 PM
You're not the only one with they kind of life.
My sister lives that kind if life everyday. Not just at Christmas. Although she's NEVER been able to have a Christmas tree or decorate in any way. Her SO is an ass and thinks Christmas is too commercial and Sverige should boycott it and every other holiday.
He did not come to thanksgiving dinner yesterday and hasn't for years.
He would rather sit at home and eat crackers with peanut butter alone than spend time with a happy family.

I'm sorry you're going through this but I think you and my sister both have the choice to change the way things are.
Maybe you're complacent?
If you're unhappy, change things or get out.
That's what I tell her.


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Posted: 11/23/2012 7:51:26 PM
I'm glad you're feeling a bit better, OP. I know how hard it is to really want to enjoy something but just find yourself unable. Depression does that with just regular days for me. As the poster above me said, sometimes you have to just DEMAND of yourself that things are going to change. Take Christmas within yourself and make it something just for you. Especially if you're going to make a DD, it can certainly be a place where you just celebrate the heck out of the holiday without "bothering" your DH with your festivities.


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scrappinbetty
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Posted: 11/25/2012 5:34:20 PM
I think this time of year is hard for a lot of people. In fact, I read a stat that there are more suicides this time of year than at any other time of year.

I do believe a lot of the unhappiness comes from past experiences and tragic events that happen to take place this time of year, and from unrealistic and/or unvoiced expectations.

My family always celebrated Xmas in a big way and it's always been important for me to celebrate it by doing all the things I did as a kid (buy a tree, decorate it and the house, go Xmas shopping, attend holiday events and parties, watch Xmas movies, listen to Xmas music, etc.). So, that's what I do, whether or not DH is into it (he usually is, but has been down a few times at this time of year).

I think doing a DD and using it to document your traditions or what you're thankful for is a great idea! I plan to use mine to document the things that represent the season for me (see list above). We'll be out of town this year (house sitting for friends) so I won't get to do much of what we usually do, but I have already let DH know that I want to partake in some Xmas events that are going on where we'll be and he was all for it. I'll also document things like the best gift I got as a kid, funny Xmas memories, my fav movies (which I plan to take along), Xmas music I like, what I love about the season, etc.

I'm so sorry to hear of so many struggling at this time of year. I do hate the commercialism, but still really enjoy what the season represents and the magic I feel this time of year. I wish that for all of you.


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e_doe
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Posted: 11/25/2012 7:50:51 PM
Ha! I will post in a new thread so as not to hijack this one.
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planosuep
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Posted: 11/25/2012 8:43:41 PM
My family had lots of traditions & fun times, dh did not so ds & I drove to my family's. Daddy died & stepmother kicked me out of family.
Since then ds & I just try to do fun things together. For a few years
I modified my decorations - no tree; just cute Santas, reindeer, etc.
Now dh is ill & can't stay alone so another complication.

I think part of the sadness & pain is we seem to feel everyone else is having a great time; their families are happy & celebrate & it contributes to depression or general sadness.

Do what you could enjoy - traditional or non & try to have some fun.
Being out of work for a long time is depressing as others have said.

Good luck - let us know what you do. sue

p.s. hopefully you DO see you are not alone by the stories posted here.

ladyinblack1964
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Posted: 11/25/2012 8:54:55 PM
I've decided to go ahead with my DD/JYC.
And surprise--DH went with me to pick out a small tree yesterday. I think he felt bad about the fight. I'm still planning to do the majority of work on it myself and not try to force him into anything.

I definitely see I am *not* alone here.

You guys are great!

bluna
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Posted: 11/25/2012 8:58:10 PM
This thread was eye-opening for me. I've had some rough Christmas seasons, times when I cried myself to sleep every night because the season was not the way I wanted it to be...my life was not the way I wanted so the holidays sucked. Now I know I was just feeling sorry for myself and that some people have real issues with the winter holiday season...so my eyes are open.

Now I'm off to find the "peanut butter boobs" post!!!


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Posted: 11/26/2012 7:38:03 AM

I've decided to go ahead with my DD/JYC.
And surprise--DH went with me to pick out a small tree yesterday. I think he felt bad about the fight. I'm still planning to do the majority of work on it myself and not try to force him into anything.



That's great!

Just go along doing your own thing and he may or may not decide to join in. The surest way to get resistance is by trying to pull someone along. And the harder you pull, the more they'll dig their heels in.

Deck the halls with boughs of holly.... fa la la la la la la la la!


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