(Staying) Home for the Holidays

(Warning off the bat: This is a rant. It’s a tangent. It has little to know coherency and is the result of my mind listlessly flailing about it frustration. If you make it through this, I commend you.)

It’s that time of year. December is almost upon us. That parking lot of a month where everyone’s holiday has driven around wildly trying to get the best spot. Some going to far as to steal the spots others were clearly about to park in (looking at you X-Mas).

The holidays have always been weird for me. Much like how I imagine sex is for people who buy adult foreplay toys from Spencer’s Gifts, it’s a large amount of build up and a lot of festivity ultimately leading to disappointment and self-doubt. But it’s gotten even weirder since I had kids.

For the majority of my life my family has done “Christmas”. I put it in quotes because it’s just the X-Mas of handing out gifts and eating those flower shaped cookies that come out of that massive cardboard bucket. None of that religious stuff which is fine by me since I don’t believe in it. I’m not here to dog it, I just personally don’t adhere to it.

But now that I’m in my thirties I’m starting to get more comfortable doing what I want for the holidays which, honestly, is hard to do. I like the idea of Solstice a lot though I’m still new to it and every time I think I get it I’m usually informed I’m forgetting something. Sort of like when you tell a Walking Dead fan you gave it a shot but didn’t get into it.

With my kids around, I kinda want them getting to do something special. I like the idea of holidays. As a kid holidays were just magical. They were a special day where everyone was just supposed to let shit slide and everyone was cool. There was junk food and TV specials and it was just this relaxing day where the festivities took you out of the normal routines.

But it’s not that anymore. My parents are big into Christmas, my wife is big into Solstice and I’m on this big old dividing line because my problem is I’m so goddamn indifferent about it. Like I can go to a Christmas party and later end up at someone’s Hanukkah jamboree and still have the same feeling. If someone wants to celebrate whatever, that’s cool. In my head, I’m just using the day as a day to celebrate a general holiday and a day to relax. That’s my religion now. Relaxation. A deity that hovers over head, rarely seen but appreciated and worshiped when it appears.

And going to visit my parents are hard for multiple reasons. They have a lot of things in their home that set off the allergies of me and my kids. Artificial fragrances, sprays, scents, cleaners. All sorts of things that set our skins on fire. There’s a lot of indoor smoking which isn’t good for me and my damaged lungs and definitely not good on my kids and their developing lungs. Plus, there’s too much stuff there. Like every time I go to my dad’s house it becomes all about showing them toys. They have this massive pile of toys in the living room specifically for grandkids and my eldest gets so caught up in it that he’s a mess for the rest of the day.

I mean, it also doesn’t help that my younger siblings treat me like a joke but that’s something for another blog.

Anywho, back at home we try to do the Solstice thing. We put out lights, a little tree and just be thankful we’re not on fire. And I like it and all but I do miss some of the magic of it. No weird magic chubby guy breaking and entering into our home. Now improbable magic reindeer. No elves manufacturing wooden toys you damn well know that no one wants. It’s still a fun day though.

The issue is that it’s just us. We try to stay out of the family holidays more and more now just because they’ve become so problematic. People who are sick show up. Everyone’s wearing things that swell my sinuses. Everyone is so judgmental. It’s not fun anymore.

So for Solstice we hang around at home by ourselves and it’s something that we do a lot and I’m fine with that but I wish there was a middle ground. My parents aren’t happy I don’t come over there but me and my wife aren’t happy when we go over there because it usually ends up in sick kids and rashes that take weeks to die down. I ducked in my dad’s house the other day with enough time to eat a bagel and my neck as not stopped itching.

I just…ugh. I wish there was just a standard “catchall” holiday that could be implemented for this. I so genuinely don’t care what day is celebrated, I just want to celebrate. “But Eric, doesn’t it bother you if it’s not your religion?” No. I’m a nerd, this happens all the time to us. I can’t geek out about DC’s Lantern Corps and then not want to listen when the person I just ranted to tells me all about Game of Thrones despite me not watching it or liking it. I mean, I’m not writing off religion, I still think it’s the number one reason for war and it’s easily standing the risk of fucking up the educational process, especially with Trump in office. But as far as holidays go, as long as you don’t force your believes on me I’ll be down for whatever as long as everyone’s happy.

But that’s the thing. I don’t know how to make anyone happy with this. Even now I’m trying to stay Switzerland on this. I hate having to take sides on this. I just. Ugh. Holidays don’t need to be complicated. They really don’t and I just, as I said, really wish we could just slap a fucking bucket holiday in the middle of the month. Call is Decemberalia or something. I don’t know nor care. I just want the craziness to end.

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2 thoughts on “(Staying) Home for the Holidays

    • Yeah. The vast majority of my health problems, according to my doctor, stem from my living conditions growing up. I’d like to avoid that if I can. Especially since smoking is illegal in most places in Ohio they’re literally the ONLY place where they encounter cigarette smoke so when we walk in, being used to NOT being around it, it’s like having our faces smashed into an ashtray.

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