Everybody loves holidays. Time off from work, eating good food, hanging with family and maybe getting some presents. What's not to love? From Christmas to Easter, and from Mother's Day to New Year's Eve, there's a special holiday and wonderful holiday-related memory for every one. Well, every one but me.
I'm starting to hate holidays. Really, I am. It's my fault, too and that makes it worse. Since Caroline's birth, I look at holidays as mini-vacations. A typical day for us is chaotic and there is barely a moment to breathe. But, a holiday is a day to step out of the rat race and relax! A holiday is a day to get baby support from family members who are more than happy to take on some of the mundane parenting duties. Not to mention, a holiday is a day to get and give gifts!
I get excited anywhere from a month to a week in advance of each holiday, depending on how hyped up the day is in my mind.
That's when it starts to fall apart. It takes me so long to pack for the holiday trip, fret over gifts to buy and stress about family dynamics, that I'm exhausted before we even get in the car.
The trip always takes FOR-EVER and we are all cranky upon arrival. Then we have to unpack all ten million bags of necessity/junk we've brought. On real special holidays, the biggies with the highest level of expectation, one of us is usually sick. Like Christmas this year. We started the holiday week right before Christmas eve, with me vomiting and feverish. Andy followed shortly thereafter and Caroline took the finale on New Year's by upchucking on my parents immediately upon entering their house. Her gift to my dad and sister-in-law was to share the gut wrenching virus. Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All the Way! Oh What Fun It Is to Puke at Nana's House To-Day!
I'm not surprised. New Year's is always the worst. It's almost better now that I have an excuse not to try to have fun. Tell me, how can one possibly have "fun" while standing outside in negative 30 degree weather? The closest I got to a good time on New Year's eve was 1999 when I wore some weird hippy, bell-armed shirt and dumped a large amount of champagne down my sleeve. It seemed fun at the time. Not so fun the next morning when I woke up still wearing the shirt. But, at least you don't have to give gifts on New Year's.
I'm the worst gift giver and Andy can attest to this. The Ruben Studdard Cd I gifted one Valentine's Day sits in the garage next to the never-touched-water kayak I gave him for Christmas three years ago. I got a baby sitter so I could drive an hour away in a sketchy pick-up truck to buy that kayak! I've tried to start a "no gifts rule" with Andy but it seems he likes the pain of receiving my gifts.
I consider Mother's Day a holiday. This year's was no exception to my holiday rule. I wanted a parade, you know, like the one at Disney World each night. I wanted to wake up to breakfast in bed and a back rub, maybe some flowers. Instead I got to lay on the couch with a major allergy hangover while Caroline smooshed graham cracker crumbs into my sweatshirt. Instead of a back rub I got a toddler slap during a Caroline temper tantrum. I tried to buy myself a plant but the sub-zero weather prevented me from staying at the flower shop long enough to pick anything out. I had to remind Andy to buy me a card and although he did, it was not before he told me Mother's Day was a way for Hallmark to make money and that he felt it wasn't really "fair" to have a holiday for Moms. (Mental note: no Father's Day gift for Andy.)
I know, I know, cry me a river. Where's the violin? Like I said, it's my fault. I'm the one responsible for the continual holiday disappointment. I don't hold this level of expectation for a normal day, why should I for a holiday? Who told me certain days were going to be more fun, more relaxing, than any other day? Who started these silly holidays anyway? They just make people feel lonely and lacking. Holidays make us missed loved ones and remind us of what we are missing. I don't have a lover. I don't have a mother/father. I can't eat chocolate. I'm allergic to flowers.
Even Halloween isn't safe. At our last party I changed out of my costume and into my pajamas around 9 pm. I fell asleep on my couch next to a guy dressed as a gimp and Sponge Bob. And Ground Hog's day? You know that fat little bastard is always going to see his shadow. Six more weeks of winter? Try sixteen more weeks you lying weasel!
Instead of looking forward to assigned happy days throughout the year, I'm going to consider each day on this planet a holiday. I'm going to be thankful for what I have, remember to stay in touch with loved ones and regularly embrace my disastrous gift giving. Not to mention overeating. I think I'll get started tomorrow by making a turkey, stuffing, cole slaw, the works!
I'll finish up the night by unbuttoning by pants and falling asleep on the couch while Andy watches sports. Mmmhmm, Happy Holidays!