Christmas is a time of such mixed emotions for me. I know it is meant to be about happiness, giving, and family, however, there is so much stress over Christmas for me, little joy is left. I am not the Christmas Humbug, yet it is a time that I would generally be happy to skip altogether. Okay, maybe I am the Christmas Humbug.
I can split this into three reasons for my dislike of Christmas. The first, is coming from a very divorced and separated family. All I want to do for Christmas is wake up with my two children, and relax. But not only am I torn in many different directions, so are my children.
Tamika has Grandparents who are divorced, parents who are separated, and a partner's parents to please. Plus she also likes to spend time with my sisters and their children.
Jarvis has parents together, but a sister who is torn, Grandparents divorced, and Grandparents who live in another city. Plus Aunts and Uncles in different cities who all want to spend time with him.
I have parents who are divorced, a partner who wants to spend time with his parents in another city, sisters who I want to spend time with, and my children who are torn.
So Christmas has become a horrible juggling act of trying to please all and making myself miserable. I have woken in Brisbane, driven to Logan, driven to the Sunshine coast, driven back, and flown to Townsville all on Christmas Day, just to try to make people happy.
Reason two of my dislike of Christmas, I have worked in retail too many years and consumerism has killed the joy of gift giving. Christmas decorations up early make me want to vomit. If I hear Christmas carols I want to stick a metal spike in my ears, just to stop the torture.
Which leads into my third reason for my dislike of Christmas, the stress and expectations of money spending. I actually joined Fat Mum Slim's Christmas Gift Exchange this year in the hope it would help my Christmas Spirit. But, it is doing the opposite, a $30 budget was set, yet on Facebook image after image of people's stash of presents they are sending their Secret Santa and statements to the such, "oh, I went way over budget", is now adding to my dislike of Christmas. People spend way to much money and expectations of gift giving is extreme, it all seems very greedy and excessive.
I wonder if people were asked to give the equal of what they spend and expect on presents away to charities how they would react?
My idea of a perfect Christmas? Wake up with Justin, Tamika and Jarvis. All exchange one or two gifts each. (Preferably handmade or locally sourced). Lunch at my sister's house with the extended family. Then home in the afternoon to have a lazy dinner.
Oh and I putting money where my mouth is? Yes for every gift I am making, I am making another to give away to charity. Plus now that I am working for the first time in two years I am giving away a quarter of my wage (between now and Christmas) to charity.
What one thing symbolises the holidays for you? (a scent, activity, food, place, something else)
Is there a favourite holiday memory that you try to recapture each year, or is brought to mind by the holiday season?
Playing as a child on the beach at Bribie Island, eating lunch off the ping pong table with family.
Do you enjoy the busyness and celebration at this time of year or do you find it overwhelming?
Do you secretly or not so secretly dance around to Christmas music? Or do you have a Christmas album?
I am not a violent person, I never even honk other drivers, but anyone playing Christmas music makes me want to punch them in the face.
Does your family have any holiday traditions, special foods, activities etc.
To get drunk and fight. (That is more my Aunts, Uncles and my Grandfather who has since died)
What one thing do you most hope to pass on to those you love, that makes this time of year special to you?
It is not about what you get, it is about what you do.
Is there something you’re hoping to receive this year?
The gift I really, really want is a photo of Tamika and Jarvis together.
Tell us about any special projects that you are working on right now and what they mean to you.
I am trying to work on my belief in myself. I would love to think my project for 2014 could be to believe in myself and my own abilities.